At the invitation of the China National Seed Trade Association Dr. Jürgen Ritter, German Managing Director of the Sino-German Agricultural Centre, participated in the “Hainan Free Trade Port Seeds Industry Development Forum” on 30 October in Sanya. At this occasion he introduced the fields of activities of the Sino-German Agricultural Centre, in particular the cooperation activities in the seeds sector with German partners of the Federal Plant Variety Office and the German Plant Breeders’ Association.
This high-level event, a gathering of academicians and decision-makers, was opened by the Vice Governor of Hainan Province, Mr. Liu Pingzhi, and provided in-depth analyses and perspectives of the role of the seed industry for the “Free Trade Port Hainan”. In June 2020, the Central Committee and the State Council jointly had released the Masterplan for this Free Trade Zone, which laid out a series of special policies for Hainan. One of the aims is to build up a so-called “Nanfan Silicon Valley”, where Nanfan (南繁) stands for “Breeding in the South”. This refers to the method of breeding and selecting breeding materials for summer crops such as rice, corn and cotton, harvested locally in autumn, and then taken to the subtropical or tropical regions of the South in winter. In this way, two to three generations can be bred a year, the breeding process is accelerated, the breeding period is shortened, the disease resistance of breeding materials and their response to moisture and light can be identified, and the competitiveness can be improved. Every year, thousands of scientific and technical personnel from more than 700 agricultural research institutions in 29 provinces and regions come to Hainan to engage in “breeding in the south”. As a “Free Trade Port” Hainan province strives to explore new opportunities for international exchange and cooperation in Hainan also in the seed sector.