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DLG Vice President visits China

DLG Vice President Philipp Schulze Esking recently visited the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and exchanged views with the Deputy Director General of the Department of International Affairs, Peng Tingjun.

During the exchange, the ministry praised the work of the DLG, which has promoted Sino-German cooperation with numerous projects in the agricultural sector over the past 15 years.

During his visit to China, Philipp Schulze Esking also opened the Sino-German Cattle and Pig Symposium, which took place in Beijing from 25 to 27 November 2023 with over 200 participants from both countries. The event was attended by a high-ranking delegation from the German agricultural industry, including managing directors from Bayern-Genetik, Big Dutchman, BVN, Caisley, German Genetic, GGI-SPERMEX, MASTERRIND, Holm & Laue, Förster-Technik, Pöttinger and Sano – Moderne Tiernahrung GmbH.

According to Prof. Wang Aiguo, China Chief-Scientist in Swine, by the end of 2022, 700 million slaughtered pigs in China will produce around 55 million tonnes of pork, which is almost the same amount as in 2019, before the ASF outbreak in China. The percentage of large pig farms (over 500 animals) will be 65 percent in 2022, compared to 50 percent in 2019. At the same time, the promotion of feed efficiency and new feed mixtures are important issues in the country's pig sector.

Sven Häuser, Manager of the European Pig Producers Club (EPP), addressed the turbulence on the global pig market. His presentation was met with great interest by the audience. Dr Shengdu Hu from Haida, China's leading pig feed producer, said: "It is very interesting to be presented with the various challenges from a global perspective. The facts and experiences from other countries also give me valuable information for improving our feed management".

Feed costs and efficiency were therefore another focus of the symposium. Prof Pu Dengfan from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) reported that feed costs currently account for 74 percent of production costs in China, which requires considerable innovation in dairy cattle breeding and farm management.

Breeding concepts for longevity and the use of dual-purpose breeds are therefore of great interest to the Chinese market, as they also promise improved productivity.

The symposium was organised together with ADT Project Consulting as part of the "Sino-German Animal Cooperation Project" and brought together 50 top-class speakers from both countries who presented the progress made in the dairy and pig sectors over the last 5 years. After the informative conference, the participants were able to intensify the exchange during a one-day excursion to a dairy farm and an abattoirnear Beijing.

The cooperation will continue at EuroTier 2024 at the latest, when a high-ranking delegation from the Chinese ministry is expected in Hanover.

Sven Häuser
DLG Centre of Competence for Agriculture