Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.15

Technology exchange between Akita Prefectural University and young researchers at the Beijing City Agricultural Center

Report from Akita Prefectural Univ.

Through the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science, a group of nine young researchers (including two graduate students) from the Beijing City Agricultural Center were invited to the Akita Campus of Akita Prefectural Univ. for an eight-day program held from September 24 to October 1, 2017.

The theme of the program was "application of scientific fertilization management technology and soil remediation technology." With a focus on challenges faced by the Beijing City Agricultural Center, the program was held to enable practical technology exchange with experts at Akita Prefectural Univ.

On September 24, the group of Chinese researchers traveled from Beijing to Akita via Narita. From September 25 to 29, the group toured facilities at Akita Prefectural Univ. and took the following classes on soil damage (salinization, alkalization) caused by excessive fertilization, damage due to repeated cultivation, and other challenges faced by agricultural districts in the suburbs of Beijing.

・Crop nutrition analysis technology, composting of agricultural waste products, and related challenges

・Technology diagnosis of soil properties and labor-saving/low-cost fertilization

・Diagnosis of crop damage, pest control, forecasting, and measures for damage due to repeated cultivation

・Pathogen gene analysis techniques using biotechnology

・Introduction of recent academic papers regarding crops with low absorption of toxic elements

写真1 Researchers attend a class

On the Akita Campus, the group toured the Biotechnology Center and the Next-Generation Plant Factory. At the Akita Prefectural Univ. Field Education and Research Center located by Lake Hachiro, researchers visited a computer-controlled greenhouse to observe cultivation facilities for flowers, tomatoes, strawberries, and other crops and dwarfing cultivation facilities for apples and wisteria.

写真2 At the Next-Generation Plant Factory
写真3 Biotechnology Center
写真4 Flower cultivation wing of the computer-controlled greenhouse

On September 28, an exchange seminar was held among young researchers from Beijing and faculty/students of Akita Prefectural University. Director Qingchun Zhao and the other eight members of the research group gave a presentation on current conditions, challenges, and future aspirations for agriculture in the suburbs of Beijing.

The seminar was attended by about 40 faculty members and students from Akita Prefectural Univ., all of whom were very interested in the current conditions and challenges of agriculture in the suburbs of Beijing. During the discussion, an active Q&A session was held by communicating in English, using Japanese interpretation, and writing on the blackboard.

写真5 Presentation by researchers from the Beijing City Agricultural Center
写真6 Group photograph of seminar attendees

In addition to this program, cooperation from Akita Prefecture made it possible for the group to visit a field for developing new species of flowers at the Akita Prefectural Horticulture Center on September 27. Also, on September 29, the researchers toured a field for display of new species of dahlia and pesticide-free cultivation of onions at the Akita Agricultural Experiment Station.

写真7 Field for display of new species of dahlia at the Akita Agricultural Experiment Station

On the afternoon of September 29, the group traveled to Tokyo. On September 30, they visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and took a tour to experience Japanese culture. They departed for Beijing on October 1.

According to results of a questionnaire conducted following the program, many of the researchers are interested in visiting Japan again. Some of them are interested in studying abroad in Japan. This shows that the program was extremely meaningful for everyone involved. We are deeply grateful to SAKURA Science for making the program possible.