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IAMO Strengthening International Collaboration through Participating High-end Events in China

30 January 2024

In a commendable effort to bolster international partnerships and foster collaborative initiatives, particularly with Chinese partners, Professor Thomas Glauben, Director of IAMO and Dr. Zhanli Sun together with other IAMO colleagues, recently participated in a series of conferences and events in China. The 7th Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST 2023) was organized by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and co-sponsored by CGIAR, IAEA, and FAO, bringing together over 480 delegates from more than 50 countries. Renowned experts and scholars, including Prof. Johan Swinnen, the Director General of IFPRI, and Prof. Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus of Wageningen University, discussed the transformation towards a sustainable, efficient, inclusive, and resilient agri-food system. Prof. Glauben, in his keynote speech, emphasized the transformative potential of digital technologies in agri-food systems and addressed challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Central Asia and China. His insights and suggestions aimed at governments and researchers garnered significant attention. Dr Zhanli Sun gave two talks on rural development and agricultural digitalization, respectively, in the side events.

IAMO's involvement continued with the "2023 Global Food Security Young Scientists Forum" at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China, from October 28 to 29. Prof. Glauben urged deeper international cooperation to address threats to global food security arising from trade restrictions and geopolitical tensions. He highlighted the importance of avoiding food trade embargoes and trade barriers, and advocated for enhanced collaboration between developed and developing countries to fortify the global food supply chain system. Dr. Zhanli Sun gave a keynote on the agricultural digitalization of smallholder farmers, identifying the challenges and potential solutions and ways forward. Dr. Laura Moritz also presented IAMO’s research on weather index insurance in central Asia and received significant interest.

The ninth Sino-German Agricultural Week was held in Bengbu, Anhui Province, from October 31 to November 3, and served as a platform for governmental officials, scholars, business associations, and entrepreneurs from both China and Germany. Prof. Glauben, echoing sentiments from other German and Chinese speakers, including the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Dr. Ophelia Nick, and Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of China, Dr. MA Youxiang, emphasized the urgency and necessity of transforming the food system. He advocated for collaborative efforts between China and Germany to address global challenges, promoting policy dialogues and deepening scientific and technological collaboration.

At the invitation of Prof. Yanjun Ren, IAMO researchers participated in the Sino-German Forum on sustainable development of the agri-food system and the opening ceremony of the Sino-German Center for Agricultural and Food Economics (SCAFE) at Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China, from November 4 to 5. Yangling, known as the "Silicon Valley" of Chinese agriculture, is the home to many agricultural high-tech companies and demonstration parks. Prof. Glauben, representing German partners, delivered a speech during the inauguration of the Sino-German Center for Agricultural and Food Economics, expressing high hopes for enhanced Sino-German agricultural cooperation through this platform. Dr. Laura Moritz, and Dr. Zhanli Sun all presented their recent research in the forum and had extensive exchanges with forum participants. Besides, Dr. Duric presented the IAMO Digital Lab and discussed with Prof. Ren cooperation opportunities with the Northwest A&F University’s Behavioral Economics Lab.

China has been a focused research area of IAMO. The institute’s China expertise and extensive collaboration network are important assets. After the difficulties of Sino-German exchanges in the past years, caused among others by the COVID-19 pandemic, the participation of IAMO researchers in these series of events helped to foster collaborations and broaden networks. IAMO remains committed to contributing to the further development of global agri-food systems through active engagement and cooperation with Chinese and other international partners.