1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this Protocol is to develop China-US Agricultural Flagship Projects to facilitate the United States and China as leaders and innovators in agricultural research, offering solutions to the severe global challenges of food security and sustainable development, facilitating development of genetic resources of crops and effective utilization of water resources by teams of scientists and engineers from the United States and China, and serving as a clearinghouse to help researchers in each Party’s country cooperate in mutually beneficial areas.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
This Protocol is subject to and governed by the S&T Agreement. This Protocol is intended to complement, and not duplicate, cooperation under the Protocol on Cooperation in Agriculture Science and Technology that was originally implemented by USDA and MOST in December, 2002. This will be managed by an annual Joint Working Group co-chaired at a ministerial (or sub-ministerial) level with alternating hosts between USDA and MOST. Subsequent research activities can be added to this agreement as an annex to this agreement by written approval of both parties.
3. Progress Report:
The 11th annual JWG (August 21-24, Ft. Collins, CO) focused on implementation of the USDA-MOST Flagship Programs. At the JWG, members convened the first meeting of the Water-Saving Technologies Flagship Program Workshop, during which the participants identified mechanisms for partnerships; share data from ongoing research projects; proposed scientific visits and exchanges, workshops on focused topics, and joint research projects and publications. Discussions focused on watershed/landscape research and decision support tools; farm/field research, irrigation, and water use-crop productivity; and sensor development and applications (a cross-cutting issue). Discussions on biotechnology focused on food crops, particularly maize and wheat improvement. Suggested next steps for collaboration included encouraging China to contribute to the MaizeGDB database (a Chinese language version will be introduced at the March 2014 Maize Genetics Conference); participation in the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) partnership to promote open access to research and open publication of data; and conducting genotype analysis of genetic resources of key crops like maize, apple, grape, fava bean, pea, and related wild species. The genebank technology discussion primarily focused on the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) program, a public-private partnership with seed industry collaborators. Partners at CAAS and other Chinese organizations are encouraged to expand their collaboration under the GEM program. The U.S. and China also discussed ways to promote public-private partnerships in agricultural research.