As China’s middle class continues to grow and to migrate to urban areas, it is demanding healthier, safer and more nutritious food. To help meet this demand at a local level, Dr. Mark Lyons moved to China four years ago to lead Alltech’s efforts and serves as global vice president and head of Greater China.
The company established Alltech Crop Science China, and Dr. Xue Kai serves as its technical and product manager. Dr. Steven Borst, general manager for Alltech Crop Science, is responsible for global product registration. These three experts shared their insights on how the company is helping local producers increase production efficiency in a sustainable way.
Why is there an emphasis on China?
Dr. Lyons: Globally, China is the second largest producer of potatoes, wheat, corn and other commodities. For years, there has been much discussion about who will feed China. The answer is: China will feed China.
As Chinese consumers travel globally, they are becoming aware of cutting-edge technology and expect that same level of knowledge in China. Alltech is committed to providing technology at a local level to meet growing global needs and will provide the best staff to support local producers.
Which crop science products will help serve this market?
Dr. Kai: Alltech Crop Science China has worked to gain product approval for two of the company’s natural plant and soil activators. The company is now finalizing registration of its unique products, designed to streamline processes for optimal performance and help revitalize soils.
The excellent results from the registration and demonstration trials conducted thus far make us extremely excited about the future of this technology in China and the role Alltech can play to support the development of new agricultural practices in this country.
How is Alltech supporting other efforts in China?
Dr. Lyons: Alltech’s China Now program is a strategic five-year plan and includes numerous educational and research initiatives in China. The company has been operating in China for 22 years and has recently partnered with Nestlé in the creation of a world-class training center, the Dairy Farming Institute in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang province. In addition, 10 of the company’s 30 research alliances are focused on providing local support for this growing region.
What are future challenges and opportunities in China?
Dr. Borst: As Chinese producers work on continued production efficiency, they are also awakening to the same issues we are successfully addressing in the U.S. and Brazil. Common issues include addressing nutrient management needs not only for soil health, but as part of integrated crop and livestock systems.
Across the globe, farmers are working to become more precise with nutrient management. With our global expertise, we can share best practices with producers and others involved in Chinese agribusiness.
Consumers and producers alike are demanding more natural alternatives and products that fit into sustainable management systems. We are focused on providing new solutions that meet environmental sustainability and food safety standards.