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CIMMYT wins prestigious Chinese science and technology award

January 8, 2017

CIMMYT Director General holds the Chinese International Science and Technology Cooperation Award for collaborative work leading to improved scientist training, maize and wheat production.


BEIJING (CIMMYT) – The Chinese State Council has named the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) winner of its International Science and Technology Cooperation Award for collaborative work leading to improved scientist training, maize and wheat production.

The international collaboration award, presented by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Monday, recognizes the contribution of foreign scientists, engineers, experts and organizations to China’s development.

“We are extremely grateful to receive this very important award,” said Martin Kropff, CIMMYT’s director general. “It is a great honor to have our collaborative work recognized in such a significant manner.”

CIMMYT’s tropical maize germplasm has provided a broadened base and new traits for breeding in China, allowing for development of innovative high-yielding hybrids with wide adaptability. More than 40 key maize hybrids have been developed with CIMMYT maize germplasm directly or indirectly, leading to three National Science and Technology Progress Awards.

“This is a very high level award recognizing the significant impact our collaborative efforts have made on agricultural productivity in China,” said Dan Jeffers, CIMMYT maize breeder based in Yunnan.

“This has only been possible through the support and efforts of our partners in China that actually made the impact possible,” he added. “Professor Fan Xingming,  director of the Institute of Food Crops, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS), the Yunnan Ministry of Science and Technology and Yunnan provincial government, have been very important supporters of CIMMYT for both maize and wheat, and their efforts provided an important entry point for CIMMYT germplasm products and technology. YAAS, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and other collaborative institutions took these introduced products to finished varieties and improved agricultural practices across the country.”

China has made significant progress in developing high yielding, disease resistant wheat varieties with improved grain quality with wheat resources made available through CIMMYT’s breeding programs. More than 60 wheat varieties have been bred with CIMMYT resources and planted over a cumulative area of about 49.3 million hectares in China. This work has led to eight National Science and Technology Progress Awards.

Substantial progress has been made in molecular breeding for developing tools for accelerated germplasm development with improved quality and stability traits. Research has been published in influential international journal and a First Class Award for National Science and Technology Progress received in 2008.

Joint CIMMYT-China laboratories and academic research projects boost the development of science, technology and capacity building in China. More than 350 researchers from China have visited CIMMYT research centers in Mexico and several regional offices for academic research or training, and 40 of these scientists have become leading talents in the fields of maize and wheat research in China.

China is one of the two most populated countries in the world. Its 1.4 billion residents represent 20 percent of overall global population.  The country is tackling specific food security challenges, including population pressures, degraded farmland and optimizing agricultural inputs to minimize negative environmental impact.

CIMMYT, founded in 1966, is an international, nonprofit, scientific research and training organization headquartered near Mexico City. It is renowned for contributing to the development of high yielding, disease-resistant wheat and maize varieties, research that subsequently became known as the Green Revolution and led to a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

CIMMYT, which began its collaboration with China in the 1980s, has also received the World Food Prize twice, an agricultural award considered the highest honor among agricultural researchers worldwide. CIMMYT opened its office in China in 1997.


Genevieve Renard

CIMMYT Communications

Email: g.renard@cgiar.org

Twitter: @genevrenard

+52-595-952-1900 x 2019


Julie Mollins

CIMMYT Communications

Email: j.mollins@cgiar.org

Twitter: @jmollins

Skype: juliemollins

About CIMMYT: The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is the global leader on publicly funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. Headquartered near Mexico City, Mexico, CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on MAIZE and WHEAT. The Center receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies. https://www.cimmyt.org/

More on wheat and CIMMYT awards in China:
Global partnership propels wheat productivity in China
CIMMYT scientist receives award from China for wheat research

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