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China is one of the global centres of agricultural biodiversity that continues to depend on agricultural production as an important sector of its economy.  The country uses around 10,000 plant species to supply food, medicines and industrial materials including oils.  Over its long history, China has seen not only the early domestication of several crops but also the subsequent development of crop landraces by generations of farmers.

China has recognized the importance of its agricultural biodiversity and the need to conserve it and make it available - about 80% of the 420,000 accessions in the National Genebank of China are landraces.

Meet the team

Collaborations and achievements

  • In the 1980s, Bioversity International supported the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) build its first national genebank, now the second largest in the world. 
  • Bioversity International supported research by the Beijing Botanical Garden (part of CAAS) to implement ultra-dry seed storage which is an extremely cost-effective way to store conventional seeds. 
  • Chinese researchers working with Bioversity International scientists, perfected protocols for cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen of species not suitable for conventional conservation methods, including fruits such as apple, pear and strawberry
  • In collaboration with several Chinese partners, Bioversity International has organized many training courses on the conservation and use of plant genetic resources, and helped many young scientists take part in regional and international meetings on agricultural biodiversity to share their research findings.
  • In 2005, Bioversity International and CAAS established a Centre of Excellence for Agrobiodiversity Research and Development
  • In 2013, Bioversity International strengthened its presence in Yunnan, placing a senior scientist there to strengthen research on TR4 on banana in China and South-east Asia
  • In 2016, two Memoranda of Understanding were signed between Bioversity International and partners - one to establish a regional training centre on forest genetic resources, and one to work on banana germplasm and breeding.

Overview: Bioversity International and China

1: Disease resistance in banana

2: Integrated banana-livestock production in Yunnan

3: Neglected species from genebank to farm

4: Diversity against pests and diseases

5: Improving resilience and agricultural biodiversity management in Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems

6: Strengthening China's role in managing forest genetic resources in the Asia-Pacific region

China - Bioversity International

c/o CAAS, Room 611 Old Building, No. 12 Zhongguancun Nandajie South Street, 100081 Beijing, China

Tel. (+86) 10 82105686, (ZW) (+86) 10 82105685

Fax. (+86) 10 82105684

bioversity-caas@cgiar.org