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Shanghai Launches Agribusiness CEO Program

China’s first agribusiness CEO program was launched in Shanghai on Friday by the University of California Davis and the Shanghai-based CHIC Group.

“We hope the experience of experts from the US will inspire Chinese counterparts,” said Edward Zhu, CEO of CHIC Group, a transnational company involved in food, agriculture, and supply chain management.

The three-day program will tackle questions, including talent recruitment, funding, market expansion, technology innovation, government aid, and systematic management of an agribusiness company.

Liu Min, deputy general manager of Wei Te Pigeon Farm in Wuxi city said: “My company has been running a pigeon meat business for 11 years and is the biggest one in terms of scale in southeast China.”

He hopes the course will clarify important issues for his business, such as funding and expansion.

“I found the term agribusiness new and attractive,” said Zhang Qing, general manager of Qing He Group, from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Her company runs a large-scale farm in Xinjiang, and several modern fast food chains. Zhang said she is interested in how to better integrate agriculture with business, and keen to meet possible partners during the program.

Colin Carter, professor with UC Davis, the program’s major mentor, said China has played an increasingly greater role in world agriculture.

China is the fourth-largest agricultural exporter and second-largest agricultural importer in the world. Specifically regarding the US, China is the leading market for agricultural exports and is the third most important supplier of agricultural imports for the US.

The major challenges facing China’s agriculture include a transition to larger-scale farms, and dealing with resource scarcity, he said.