In order to accelerate the deep integration in agricultural development between China and the countries along the Belt and Road, and promote the cooperation between MARDI and HAAFS, 2 online meetings were held on May 18 and 20 by sweet potato and maize research teams respectively.
On May 18, sweet potato breeding expert MA Zhimin from Institute of Cereal and Oil Crops of HAAFS, sweet potato pest and disease expert CHEN Shulong from Institute of Plant Protection of HAAFS, and other 3 Chinese experts, as well as 7 experts from MARDI, had a video meeting. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on how to further promote cooperation in the field of sweet potato, introduced their respective research areas, characteristics of main varieties, disease and pest, storage mode, marketing mode and price, and reached consensus on providing training by HAAFS. In Malaysia, several authorities have stated that sweet potato consumption is limited by quality factors. It is hoped that all varieties of sweet potatoes have a good taste as well as appearance. Furthermore, sweet potato weevil, Cyclas formicarius is the most serious pest of sweet potato. Therefore the training will mainly focus on sweet potato rapid breeding technology and pest control technology.
On May 20, maize research teams from MARDI and Institute of Cereal and Oil Crops of HAAFS held an online meeting. Researcher SONG Wei, GUO Rui, LI Ronggai and JI Junjie from HAAFS and 4 researchers from MARDI attended the meeting. Dr. Guo introduced the maize production situation in China and the history and research status of the maize center of the institute. According to Malaysia’s rainy and humid climate characteristics, researcher Ji proposed a solution to develop mechanized maize planting. Experts of both sides also exchanged opinions about the collaborative proposal and agreed to jointly apply for the Malaysia Research and Development Fund project.
The 2 online meetings have made substantial progress and laid a foundation for further research and joint development of sweet potato and maize between China and Malaysia.