On October 23, 2023, Dr. Simon Heck, Director General of the International Potato Center (CIP), visited the Sweet Potato Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Xuzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences, XZAAS) and facilities such as the institute’s gene bank, laboratory, and experimental field. After extensive and in-depth exchanges with Dr. Li Qiang, Chief Scientist and President of the National Sweet Potato Industry Technology System, and Dr. Cao Qinghe, Deputy Chief Scientist and Vice President of the National Sweet Potato Industry Technology System and they have reached consensuses for further cooperation.
During his visit, Dr. Heck highly applauded the achievements of XZAAS in sweet potato breeding, processing, and utilization research. He expressed gratitude for the exchange of sweet potato germplasm resources between XZAAS and the CIP. He pointed out that the current and future agricultural development is facing severe challenges such as resource constraints and climate change, and sweet potatoes will help humanity in coping with climate change, improving nutrition, and eliminating hunger and poverty. The achievements of XZAAS will undoubtedly have a positive impact on developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. CIP hopes to further expand cooperation with XZAAS, establish a cooperation mechanism, formulate a cooperation plan, combine the long- and short-term mechanism, and jointly contribute to global food security, poverty reduction, and sustainable agricultural development.
President Li Qiang and Vice President Cao Qinghe fully agree with the opinions of Director General of Heck, stating that they will work together with CIP-China Center for Asia and Pacific (CCCAP) to conduct in-depth research and develop a cooperation mechanism and plan. They are preparing to sign a cooperation agreement between the two sides in the near future and explore the feasibility of jointly building a joint laboratory.
Mr. Jianmin Xie, Director of CCCAP, and Ms. Alessandro Furtado, Director of Programme of CIP, accompanied the visit.