On December 10, 2002, MOST (Ministry of Science and Technology) Minister Xu Guanhua and USDA Secretary Ann Veneman signed a Protocol for Cooperation in Agriculture Science and Technology. The Protocol identified six priority areas for cooperation:
1. Agricultural biotechnology
2. Natural resource management
3. Dairy production
4. Food safety
5. Agricultural products processing, and
6. Water-saving agricultural technology
The Protocol created a Joint Working Group (JWG) in 2003, and the JWG has met three times to discuss implementation of the Protocol. The JWG has met three times since October 15, 2003 to further define the six priority areas, present the names of the leaders for each of the priority areas, and discuss future plans. ARS scientists are currently leaders in the following areas: agricultural biotechnology, natural resource management, dairy production, and food safety.
ARS scientists are currently leaders in the following areas: agricultural biotechnology, natural resources management, dairy production, and food safety.
The Protocol established joint coordinating centers. The ‘Centers’, one in the USA and one in PRC, serve as a platform to facilitate partnerships, share information, reduce duplication of effort and stimulate cooperation within and between the U.S. and PRC. Each Center will conduct research, and develop scientific tools and technology. A number of Chinese ministries, universities and research centers will also be involved, as well as U.S. government departments and agencies, and their university and NGO partners. There are currently three Centers:
Soil and Water Conservation and Environmental Protection Center . The National Soil Erosion Research Lab in West Lafayette, IN, USA and the Northwest Sci-tech University of Agriculture in Yangling University, Shaanxi Province in PRC jointly coordinate activities of the Center.
Grazingland Ecosystem Sustainability Center . The Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, OK, USA and the Gansu Agricultural University (GAU), Lanzhou, Gansu Province in PRC are coordinating activities.
Wheat Quality and Pathology Center . The center is co-located at the ARS Wheat Genetics, Quality Physiology and Disease Research Laboratory located at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA and Institute of Crop Breeding and Cultivation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PRC.