|“Growing Grapes in Ningxia"-- up to President Xi Jinping’s expectation for agricultural colleges, to promote Industry-University-Research Cooperation
June 8-10th, Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visited northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to learn about efforts to coordinate regular epidemic containment with economic and social development, consolidate achievements in poverty alleviation, strengthen ecological and environmental protection, and promote ethnic unity and progress.
On June 9th, President Xi visited Chateau Zhihui yuanshi, a demonstration base of the National Viticulture Technology and Research Development Center in Yinchuan City, for which CAU Professor Duan Changqing works as the chief scientist.
"From grape growing, wine making to marketing and revenue, President Xi asked all in detail." Recalling the scene, Professor Duan said.
" Chateau Zhihui yuanshi works with China Agricultural University (CAU) as Professor Workstation as well as Teaching, Research and Production Base. CAU is not only engaged in grape planting, but also in the whole industrial chain of winery management, brewing and sales. Relying on the National Viticulture Technology System initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, CAU builds up the discipline of Viticulture and Enology Engineering and gathers experts from all sectors of the industry, sorts out the technology problems, delivers practical techniques to demonstration in the first place. " Professor Duan reported to President Xi about CAU’s role in Chinese viticulture and wine development.
During the inspection tour, President Xi expressed concerns about the local environment protection, stressing that Ningxia should combine the development of wine industry with the management of the Yellow River beach region for better ecological restoration.
"Growing Grape is a great transformation from lucid waters and lush mountains to the invaluable assets." Professor Duan said. The eastern foot of Helan Mountains used to be deserts all over. However, planting grapes helped windbreak, sand fixation, and soil erosion reduction as well. Meantime, wineries and vineyards have added as much beautiful scenery as ecological defense to Yinchuan City in the eastern foot of Helan Mountains.
Still excited, Mr. Liu Zuxi, Master student of CAU, said "President Xi put forward new expectations for the wine industry, which is so inspiring that we, CAUers and Communist Party members, should work hard to study specialized knowledge and improve professional skills at school. At the same time, we should be deeply rooted in basic level and always go back to production line with technological innovation to deal with practical problems. Which is, to write scientific papers on the surface of the motherland. "
In 2008, in response to the strategic plan of building a corridor of million mu vineyard in the eastern foot of Helan Mountains, Chateau Zhihui yuanshi began to grow wine grapes and brew wines. Through close cooperation with CAU, it has been developed from an abandoned mining site into an ecological park with the size of 7,500 Mu of forests and 4,000 mu of enclosed vineyard, winery, recreational sports park and five-star holiday resort, an integration of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries.
Since establishing in-depth cooperation with Chateau Zhihui yuanshi, CAU sends 5 to 6 postgraduates annually to every production process to do research on key technical issues. At present, CAU has provided a number of scientific and technological supports, including organic grape planting, mechanized cultivation management, water and fertilizer integration, water-saving irrigation, multi-style wine brewing technologies, etc. The technological innovations have been gradually promoted to the whole region thanks to the successful production of the winery, stimulating the local economic development.
Now, Chateau Zhihui yuanshi provides technical trainings on grape cultivation to the famers twice a year in surrounding villages as well as creates job opportunities to nearly 800 farmers, planting 2,000 mu of grapes, producing more than 200,000 bottles of wine a year, which in turn increases the per capita annual income of the local farmer to more than 20,000 yuan.
"Chateau Zhihui yuanshi is a good example of Industry-University-Research Cooperation, an implementation of President Xi’ expectations in his replies to the letters from the Secretaries, Presidents and experts of agricultural and forestry colleges, from the scientific and technological workers." According to Professor Duan, CAU has been working closely with Chateau Zhihui yuanshi by providing top level talents and technology. The latest research has constantly been brought to all links of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries of the winery. At the same time, CAU shifts the teaching and training programs to the needs of the wine industry and targets more research on practical problems. This is what is exactly needed for initiating characteristic industries in underdeveloped western regions. "
The chief of Chateau Zhihui yuanshi speaks highly of the CAU mode of Industry-University-Research Cooperation: “This is a great impetus to the enterprise. With this mode, students have internship opportunities while enterprises have access to cutting-edge technologies to improve the production capacity and product quality. Local farmers have more jobs and the local fiscal revenue increases greatly. "
Innovation is the first driving force for economic and social development. Chateau Zhihui yuanshi is a miniature of CAU’s effort in Industry-University-Research Cooperation to promote scientific and technological innovation and lead the high-quality development of agriculture.