Village of A Bei, Yunnan, China © CIRAD

Cooperation and partnerships with China

China is one of the world's largest agricultural producers, particularly of wheat, rice, maize, rubber, potatoes, pork and poultry. CIRAD is working with the country within the framework of bilateral projects and via platforms in partnership in Southeast Asia in the fields of agroecology, soil health, rubber growing and rubber production, coconut palm genetics, and animal health and One Health. The regional dimension, encompassing China and Southeast Asia, is an important factor as regards human, animal and plant health issues. Research questions relating to agroecology and food systems also concern this geographical scale. CIRAD works in the region both by sending expatriate researchers for short periods (Kunming, Shanghai) and via missions by general management and researchers from Montpellier or Vietnam.

Main research fields

  • Agroecology
  • Soil health
  • Rubber growing and natural rubber production
  • Coconut palms
  • Animal health and One Health

Cooperation and partnerships

Soil health study in rubber plantings in Hainan, China © D. Lesueur, CIRAD

Soil health study in rubber plantings in Hainan, China © D. Lesueur, CIRAD

CIRAD's main partners in China are universities and scientific and technical academies, which play a major role in implementing research policy in the country. The role of these academies is to support the central authorities in terms of research, training and expertise. They mostly comprise research institutes and training centres.

Main partners

France and China signed an agreement on emerging diseases in Paris on 28 January 2004, intended to strengthen cooperation in the field of health and medical science and based on the Franco-Chinese MOU relating to cooperation between the Government of the French Republic and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases.
At the China Seed Congress 2022 and Nafan Agricultural Silicon Valley Forum, from 27 to 31 July 2022 in Sanya, Hainan, China, possibilities for collaboration were suggested, in particular in the fields of food systems and One health approaches (including the PREZODE initiative). Joint missions associating the INRAE-CIRAD representation in China and the CIRAD Regional Office for Southeast Asia are planned in the short and medium term, to Kunming, Beijing, Harbin, Haikou, Guangzhou, Qingdao, etc.

Research units and platforms in partnership for research and training (dPs) involved

Joint research units (UMRs) and dPs are conducting a broad range of activities.

Functional Ecology and Biogeochemistry of Soils and Agrosystems (UMR Eco&Sols) 

  • Soil health: UMR Eco&Sols works with CATAS and CAAS via its position within the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT. The CIRAD researcher assigned to the Alliance co-coordinates two joint laboratories, in close collaboration with a Chinese scientist from each academy.
  • CAAS and CATAS are part of the CMBP Asia-Pacific network. CIRAD is one of the founding members of the network, which is coordinated by its researcher Didier Lesueur 

Find out more:  CMBP (Common Microbial Biotechnology Platform)

Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants (UMR AGAP) 

Work has been done with CATAS on coconut (genomics, pangenomics and genetics), and BIG-CAS in Beijing, on annotation of the Hevea genome.

Animals, Health, Territories, Risks, Ecosystems (UMR ASTRE) and Emerging Diseases in Southeast Asia (dP GREASE)

  • Improving management of transborder animal and zoonotic diseases. The aim in the medium term is to facilitate Chinese partners' inclusion in networks and regional and international projects. Find out more: Collaborations sino-européennes en santé animale
  • Chinese students are being trained via the InterRisk Masters course in Bangkok.
  • With financial support from the French Embassy in China, in 2018, CIRAD's ASTRE team hosted Masters-level Chinese students interested in PhD studies in France in the field of One Health applied to antimicrobial resistance.

Find out more: UMR ASTRE, dP GREASEChina, an essential partner for the future emerging disease surveillance network, GREASE

Talks are under way within the PREZODE international initiative, aimed at including Chinese institutions and universities.

Agroecology for Southeast Asia (dP ASEA)

The Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Kunming (YAAS) is a member of the Agroecology for Southeast Asia platform in partnership for research and training (dP ASEA).

Other contacts and collaborations

  • Agricultural University of Hebei (AUH): past collaboration on the cotton value chain.
  • China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (CAHEC), Qingdao. Collaboration during avian influenza crises.
  • Hong-Kong University – Pasteur Research Pole, a member of the international network of Pasteur Institutes, in the field of viruses (animal and zoonotic flu viruses) and zoonotic coronaviruses, for studies relating to Southeast Asia (Cambodia and Vietnam) and Africa.
  • OMSA (OIE) Asia, FAO China and WHO China, for missions and training relating to epidemiology, health surveillance and risk analysis.