On November 21, 2014, President Xi Jinping, together with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, unveiled the plate of China-New Zealand Kiwifruit Joint Lab during his state visit to New Zealand. This achievement was included in the list of deliverables during President Xi’s state visit.
The lab, supported by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and Department of Science and Technology of Sichuan, is an international scientific cooperation platform co-established by Sichuan Province Natural Resources Science Academy and the Royal New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research under the bilateral inter-governmental S&T cooperation framework. It aims to increase farmers’ income and boost scientific and economic development between the two countries by strengthening cooperation in kiwifruit scientific research and commercialization. The main tasks of the laboratory include: the collection and conservation of kiwifruit germplasm and its innovation and evaluation, kiwifruit molecular genetics, pest control and prevention, safe production technology as well as personnel exchange and training. On August 31, Vice Minister Cao Jianlin and Vice Minister Paul Stocks from New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment witnessed the signing of the bilateral cooperation agreement.
Background: The Royal New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research is the top notch kiwifruit research center in New Zealand, a leading country in Kiwifruit scientific research and commercialization. And the Sichuan Province Natural Resources Science Academy successfully bred the first red kiwifruit variety in the world, making it the first institute to get “state protection of kiwifruit new varieties” in China. It is also an international S&T cooperation demonstration base recognized by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). Funded by the MoST, the two sides have conducted exchanges and cooperation for over two decades and completed many international research projects on kiwifruit.