2014-11-03   facebook twitter rss

China-Ireland Dairy Science and Technology Centre Formed

University College Dublin and Keenan join the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences to form the China-Ireland Dairy Science and Technology Centre.

University College Dublin (UCD), Richard Keenan & Co. Ltd., and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have joined forces to form the China-Ireland Dairy Science and Technology Centre. The announcement was made during this week’s trade mission to China led by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Keenans have been funded and supported by Enterprise Ireland.

Gerard Keenan

Gerard Keenan

The tri-partite agreement will bring closer cooperation between the parties. With a goal to improve feeding efficiency, animal health and reduced environmental impact of Dairy Farming, the Centre is an important strategic development between China and Ireland.

At a signing ceremony in Beijing, witnessed by Minister Coveney and Minister Hanfu at the Ministry of Agriculture on November 3rd, Minister Coveney stated: “The announcement of the new China-Ireland Dairy Science and Technology Centre is exciting and very timely. This Centre will encourage programmes of exchange and collaboration in areas of great importance to both countries as we face the challenges and opportunities presented by rapidly growing Dairy Farming sectors. Ireland’s involvement in this venture through Keenans and UCD is testament to the calibre and professional esteem both organisations are rightfully held in. I wish the new Centre every success for the future and look forward to learning of its outcomes and achievements over the coming years”.

China with around twelve million dairy cows currently produces 38 Billion litres of milk per annum and aims to increase production to 60 Billion Litres by 2020. Ireland is also expanding its Dairy Sector, with the quotas being removed in 2015.

As both countries face challenges and opportunities in dairy expansion, it is an ideal time to strengthen the relationship and understanding between China and Ireland’s Dairy Sectors.

The Centre is a significant platform to further the dialogue and to help in achieving these goals. The Centre will play an important role delivering and extending technology and know-how to farms in China that will improve their efficiency and profitability.

Keenan technology is a priority technology for China in this regard. Gerard Keenan, Executive Chairman of Keenan stated: ‘The Centre is a significant strategic development and it underlines the potential synergy between Irish technology and know-how as part of a solution to China’s food security and production challenges. We look forward to bringing sustainable improvement together to China’s Dairy Sector.’

The Centre will also undertake research in Animal Husbandry, such as in the area of rumen function, feed quality and animal health.

Excited by the potential research opportunities, Professor Alex Evans, Dean, UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science noted: “Ireland is very proud of its long tradition of cattle production and UCD is excited by the opportunities that this Dairy Technology Centre will bring to advance the efficiency and quality of dairy production for both Ireland and China.”

The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is a key driver of agricultural production and related R & D in China. CAAS recognises the importance of international collaboration in achieving its production targets.

Pictured at the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture are back row left to right, HE Ambassador Paul Kavanagh, Minister Simon Coveney, Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu, the Director General of the Department of Animal Husbandry Wang Zhongli and the Director General International Cooperation of Ministry of Agriculture, Wang Ying

Pictured at the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture are back row left to right, HE Ambassador Paul Kavanagh, Minister Simon Coveney, Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu, the Director General of the Department of Animal Husbandry Wang Zhongli and the Director General International Cooperation of Ministry of Agriculture, Wang Ying

Professor Li Ming, Director of the Institute of Animal Sciences noted during his recent visit to Ireland: ‘Animal Husbandry and Dairy farming are crucially important to Ireland’s economy and society. I am hugely impressed by what I have seen during my visit to University College Dublin and Keenan. I believe that we share a common strategic goal and that Ireland and its expertise can play a crucial role in the efficient development of China’s Dairy Sector.’

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, who is accompanying Minister Coveney on the trade mission to China commented: “This important strategic development between China and Ireland clearly demonstrates the enormous opportunities that exist for meaningful exchange and collaboration between our two countries, and between State organisations and private companies. I warmly congratulate all parties on the great progress they have made, and look forward to exciting advances from this collaboration in the coming years”.

Keenan

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