MIDST Co-hosted the “Symposium on the experience and problems of the efficient use of soil, fertiliser and water in the Yangtze River Economic Belt” along with the Station of Farmland Quality and Agricultural Environment Protection of Jiangsu Province in Nanjing, China between November 21st and 23rd. The meeting was attended by 300+ people comprising mainly applied agricultural scientists.
Our symposium had a number of very relevant talks for DST developments. There were 10 talks that covered new fertilisers, machinery, environmental concerns and farmer engagement. Dr Ying Zheng finished the talks in the session by providing an overview of the MIDST project, summarising the work of the UK-China CZO programme. The practical challenges and policy relevance of our research was emphasised by our invited speaker, Director Du Sen of the Ministry of Agriculture. All talks were in Mandarin to ensure full engagement of the Chinese audience.
We followed the talks with an open panel session discussion which provided the floor with the opportunity to ask all speakers questions. This included a targeted discussion on research needs for DST development in China.
MIDST had an Exhibition Stand throughout the entirety of the event. This had an animation of one of our functional DSTs, computers running other DSTs that we have tested for application in China, and pamphlets in both English and Mandarin summarising the project and aimed at either users or researchers. There was considerable 1:1 discussion, reaching over 100 people. To enable guided discussion, questionnaires were given to participants to ask about their knowledge, experience, perceptions and needs for DSTs. The MIDST post docs and 2 PhD students managed to get conference participants to complete 65 individual questionnaires.
A full summary of the meeting and the outcomes for the project can be read here: