Rothamsted Research and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences establish a joint Centre for the Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture

Signing of Co-operation Agreement outlining plans to establish the UK-China joint Centre for the Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture (CSIA)

The UK-China joint Centre for the Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture (CSIA) will be an open platform for research, knowledge exchange and capacity building.

Today (Tuesday 24th November) Rothamsted Research, which is strategically funded by the BBSRC, and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) signed into effect a Co-operation Agreement outlining plans to establish the UK-China joint Centre for the Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture (CSIA).  Rothamsted Research and numerous prestigious Chinese organisations and scientists have long and established fruitful collaborations.  The new initiative aims at focusing collaborative research in a strategic manner across four areas that have been identified by researchers across all the partner organisations involved.  These four areas are:

  1. Crop efficiency: accelerating yield potential, resource efficiency and other aspects of crop performance through discovery and utilisation of novel traits in molecular plant breeding, breakthroughs in crop physiology, and novel crop production systems and practice;
  2.  Soil management: understanding and exploiting soil biological, chemical and physical interactions for improving soil quality, nutrient and water use efficiency in intensive agriculture;
  3. Next-generation Integrated Pest, Disease and Weed Management: real-time management of crop diseases, insects and weeds in intensive systems, including resistance management;
  4. Targeting agricultural innovation, practice and policy: novel agro-eco informatics and modelling approaches to assess, monitor and understand agricultural systems performance and to evaluate technology and policy roadmaps for sustainable intensification;

The CSIA’s core activities are supported by the BBSRC/Newton Fund, the majority of which will be used to pump-prime research, and CAAS have matched this funding.  CSIA is intended to be an open platform for research, knowledge exchange and capacity building. Initially CSIA will operate on a virtual model, with host labs at each organisation.

Professor Achim Dobermann, Director & Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research said: “Global challenges such as food security and environmental sustainability require finding new ways of much smarter farming. Complex problems can only be solved through effective and open international collaboration. The new joint centre will be an opportunity for us to contribute to implementing China’s new agricultural development strategy, but also gain scientific know-how from China to the benefit of the UK and other countries.”

Professor Li Jiayang, President of CAAS, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, China commented: As an open platform, CSIA will offer a better opportunity for Rothamsted Research, CAAS and all other partners who are engaged, to pool our talents and expertise to confront the major challenges that no one country can face with. I am fully convinced, only the united efforts of all partners who are committed to their obligation of contributing to build a sustainable global village can be the ultimate solution to solve the tricky issues. China used to be novice for long time, now it is time we are able to share our experience with partners and it is our pleasure to do so”.

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Rothamsted Press Office

For further information, please contact:
Professor Angela Karp (, Tel: +44 (0) 1582 938 855

About Rothamsted Research

We are the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for over 170 years. Our mission is to deliver the knowledge and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production.

Our strength lies in the integrated, multidisciplinary approach to research in plant, insect and soil science.
Rothamsted Research is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)


BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested £473M in world-class bioscience, people and research infrastructure in 2015-16. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.