China-U.S. agricultural cooperation boasts big potential: scholars

Source: Xinhua| 2021-04-10 11:57:12|Editor: huaxia
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CHICAGO, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Great potential exists for China and the United States to cooperate in agricultural production, scholars from both countries attending the U.S.-China Agriculture Roundtable said on Thursday.

"We are in the golden age of the biological and information sciences. China and the United States have great capacity in both," said Robert Thompson, professor emeritus in Agricultural Policy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

"Chinese and American collaboration (can) solve the problem of hunger," he said, adding that he believes bringing scientific talents together can help ensure adequate availability of not only grains, but also fruits, vegetables and animal protein sources.

"Meeting the future challenge of feeding the world's larger population better than today at reasonable cost without destroying the environment is a great opportunity for China and the United States to work collaboratively to make the world a better and more peaceful place," he added.

China has been feeding over 20 percent of the world's population on 9 percent of the world's arable land, said Li Xiande, senior research professor with Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Though China enjoys ample staple foods, it still needs to import soybean, rapeseed, cotton, sugar, beef and dairy products in large quantities, Li said.

Rapeseed, cereals, meats and fruits account for over half of America's agricultural exports, and China is now one of their largest export destinations. "China and the United States are highly complementary in agricultural trade," he said.

China has worked out a strategy of opening up agriculture to the outside world from 2021 to 2025, when it will prioritize the development of agriculture and rural areas, ensure national food security and enhance China's efficiency and competitiveness in agricultural production.

While the effort will be a multifaceted one, "cooperation between China and the United States will be pivotal," Li said.

Agricultural scholars from both countries at the panel also exchanged views on green development of agriculture, reduced use of fertilizer, carbon emission reduction and adoption of high technologies in agricultural production. Enditem