Vice Minister Li Jiayang meets IRRI Director General
Vice Minister Li Jiayang met Dr. Robert Zeigler, Director General of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in Beijing on Nov. 10, 2014. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on strengthening S&T cooperation in rice between China and IRRI.
Vice Minister Li, who is also the President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), reviewed and spoke highly of the cooperation between China and IRRI, one of the first international agricultural research institutions cooperating with China. He pointed out that, in the past 4 decades, effective cooperation has been conducted in the field of rice germplasm exchange, new varieties breeding and biotechnology, among others, which has significantly contributed to improving rice productivity in China and even the whole world.
Vice Minister Li highlighted the cooperation in major international research projects, including the Green Super Rice for the Resources-Poor of Africa and Asia (GSR), Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) and the 3,000 Rice Genomes Project (3K RGP). He stressed that, as a staple crop, rice is crucial to food security in China. The implementation of these projects, which features increasingly in-depth research in rice genomics, helped the creation of the database of genotype and phenotype related to major agronomic traits for core germlplasm of rice, the large-scale discovery of valuable genes and breakthroughs in molecular technology for improvement of rice with complex traits. These progresses play a vital role in accelerating the breeding of high-yield, high-quality and highly adaptable novel varieties.
In addition, Vice Minister Li expressed the hope to further expand the cooperation with IRRI, and intensify the cooperation in resources, environment and related policies.
In response, Dr. Robert Zeigler commended the efforts and contribution made by CAAS in promoting China-IRRI partnership, and expressed IRRI's strong willingness to upgrade its cooperation with China and broaden cooperation areas. He is looking forward to the working level consultation on details of the above mentioned cooperation between IRRI and CAAS.