On June 28, 2022, XJTLU Urban & Environmental Studies University Research Centre (UES) and the Suzhou Industrial Park Committee for Economic Development (SIPCED) jointly organized an expert evaluation meeting on “The Research on Agricultural Development in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP)”.
During the meeting, the UES project team reported on the results of the project, and the panel presented their expert opinions. The panel consists of Kaihong Huang, Researcher of Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Yan Zhu, Dean of Agriculture School of Nanjing Agricultural University; and Qing Zhang, Director of Smart Agriculture Research Center of Suzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In addition, Director Qiurong Wu and Section Chief Senlin Ding of the SIPCED attended the meeting and shared views.
SIP has a long history of agricultural culture, however, traditional agriculture is shrinking every year in the context of industrialization and urbanization, introduced Ding.
“To analyse the situation, advantages and challenges of agricultural development in the SIP, and to provide scientific decisions for the functional positioning of agriculture, SIPCED commissioned the UES to organise an international team and conduct research on agricultural development in SIP,” he said.
Director Qiurong Wu of SIPCED
Dr Yunqing Xu, director of UES
The report put forward that “urban agriculture” has now been upgraded to an advanced agricultural modernisation model with urban modern agribusiness as the carrier. It could alter the core conflict of the structural shortage of resources for agricultural modernization. It offers recommendations on both the agricultural management system and agricultural industry development in SIP from several important aspects such as plan-making, sorting out rights and responsibilities, and building action networks.
The experts unanimously agreed on the report “From Farm to City: Review of Agriculture Development in Suzhou Industrial Park” and gave suggestions for the future development of SIP based on the findings and conclusions of the project.
"The project has explored the concept of ‘urban agriculture’ and clarified that cities play a significant role in the modernization of agriculture. Suzhou has long been taking a lead in agricultural development in China. The new ideas, directions, and models for developing modern and urban agriculture in SIP proposed in this report are highly forward-looking,
“I think Suzhou should further develop strategic planning for urban agriculture, and shape a Suzhou model for developing modern agriculture that guide agricultural production, promote agricultural technology and brand development with the help of modern agricultural enterprises," said Kaihong Huang.
Professor Kaihong Huang giving his opinion online
“The quantitative analysis results shown in the report reveal the booming specialty agriculture sectors in SIP, which provides an important reference for the adjustment and improvement of the new planning in SIP. In addition, the planting and farming industries should be moderately centralized in the future to facilitate the application of intelligent equipment and the promotion of smart agriculture,” said Yan Zhu.
Professor Yan Zhu giving her opinion online
Qing Zhang, the researcher at Suzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Director of the Smart Agriculture Research Center, said: “incorporating both the international and domestic perspective, the report has explored the route to facilitate agricultural modernization in SIP. To a certain extent, it has also enriched the content of the ‘going out model’ of SIP. It will be instructive for various regions in China in the context of rapid urbanisation.”
Professor Qing Zhang giving his opinion
“The results of the project comprehensively summarize the current situation, potential and challenges of agriculture development in SIP, and the suggestions put forward have a good reference to the future agricultural development planning of SIP,” the three experts concluded.
Story and photos provided by UES