Agri-EPI is making great steps in new collaborations for UK businesses following a successful trip to China last month. Dave Ross and Lisa Williams visited Beijing and Chengdu province to explore the opportunities for developing the China SmartFarm test facility and to engage with international scientists at the Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST).
The China-UK Initiative in Beijing supported by Innovate UK and NERCITA – the National Engineering Research Centre for Information Technology in Agriculture gathered its first wheat harvest this year. The aim of the project is to show how new technology and data can reduce yield variation and increase productivity throughout the supply chain, with UK agri-tech businesses well placed to deliver for Chinese producers.
China SmartFarm concept
Next year, Agri-EPI hopes to move the farm to a more commercial environment covering a wider commodity base, to test and trial UK technology. To help facilitate this, Dave and Lisa met with the Tianjin Municipal Commission of Agricultural and Rural Affairs and Tianjin Food Group, which has links to livestock and arable production and works across the supply chain.
“We are hosting the Tianjin Food Group here in the UK in December to progress relationships for taking UK technology to China,” says Dave.
Further to this, they visited the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Dairy Facility near Beijing, with a view to establishing networks and consider future projects. Watch this space.
Another UK-China collaboration came in the form of a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to explore the establishment of eco farms in both countries.
Finishing the trip at GLAST, Dave represented Agri-EPI on the session ‘IT bases and smart agriculture, alongside organisations from all over the world. There were some truly thought-provoking sessions.