Qu Dongyu, China vice Minister of Agriculture, visited WUR on 21 January. He participated in a round table discussion regarding circular agriculture.
Qu, with orange tie, listening to Martin Scholten. © Sven Menschel
Martin Scholten, chair of the Animal Sciences Group, provided an introduction concerning the Dutch vision on circular agriculture. The meeting was also attended by officials from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Whether China will incorporate parts of the Dutch vision into its policy remains as of yet unclear. China has significantly increased agricultural production in recent decades, but it is still faced with issues regarding food safety, manure and environmental damage.
Qu Dongyu, a Wageningen alumnus, visited the Grüne Woche, an international agricultural fair in Berlin, and wanted to visit to Wageningen for discussions. Before he became vice Minister, Qu was the vice-chair of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), with which WUR closely collaborates. Wageningen has a multi-year joint PhD programme with CAAS, as it also does with the Chinese Agricultural University (CAU).
Moreover, several Wageningen professors are in China for a portion of the year to set up local talent programmes. WUR also conducts applied research with several Chinese research institutes and provides training in China in such areas as food safety, organic agriculture, greenhouse technology and the use of pesticide.
Conversely, there are many Chinese master’s students and PhD candidates in Wageningen. The university currently has more than 500 Chinese master’s students, which represent eight percent of the total student population. There are also 225 Chinese PhD candidates working in Wageningen, which is eleven percent of the total, reports Xiaoyong Zhang, Coordinator China at WUR.