The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) held the “2023 International Symposium on Agricultural Science and Technology between MOA and INRAE: With a Special Reference to Net Zero GHG Emission” in Taipei on October 5. The focus of the symposium was on net-zero carbon emissions, with a keynote address on “Carbon Farming” and discussion of three main agricultural science and technology (S&T) issue areas: “Animal S & T,” “Agricultural S & T,” and “Animal and Plant Healthcare.” Nearly 150 researchers and experts from Taiwan and France engaged in information sharing and exchanges, with INRAE Vice President Dr. Jean-Francois Soussana leading the French delegation to Taiwan. The two sides aimed to strengthen cooperation on technical aspects related to the development of climate-resilient agriculture and work in common towards the goals of carbon reduction in agriculture and sustainable development.
The MOA states that following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on research collaboration signed in 1991 between Taiwan and France’s National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA, the predecessor to INRAE), there were close interactions and mutual visits between experts in animal husbandry S & T. INRA was expanded and restructured in 2020 to form INRAE, and the competent authorities for agriculture in the two parties agreed at the 3rd Taiwan-France Agricultural Working Group Meeting held in October of 2021 to expand fields for cooperation beyond animal husbandry industry S & T to include agricultural S & T. Moreover, the two sides laid out plans to hold this most recent Symposium in Taipei and discussed how to strengthen cooperative research in agricultural S & T in the future.
At this recent meeting, experts from Taiwan and France engaged in in-depth discussions on issues including soil contribution to climate change mitigation through C sequestration, an example of the French program fair carbon, techniques related to breeding of animals resistant to adversity, the decarbonized business model of the agricultural circular economy, genomes under environmental changes, and the application of soil information in ecosystem services evaluation and net-zero emissions. Taiwan also introduced its current measures to prevent lumpy skin disease as well as its plant pest surveillance and information management technology. The MOA notes that Vice President Soussana also serves as an advisor to the European Union (EU) and France on reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and is leading work on the construction of methodologies for carbon farming and carbon sequestration in the EU. It is hoped that agricultural S&T research agencies from Taiwan and France can work together to make substantive contributions to adapting to climate change and ensuring agricultural development.