The Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 17 with the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute of Laos (NAFRI) to extend collaboration on mountain futures and mountain agriculture science and technology development.

CAS’s KIB will further leverage the technical expertise of its experienced staff in highland agriculture and sustainable mountain development to collaborate closely with NAFRI on the “Mountain Futures Action Plan” under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Both sides will conduct pragmatic cooperation in areas such as germplasm resource protection, seed industry innovation and breeding of improved varieties, agroforestry system construction, and circular ecological agriculture.

“Yunnan and Laos are regions dominated by mountainous areas and agriculture, with a high degree of similarity in terms of ecological environment, ethnic culture, climate vegetation, and agricultural systems,” said Professor Xu Jianchu from KIB, “This offers more scope for joint research between the two sides.”

Bouthong Bouahom, former Director General of NAFRI, Member of the World Academy of Sciences, and President of the Lao Rubber Association, said that signing of this MoU will further strengthen the mechanisms facilitating mountain agriculture cooperation between China and Laos, deepen agricultural technology exchanges, and bring new opportunities for Laos’ sustainable agrarian development, further increasing the agricultural contribution to Laos’ economic growth.

The MoU between the two institutions will deepen agricultural cooperation between China and Laos, promote friendly exchanges between the two countries, and further expand the influence of China’s scientific and technological innovation in Laos.

Agricultural cooperation between China and Laos is an integral part of the China-Laos relationship. The rubber substitution project, initiated through China-Laos cooperation, has become a pillar of Laos’ agricultural industry.

“The opening of the China-Laos railway has turned Laos from a ‘landlocked’ country to a ‘land-linked’ country,” said Bouthong Bouahom. Laos has become an important window for China’s cooperation with the Mekong Subregion and ASEAN, he said.

NAFRI is a national-level agricultural research institution under the Laos Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which engages in sustainable development in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and mountainous areas.

It has rich experience in agricultural breeding, rubber cultivation, forestry promotion, animal husbandry production, farmer training, agricultural product processing training, and prevention and control of agricultural and forestry diseases and pests.

Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

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