On 9 September, the kick-off meeting to launch the third phase of the Sino-German Agricultural Centre (DCZ) took place in a hybrid format. The meeting was chaired by Ms. LI Zhiping, Deputy Director General at the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC) of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA). Ms. Cornelia BERNS, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation and World Food Affairs in the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and Political Director of the DCZ, and Mr. WEI Zhenglin, Deputy Director General at the Department of International Cooperation of MARA, gave welcome speeches, stressing the importance of continued cooperation in the field of food and agriculture between Germany and China.
Following a review of the Centre’s accomplishments during its second phase, the German Managing Director of the DCZ, Mr. Jürgen Ritter, presented the workplan for 2022. Mr. WANG Geng, Director of the Division of European-Central Asian Affairs at FECC, and Mr. CHEN Tianjin, Director of the Division of Bilateral Partnership at the Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), gave additional comments before the meeting officially approved the workplan.
The DCZ was established in March 2015 as joint initiative of BMEL and MARA. It is central contact and information platform in charge of coordinating the bilateral cooperation between Germany and China in the agriculture and food sector. In April 2022, the project entered its third phase.
At the meeting, both sides highlighted the importance of the bilateral partnership as a platform for exchange regarding joint challenges such as food security and the climate crisis, affecting the agricultural sectors in both countries. Topics such as digital farming, food loss and waste, as well as seed development were highlighted as important areas of cooperation to address the above challenges. While Mr. WEI emphasized the role of Germany as a key partner in China’s agricultural modernization, Ms. BERNS expressed the interest of the German side to learn more about China’s innovative solutions in agricultural digitalization.
Next to the Deputy Directors from BMEL and MARA, Ms. QIAN Yu, Deputy Director General at the Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), as well as Mr. Reiner WITZEL, Attaché for Food and Agriculture at the German Embassy in Beijing, participated in the event. Affiliated Sino-German cooperation projects and partners with activities in the field of food and farming also attended the meeting.