The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences（CAAS）was founded in 1957 and CAAS celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2017. Over the last six decades, CAAS has embarked on a glorious journey and has grown along with China's achievements in science and technology.
Over the past 60 years, under the leadership and care of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, CAAS, which is positioned as the unique national team for agricultural innovation, has committed itself to serving rural areas, the agriculture sector and farmers in China.
Adhering to its strategy of boosting agriculture with science and education, the leaders of the Academy constantly uphold the principles of democratic participation, opening-up, and bringing in and fostering high-level experts. CAAS has continually improved its capacity for research and innovation, constantly been increasing its comprehensive competitive strengths and leading the country’s agricultural research progress.
With the unremitting efforts of its staff members over the years, the Academy has grown into a comprehensive national agro-research organization. It now comprises 36 research institutes and has more than 10,000 staff. CAAS has gained a foothold at the frontiers of science, aimed at major needs of China and is implementing the country's national innovation-driven development strategy.
In pursuit of its development goal of building itself to be one of the world’s top agricultural research organizations, CAAS has comprehensively implemented its Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP) and played a leading role in promoting the construction of the National Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Alliance(NASTIA). CAAS has also strengthened its efforts to advance its own structural reforms, optimize the layout of its research disciplines and enhance its team building.
While expanding international cooperation and promoting agricultural technologies going abroad, CAAS has further improved its capability for technological innovation and reinforced its leading position in China's agricultural research.
Over the past 60 years, CAAS has reaped a bountiful harvest, as generations of its staff members, deeply rooted in agriculture, have immersed themselves in research. Despite the difficulties and challenges that have been encountered, they have made a series of notable accomplishments in a variety of fundamental research areas, including the genetic mechanisms for crops, epidemic regularity of major crop pests, animal disease transmission mechanism, and the discovery and analysis of important functional genes in animals and plants - outperforming their overseas peers.
They have also made breakthroughs in core technologies for grains, cotton and oil crops breeding, comprehensive prevention and control of insect pests, improvement of low or medium-yield farmlands, and genetically engineered vaccines against livestock and poultry epidemics.
In technology transfer, CAAS has promoted tens of thousands of new varieties, new products and new technologies, such as super rice, transgenic insect-resistant cotton, dwarf sterile wheat, double-low rapeseed, high-yield soybean, lean-type Peking duck, avian influenza vaccine, and rapid detection of aflatoxin.
Such achievements have made a crucial contribution in guaranteeing China's food security and safety, increasing farmer's incomes, promoting the development of modern agriculture, improving the level of agricultural science and technology in developing countries, and helping hunger and poverty alleviation.
Over the past 60 years, CAAS has put an emphasis on both bringing in top scientists from around the world and fostering its own high-level experts and specialists. Its efforts have paid off, as generations of outstanding CAAS scientists have been widely acclaimed and gained international recognition for their research findings.
CAAS has initiated a series of major team building projects, including the Distinguished Scientists Program, Innovative Teams Building Program and Elite Young Scientists Program. In these efforts, the Academy has attracted noted scientists and researchers from China and abroad and its education and training have nurtured numerous high-level professionals and innovation teams that have made key contributions to China’s progress in agricultural sciences and technologies.
A total of 20 Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering have worked or are working with CAAS. Many CAAS researchers have served as chief scientists for major national technological projects, are winners of the National Excellent Young Scientists Fund, or are included in the national Hundred, Thousand and Ten Thousand Talents Program, or have become leaders in a variety of agricultural research sectors. The Academy has also trained more than 10,000 senior agricultural researchers for other organizations.
Over the past 60 years, CAAS staff members have devoted themselves to agricultural sciences in a bid to boost the development of agriculture in the country with innovative technologies. They have undertaken a common historic mission, and have grown along with the country.
Besides those high-level research achievements, CAAS has also developed its own culture and value, including the exemplary spirit of Qiyang Station and the spirit of the Institute of Cotton Research, which showcase the prudence of CAAS researchers and their careful approach to making new scientific achievements, their persistence in focusing on research, and their dedication to the pursuit of new technologies and new varieties, as well as their devotion to their motherland and the people.
The rich cultural heritage and values of CAAS have motivated generations of staff to strive for new agricultural research accomplishments.
Currently, China is at a key stage in its agricultural development, shifting from traditional agriculture to modern agriculture, with technology serving as the main driver of this transition.
CAAS will firmly shoulder its mission and play its roles as a forerunner for agricultural reforms, the national team for innovation and a think tank for policymaking.
In cooperating with its peers at home and abroad, the Academy will go all out to make impressive strides in research, increase its innovation capabilities and improve China's core competitiveness in agricultural technologies. It will also step up its efforts to build itself to be a leading world-class agricultural research organization and make greater contributions to agricultural supply-side structural reforms and ensure the country’s presence in the ranks of agricultural technology powerhouses.