CICA Smart Agriculture Application and Development Seminar (Phase I) was successfully held in Huazhong Agricultural University May 26-27, 2021

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CICA Smart Agriculture Application and Development Seminar (Phase I) was successfully held in Huazhong Agricultural University

CICA Smart Agriculture Application and Development Seminar (Phase I) was held in Huazhong Agricultural University from May 26 to 27. A total of 249 Teaching and research staffs from institutions of higher learning and research institutes participated in this two-day webinar. They are from 9 member states of CICA, including Kazakhstan, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and China.

Professor Ping Qing, vice-president of HZAU, delivered a speech on the opening ceremony. He mainly introduced the general situation of HZAU, the importance of smart agriculture development and the major contents and significance of the seminar. He hoped that through such open exchanges and effective training, cooperation in the field of agriculture within the framework of the CICA would be really promoted, exchanges and sharing of smart agriculture among member countries would be really strengthened, and the agriculture of all countries would achieve greater development.

The lectures in the seminar were given in English. Centering on smart farms, smart farming, smart gardening, and smart agricultural decision-making, 13 experts from Huazhong Agricultural University, China Agricultural University, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and other institutions of higher learning and scientific research institutes presented the key technologies in the transformation process from traditional agriculture to smart agriculture, explored the in-depth integration of smart agriculture and enterprise, education and research, and strengthened the integration and innovation of agriculture and science and technology.

In the smart farm theme lectures, Professor Minzan Li from China Agricultural University started with key technologies in smart agriculture such as farmland soil and crop information perception, smart agricultural equipment, and agricultural robots, and introduced the important role of information and communication technology in smart agriculture. Focusing on the topic of Crop Phenotyping Group Technology R&D and Application, Professor Wanneng Yang introduced the latest cutting-edge technology and platform construction of crop phenotype groups at home and abroad, especially the research and development of crop phenotyping technology and its application in crop genetic breeding in Huazhong Agricultural University.

In the smart husbandry theme lectures, with the topic of A Pilot Study: Animal Breed Identification Using Deep Face Recognition in Big Data Paradigm, Professor Wenguang Zhang from Inner Mongolia Agricultural University explained the new exploration in the era of genomic big data with the theme of 2D image information extraction and intelligent mining of animal species, and discussed and constructed a WeChat applet of genomic big data + animal facial images + geographic information system. Professor Xunping Jiang from HZAU gave the lecture named Information Support Technology and its Application in Sheep Joint Breeding, in which he described the specific connotation, application examples and development direction of big data and artificial intelligence in the national joint breeding of sheep. With the title of Digital Data Management: The Very First Step for Smart Poultry Farming, Jingyi Li, an associate researcher of HZAU, described the current situation of poultry production in the development of smart agriculture and proposed that digital data management is the current bottleneck that hinders smart poultry production. He also gave some examples of how to make data management to improve the productivity of poultry, as well as the leading results of our country's poultry industry in smart farming.

In the smart horticulture theme lectures, Dr. Xiao Yang of Institute of Urban Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences gave a lecture of Plant Factory. He sorted out the technical characteristics of plant factories and the status quo of the industry and described the prospect of the future development trend of plant factory technology in China. Dr. Weituo Sun of National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture made a report around the topic of Smart Greenhouse. He shared the latest research results of the structure innovations of a localized multi-span greenhouse type, energy-saving climate conditioning approaches, cloud service hosting system and robots for greenhouse horticulture. Dr. Ling Zou of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences reviewed the development of Yunnan flower industry from extensive to introduction and absorption to self-innovation. With the topic of Smart Vegetable Seedling Production, Dr. Yuan Huang of HZAU sorted out the technology and practice of seedling raising facilities and equipment, plug seedling raising, grafting seedling raising, and seedling quality control suitable for smart production.

In the theme report on smart agricultural decision-making, Associate Professor Yueji Zhu of Hainan University, based on China’s poverty reduction experience, emphasized the important role of agricultural innovation in economic development, and expounded the decision-making characteristics of small farmers communities in developing countries when faced with new varieties and new technologies. Integrating agent-based modeling methods to explore the impact of social factors on the dynamic process of small holder technology adoption decisions. Dr. Lin Ling from HZAU introduced the principles of crop models in the topic of “Using Crop model for Decision-making in Precision Farming and Smart Agriculture,” and explained how crop models coupled with various data perception systems can be applicated in the generation of crop optimal decision-making schemes, intelligent water and fertilizer integration, and in macro-regional decision-making of crop planting. Professor Wenfeng Liu of China Agricultural University focused on Supports of large-scale crop-hydrology model on water-food-environment-trade decision”, elaborated the key role of large-scale crop hydrology model in solving global agricultural problems, and used efficient and intensive agriculture as well as the virtual water trade as an example to show how large-scale crop hydrology models can help decision makers formulate scientific agricultural policies. Dr. Zaiwen Feng from Huazhong Agricultural University summarized the current problems of “information islands” in smart agriculture, and proposed a solution based on crop ontology.

In the Q&A session after each lecture, students actively leave messages and ask questions, and the teacher answers on the spot. IIknur DEDE from Turkey is the most active in asking questions. After receiving the answers from many teachers, he left a message saying that the teacher's report was wonderful and the teacher's answer was very clear and he wants to thank the teachers for presenting such impressive reports. Baitak from Kazakhstan left a message that he has learned about China’s advanced agricultural technology and all guest speakers are all top-notched, and they need to contact the teacher’s -e-mail address for further contact.

Mrs. Sholpan Yelkeyeva, representing the CICA Secretariat, noted in her welcoming remarks that this seminar is being held at a high organizational and substantive level, on behalf of the CICA Secretariat she thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education of the PRC and all organizers, and also said that the best presentations will be posted on the official website of the CICA Secretariat so that any interested expert could get acquainted with them.

Some trainees submitted the survey questionnaire on the feedback. Nabi Nabiyev from Kazakhstan believes that “all the reports are very interesting.” Varaporn Chaiyama from Thailand was deeply impressed by the plant factory and smart greenhouse courses. He said that in Thailand, mushrooms are grown and processed manually. It is very difficult to grow mushrooms under the required temperature and humidity. With the use of the internet of things, these processes will become easier. Anuwat Kumpeangkeaw from Thailand responded that if big data is applied to plant breeding, crop models, crop phenotypes, plant factories, it will be very useful for my work and our farmers. Pakdee from Thailand thanked China for organizing such a good online seminar. The seminar participants expressed their willingness to participate also in the second phase of the seminar, which is regarded as contribution to the concept of global connectivity “One Belt and One Road”. Some participants specified the areas in which they most want to cooperate with China (such as smart farms, information and communication technology in smart agriculture, big data, smart agricultural decision-making, smart greenhouses, food safety standards, etc.) and experts they most want to cooperate with.

The CICA Smart Agriculture Application and Development Seminar is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, co-organized by the Secretariat of CICA, and held by Huazhong Agricultural University. It is planned to be held in two phases online on May 26-27, 2021 and August 18-19, 2021. It will be held at Huazhong Agricultural University on October 17-21 in the third phases, and the three phases will last up to 10 days.

It is reported that the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, abbreviated as “CICA”, was an Asian security forum initiated by Kazakhstan’s first President Nazarbayev in the 47th UN General Assembly on October 5, 1992. It is committed to formulating and implementing multilateral confidence-building measures aimed at enhancing peace, security, and stability in Asia, and strengthening cooperation in related fields. Currently, the organization has 27 member states, 8 observer states and 5 observer organizations. The permanent executive agency of CICA is its secretariat, located in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. The smooth holding of this seminar received strong support from the CICA Secretariat.