The signing ceremony of the International Joint Laboratory on Horticulture Research, a collaboration between Huazhong Agricultural University (HZAU), China and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), Pakistan, was held at HZAU on May 16.
The joint laboratory will focus on horticultural research, with an emphasis on improving crop productivity, developing new varieties and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. The laboratory will provide a platform for joint research projects between HZAU and UAF as well as for academic exchange programs for students and faculty.
The scope of the joint laboratory includes innovative research activities in the industrial chain of horticultural crops, such as germplasm innovation, culture or production, and post-harvest technology innovation for fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants, with an emphasis on the use of modern agricultural techniques, equipment and management systems.
The joint lab encourages both institutions to develop special programs and/or internships that provide opportunities for students and/or faculty members to gain practical experience in their fields. It also encourages the publication of joint research findings in peer-reviewed journals. It is worth mentioning that in the past decade, Pakistani students from the College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences at HZAU have published more than 60 scientific articles in international SCI journals.
HAZU and UAF have a long history of collaboration in scientific research, talent development and cultivation. More than 50 UAF alumni are studying or have already graduated from the College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, HZAU. Both universities jointly established the China-Pakistan Horticulture Research and Demonstration Centre last year, which has enhanced their partnership and promoted the exchange of knowledge in the field of horticulture.
The inauguration ceremony was witnessed by HZAU President Dr. Li Zhaohu and UAF Vice Chancellor Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan.
The two sides also visualized upcoming cooperation in joint research on food security under climate change, mechanization for small landholders, demonstration of Chinese technologies at UAF, etc.