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Tropical agriculture discipline construction

Updated: 2019-06-14

1. Range

The disciplines cover fields such as tropical agronomy, tropical agriculture, tropical ecology and environmental protection, and tropical high-efficiency agriculture and forestry industries. Besides the development of these disciplines, we will enhance the ability and level of talent cultivation, scientific research, social services, cultural heritage innovation and international exchange and cooperation, so as to provide knowledge, talents, and technology support for the sustainable development of tropical high-efficiency agriculture and serve national strategies and local economic and social development. 

2. Goal of construction

(1) Short-term goals (2020)

Build tropical agriculture disciplines into world-class disciplines. Actively build and promote international cooperation platforms such as the Cambodian Chinese Language Teaching Center of Hainan University and the Laos Branch of Hainan University, and strengthen cooperation with universities in Indonesia; establish the State Key Laboratory of Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Biological Resources (Cultivation Base), the State Key Laboratory of Tropical Crops, and the Tropical Forest Germplasm Resource Library; introduce leading talents and cultivate innovative teams on “Basic Biology of Tropical Crops”, “Green Prevention and Control of  Plant Diseases and Insect Pests in Tropical Crops” and “Selection and Cultivation of New Varieties of Tropical Crops”; enhance scientific and technological services, increase the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, and serve the national and local governments in the tropical agricultural industry.

(2) Medium-term goals (2030)

Build tropical agriculture disciplines into world-class disciplines. Further enhance the level of internationalization, strengthen the construction of international cooperation platforms, and enhance the influence of the disciplines in international platforms and alliances; carry out cooperative education, enroll more international students, and build a first-class international talent training and scientific research base; Deepen the reform of the talent innovation system, strengthen the construction of innovative teams and academic teams, cultivate international talents, and promote the rapid growth of leading talents with far-reaching influence.

(3) Long-term goals (mid-21st century)

Build tropical agriculture disciplines into world-class disciplines. Construct world-class discipline teams, produce world-class scientific research results, and cultivate world-class talents. Make achievements in tropical agricultural science and technology innovation and the development of higher education, so as to serve the tropical agriculture at home and abroad. 

3. Characteristics and advantages of disciplines

Advantage in tropical resources. The natural resources and biological resources unique to the tropics mean that the research objects and research results of the tropical agriculture disciplines are irreplaceable.

Education model integrating industry, university and research. Established in 1958, Hainan University, formerly known as the South China University of Tropical Agriculture, has been cooperating with the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences in terms of institutional mechanisms, and implementing the education model integrating industry, university and research. In the past 60 years, with continuous reform and innovation, the model has become an important feature of our school.

The ability to serve economic and social development. The tropical agricultural disciplines can increase the output of vegetables in the winter while providing support for domestic and foreign research institutes in species conservation, scientific research and scientific and technological demonstration, and serving the Belt and Road Initiative. 

4. Major achievements

The tropical agriculture disciplines pioneered higher education in tropical agriculture in China, and have trained more than 100,000 talents for the development of tropical agriculture, especially the natural rubber industry. The set up of tropical agriculture disciplines symbolized the start of higher education in tropical agriculture in China and cultivated a batch of outstanding scientific and industrial talents, laying a solid foundation for the social security and stability of the frontiers and the start and development of tropical agriculture, especially the natural rubber industry.

As the disciplines cover more and more fields, the development of higher education in tropical agriculture in Hainan and the whole China accelerated, which promoted the rational distribution of higher education in China. For the tropical agricultural disciplines, there are Hainan's first doctoral program in second-level disciplines of agricultural science (crop genetic breeding), the first national key discipline (crop genetic breeding), the first doctoral program in first-level discipline (crop science), the first doctoral program in second-level disciplines of science (botany), and the first center for post-doctoral studies in first-level discipline (crop science).

The scientific research achievements of the disciplines are fruitful. For example, the improved natural rubber can be planted in 24 degrees north, which helps China to become a big producer of rubber from a rubber-free country. The scientific research achievements have won a number of national-level science and technology awards, for example, the Technology to Plant Large-Scale Rubber Trees in 18-24 Degrees North won the first prize of the National Science And Technology Invention Award, the Introduction, Breeding and Large-scale Promotion and Application of the Excellent Clones of Rubber Trees won the first prize of the National Science and Technology Progress Award, more than 10 achievements including Research on the Evaluation of Germplasm Resources of Tropical Crop Rubber, Research on the Development of Natural Rubber and Coconut Production in China, Research on the Application of Agricultural Rare Earth Compounds, and Improvement and Application of Rubber Tapping Technology Systems in China's Main Rubber Tree Areas won the second prize of the National Science and Technology Progress Award.

The disciplines have increasingly served the society, especially the development of the tropical high-efficiency agriculture industry. The tropical agricultural disciplines are responsible for providing talent and technology support for tropical high-efficiency agriculture. In recent years, the disciplines have made outstanding achievements in basic theory and applied technology, providing strong technical support for the development of tropical agricultural industry and achieving remarkable economic and social benefits. 

5. International influence

The academic level of the disciplines is world leading and the academic influence is far-reaching. The successful planting of natural rubber in the north drove the development of the rubber industry at home and abroad, promoted the economic development of many countries, and brought good international influence.

The quality of talent training has been recognized internationally and enjoys a high international reputation. The cultivation of international talents in tropical agriculture including international students and doctoral students made the disciplines famous in the world and is conducive to the construction of a world-class tropical agricultural science and education center.

The disciplines became world-renowned through international cooperation and exchanges. At present, the disciplines have signed cooperation memoranda with more than 20 scientific research institutions and 15 colleges and universities on student exchange programs, joint student training, exchange of young teachers, and joint scientific research, thus promoted the implementation of the opening-up strategy.

As a bridge for exchanges, the disciplines have undertaken many international projects. The projects include foreign aid training programs sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce to train officials and technicians from developing countries and regions in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Oceania, and 35 international training courses on tropical agricultural biotechnology for developing countries.