2017 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize Awarding Ceremony Held in Nanjing Agricultural University — Award Granted to Botanist Dirk Inze

NANJING, China, Nov. 2, 2017 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/– On October 28, 2017, the Fifth GCHERA World Agriculture Prize Awarding Ceremony took place in Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU). As the world-only international award in the higher education of agriculture, Dirk Inze, professor and director of Ghent University Botanical System Biology Center, is the Laureate of World Agriculture Prize of 2017 for his outstanding contribution in the research of plant vegetative organs and biomass and productivity.

Prof. Dirk has long been devoting himself to solving the puzzles regarding the molecular mechanism of plant vegetative organs, biomass and seed setting rate. He is also the first scholar studying the periodic regulation of plant cell. He led his team to find the core elements for periodic regulation of plant cell and proved that these elements are useful to improve plant growth and crop yield.

Prof. Dirk has committed to promoting the application and transformation of the results, boosting the development of related industries as well. The “Ghent Agricultural Biotechnology Park”, which was established with the efforts of Prof. Dirk, is currently the world’s second largest plant biotechnology cluster that has joined fundamental plant research forces from Gent University and the College of Life Science. Besides, Bayer, BASF, Syngenta and other large enterprises are involved in the crop improvement.

World Agriculture Prize was formally proposed by both Prof. Zhai Huqu, former President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and Prof. Zhou Guanghong, President of NAU on October 20, 2012 on the occasion of NAU’s 110th anniversary. Jointly held by Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA) and NAU, the prize aims to promote the global development of the mission of its member institutions in education, research and innovation in agricultural and life sciences by recognizing the distinguished contribution of an individual to this mission. Da Bei Nong Group established the “Open Fund of World Agriculture Prize” and sponsored the donation.

“NAU will join hands with GCHERA to develop the World Agriculture Prize to be a typical award for global agricultural science and technology, and to encourage global scientists to better participate in the development, innovation and promotion of agricultural science,” said Zhou Guanghong.

Over the past few years, the prize has been successively awarded to outstanding scientists who have made prominent contribution in crop improvement, soil remediation, food engineering, veterinary medicine, etc., and has attracted great concern and support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other international organizations.

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SOURCE: Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU)