By Qiao Yuhui
China Agricultural University – Although organic agriculture is developing fast in China, it is still facing some challenges for its development: the research sector needs to provide more support with regards to providing more practical technology, ample advisory support, technical training, and changing mindset.
During the last 30 years, the main research focus and key area in China’s sustainable agriculture development plan has been eco-agriculture and green food; however, eco-agriculture’s principles are not as strict as the principles used in organic agriculture. Currently, there are no specific funding schemes for organic agriculture research in China. Since 2000, international cooperative programs have provided the first financial supports for research on organic agriculture in China, mainly in the area of development and assessment. To boost the development of organic agriculture in China, research institutions and universities have also started several technological consulting and research programs with funds from enterprises, local government, and a small part coming from central government. In addition, several regions have started research and compilation of regional organic product development plans by local governments at provincial and county levels.
At present, substantial and practical organic technology, policy decision making, and marketing linkage are the key needs for current organic research. There is no platform for organic research cooperation at the national level; however, a national organic industry alliance is foreseen to be set up with the support from the Ministry of Science and Technology in the near future.