Chinese agri science partnership with Teagasc

Ireland’s agricultural research agency Teagasc has signed a partnership deal with its Chinese counterpart to allow for the facilitation of scientific collaboration exchange between the two agencies.

The aim with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) is to encourage and develop scientific exchange opportunities between both agencies in the areas of animal breeding and genetics, dairy production, sustainable agricultural production, including relationship with climate change, food safety and residue analysis, and veterinary medicine and to facilitate increased opportunities to develop collaborative projects in areas of mutual interest.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the deal saying that the signing of the deal by the Chinese was “a recognition on their part of the advanced research infrastructure that Ireland has established in the agri-food sector in Ireland over many years and reflected the high profile Ireland has as a centre of excellence in terms of research into food safety, sustainable production systems, animal breeding and genetics.

“The visit of Vice Minister Zhang provided a further opportunity to raise the profile of Ireland as a centre of excellence in food production and research sciences at the highest political levels in China and enhanced the already strong trading relationship between the two countries.

“It was fitting,” Minister Coveney noted, “that Teagasc, as the national body in Ireland providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities in Ireland, and CAAS, as the national research and innovation organisation in China, which is engaged in similar work, should come together to pool their experience and collaborate in areas of shared mutual interests”.

The Minister added the signing of this partnership by the Chinese was a recognition on their part of the advanced research infrastructure which Ireland has established in the agri-food sector in Ireland over many years and reflected the high profile Ireland has as a centre of excellence in terms of research into food safety, sustainable production systems, animal breeding and genetics.

He pointed to the mutual benefits that can arise from a collaboration based on scientific and technological progress and the spread of knowledge via the open exchange of ideas and information and said that he hoped that this would lead to further trust and understanding between both countries, and to help to further deepen the existing strong relationships between both countries in the agri-food and related sectors.

The Minister noted these scientific exchanges had already commenced in 2013 in anticipation of the signing of the collaboration.

Dr Fuping Zhao undertook a six-week placement in Teagasc and during that time, he has worked on animal genetics and breeding with one of Teagasc’s leading scientist, Dr Donagh Berry, under the direction of Dr Frank O’Mara, head of research in Teagasc.

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