The Global Food Studies (GFS) research team, Associate Prof. Wendy Umberger, Dr Suzie Newman and Dr Xiaobo He and Dr Rodd Dyer Agribusiness Research Program Manager of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) recently returned from Beijing. The trip between 19 and 22 May 2014 aimed at identifying potential research partners for a scoping project in South China funded by the ACIAR. This project intends to study trade in informal sector, in particular horticultural trade between China and Vietnam (including other countries in Mekong region).
On Monday (19 May 2014), the team first visited the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP, Chinese Academy of Sciences). The director of CCAP Professor Jikun Huang introduced his research team and their current projects. He also shared his views on several challenges that the new project in South China might potentially face.
In the afternoon, the team visited Dr Xueling Zhai and her team at the Research Center for Rural Economy (RCRE, Ministry of Agriculture). Dr Zhai outlined the brief trend of China’s tropical fruits trade with neighbouring ASEAN countries, particularly, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. Dr Zhai also introduced two field surveys in South China on longan and lychee which provided useful insights to the team.
On Tuesday (20 May 2014), the team met with Professor Laping Wu and Associate Professor Junfei Bai at the China Agricultural University. Professor Wu and Associate Professor Bai introduced their past and on-going projects which are relevant to the South China project.
On Wednesday and Thursday (21-22 May 2014), the team visited Dr Xifeng Gong from the Department of International Cooperation (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) and Anna Somerville, Rob Williams, Susan Corbisiero and Colin Tang from the Australian Embassy Beijing.
Overall, from this trip the GFS team gathered very useful research information and had opportunities to strengthen our links with various research and government institutions in China.
*This report was prepared by Dr Xiaobo He.