CIMMYT DG Tom Lumpkin had a successful visit to China during 16-17 October, signing agreements with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and China Agricultural University (CAU). Starting in 2009, CSC will sponsor ten postgraduate students and visiting scientists to come to CIMMYT for collaborative research stays ranging from 6 to 24 months.
The scholarship includes international travel costs, insurance, and living allowance, and will increase CIMMYT’s training capacity for China. The agreement with CAU cemented a collaborative maize research program focusing on genomics, transgenics, germplasm exchange, bioinformatics, and conservation agriculture technologies. This collaborative program will create synergies between the two institutions in these five areas and also in agronomy and soil science, since CAU is a leading agricultural university specializing in maize and conservation agriculture.
Lumpkin also met Dr Zhai Huqu and Tang Huajun, President and Vice president, respectively, of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, and Ma Xinglin, DDG of the International Collaboration Department from the Ministry of Science and Technology, and discussed the possibility of establishing a regional center for CIMMYT in China. To advance this ambitious plan for a strong CIMMYT-China partnership, Lumpkin is planning a follow-up visit for early 2009.