New Chinese Facility to Enhance Potato Research

Published online: Aug 25, 2017 Articles
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The new International Potato Center-China Center for Asia Pacific (CCCAP) facilities were formalized in a handover ceremony in Yanqing, Beijing on July 11. The CIP and the Chinese government have a long history of cooperation approaching 40 years. The CCCAP is the first officially recognized international research institution in China.  

What started in 1978 as a gift of hardy CIP-24 germplasm well-suited to the needs of rural Chinese growers, has now grown into a fully integrated, world-class agricultural research center focused on improving root and tuber crop production in China and across East Asia and the Pacific.

“This handover is a historic moment in a long and fruitful history between CIP and the government of China,” says Barbara Wells, the CIP’s director general. “This center will play a pivotal role in helping to alleviate poverty and hunger at a critical time in our history when the dual pressures of climate change and population growth demand innovative solutions.” 

During the ceremony, Chinese vice minister of agriculture, Qu Dongyu announced the Chinese government’s donation of state-of-the art laboratory equipment valued at almost $3 million. In a little under of a quarter of a century, the average potato yields in China rose 25 percent. By 2013, China had imported more than 8,000 roots and tuber accessions from Peru, which were used to develop 100 new varieties with CIP parentage. The Chinese government’s continued investment in facilities and infrastructure will play a critical role in China’s agriculture “ongoing global strategy,” Qu said.

With a population of more than 1.3 billion, the potato is uniquely poised to help China build a more food secure future. Potatoes require significantly less water than wheat, rice and maize, and produce higher caloric value per acre. The CCCAP should be instrumental in developing new varieties of root and tuber crops that will help rural growers maximize yields in the face of severe climatic conditions.

In his speech, Qu shared a brief overview of the 40-year history of scientific cooperation between China and the CIP. He expressed his optimism that the establishment of the CCCAP and the new Yanqing Research Facility will continue to enable the CIP to build on the longstanding cooperation and make new contributions to China’s agricultural development and global root and tuber crop research for development.

 

Source: International Potato Center