|SU delegation meets with officials of the Heilongjiang Agricultural Committee in Harbin|
|Ornamental model greenhouse in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Province|
|Edible mushroom growing on sugarcane waste product in Nanning|
Five members of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and Southern University and A&M College have returned to Baton Rouge after taking part in the US-China Scientific Cooperation Exchange Program (SCEP). The visit which took place from October 17-30, 2014 was part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Foreign Agricultural Service’s exchange with the People’s Republic of China.
The objective of SCEP is to promote bilateral scientific exchange in the areas of agricultural cooperation, development, and trade between the United States and China.
During the visit, the group met with the Chinese staff of the National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Center, the College of Economics and Management at the China Agricultural University, the Division of Market Information at the Agricultural Committee of Heilongjiang and Guangxi Provincial Department of Agriculture as well as visiting extension agencies, manufacturers of value-added products, grains and poultry farms.
Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) arranged everything as soon as the SU delegation arrived in Beijing. The agenda was full of meetings and activities related to Agriculture, world supply and demand estimates.
The visit proved to be quite fruitful and the team is confident that the goals of the program were not only met, but exceeded. The meetings with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and other agriculture-related entities revealed numerous potential areas for successful collaboration.
The meeting at the Silk Science Research Institute and the tour of the facilities was one of the most impressive! The information presented demonstrated areas of mutual collaboration that could potentially utilize the expertise of the majority of the faculty at the SU Ag Center and Southern University's Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. Specific areas included (1) planting, breeding and research on the various species of mulberry trees (which silk worms only feed on); (2) growth and development of the silk worms; (3) production of the silk fabric; (4) investigating additional textile applications for the silk; (5) investigating new food and beverage products from the mulberry fruit (jams, juices, wines, etc.); (6) fertilizer production; (7) research on pharmaceuticals products from the mulberry trees; and (8) marketing all of these products in Louisiana and the U.S.
From the meeting with faculty members at the College of Economics and Management at the China Agricultural University, it is evident that there are opportunities for joint research and publications in areas such as food production and security; food consumption and safety; public goods and rural development; climate change, biotechnology and agriculture, among others. The faculty members with whom the team met were quite impressed by the way teaching, research and extension in the Southern University System and in the USA work so well together. In addition, they were amazed with the USDA programs to assist U.S. farmers and rural families. The SCEP visit will provide opportunities for future faculty and student exchanges between the Southern University System and China.
“At one of the meetings in Guangxi Province in Nanning Department of Agriculture, the deputy director informed us that we were the first academic and agricultural group from the United States to visit their facilities. As a result the doors for collaboration opened and seven faculty members present were extremely excited about what we can offer from the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and also what we could benefit from the mutual collaboration,” said Fatemeh Malekian, Professor of Food Science/Nutrition, SU Ag Center and Program Team Leader.
The China delegation consisted of: Professor of Food Science and Nutrition, Fatemeh Malekian; Coordinator for Planning and Evaluation, Oscar Udoh, Ph.D.; Professor of Animal Science, Sebhatu Gebrelul, Ph.D.; Associate Dean, College of Sciences and Agriculture, Doze Y. Butler, Ph.D., MBA, and Professor of Apparel Merchandising and Textiles, Southern University and A&M College; and Communications Specialist, Bridget Udoh, Ph.D.
For additional information, contact Fatemeh Malekian at 225.771.2242.