Australia, China launch new partnership in food security
Updated: 2013-03-06 17:16
Sydney -- Prime Minister Julia Gillard lauded China as Australia's key partner in the fight for global food security at the launch of a new integrated research center here on Wednesday.
At the launch of the new Centre for Carbon, Water and Food, the prime minister was joined by Chinese Ambassador to Australia Chen Yuming in a tour of the facility and witnessed the signing of two MOUs with Chinese partners.
"China is Australia's most valuable destination for Agricultural products and two way trade is growing," Gillard said.
The prime minister hailed the milestone in Australian and Chinese collaboration with the signing of agreements between the University of Sydney and China's Academy of Agriculture Science and Nanjing Agricultural University.
The first memorandum of understanding between the University of Sydney and the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Science will see a Sino-Australia Joint Laboratory for Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems established and housed at the center with a mirror facility in Beijing.
The second memorandum of understanding between the University of Sydney and Nanjing Agricultural University will see a Sino- Australian Laboratory for Food Security established and housed at the center with a mirror facility in Nanjing.
These new agreements will enable joint research in areas such as crop protection, food and soil security and the mitigation of climate-change effects on agricultural eco-systems, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The bilateral effort will include research projects for external agencies such as the World Bank and Gates Foundation, creating further international benefit from the collaboration.
Professor Mark Adams, dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment and Head of the Centre for Carbon, Water and Food, said the longstanding relationship between University of Sydney researchers and China celebrates a new phase of development with the signing of the two agreements.
Professor Adams said, "Australia and China face many of the same challenges in food security. In China, for example, water yield and quality in major river systems and the land base for agriculture are threatened by both degradation and alternative uses, much like in Australia."
Ambassador Chen Yuming said food security was at the top of the Chinese government's agenda.
"The signing of these MOUs will, I hope, yield fruitful results. "