September 16, 2020, by Jason Feehily

Research into Policy Practice: How international experience influences agricultural policy decisions to address global challenges

A keynote speech (online) was given to the 8th Members’ Congress and Conference of the Chinese Society of Foreign Agricultural Economy (CSFAE) by Professor Paul Wilson, Professor of Agricultural Economics; Director, Rural Business Research Unit; and Chief Executive, Rural Business Research, Faculty of Science from the University of Nottingham. The speech was facilitated by Asia Business Centre.

On the 18th August, the 8th Members’ Congress and Conference of the Chinese Society of Foreign Agricultural Economy (CSFAE) was hosted by Rural Development Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (RDI of CASS). With a theme of “Agricultural and Rural Development in the Post-well-off Society: International experience and Transformation Directions”, Professor Paul Wilson, Chief Executive of Rural Business Research Unit, part of the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences was invited to give a keynote speech with the title: “Developments and Directions in UK Agricultural Policy Making as the UK leaves the EU: Research into Policy Practice”.

 It is prestigious for the University to make a contribution to such a highly influential event as the annual CSFAE event as it is an important platform for Chinese scholars to share and discuss its agricultural economic policies based upon international experience and comparison. Established in 1978, this is the first time that the CSFAE has invited a keynote speaker from a foreign university to present to its over 600 members. The impact of the University’s participation is even stronger taking into account the timing when over 300 CSFAE members attended this event to select new leadership for this organisation and prepare its strategic plan for the next five years.

The speech of Professor Wilson has been highly appreciated by all members of  CSFAE. This can be seen from the feedback from Professor Yuan Peng, the new President of the CSFAE: “What was an excellent speech of Professor Paul Wilson yesterday! All of our CSFAE members have expressed their satisfaction and appreciation for his presentation which has clear and rich information. Please pass my sincere thanks to Professor Wilson for his contribution”.

Professor Wilson commented: “At this crucial juncture in UK agricultural history, evidenced based policy making is of vital importance; it was a great pleasure to be able to share with delegates of the CSFAE our experience of how our research feeds directly into agricultural policy decisions”.

The CSFAE is affiliated with the RDI of CASS, a top research centre and think tank in China. Established in August 1978, for instance, RDI hosts two top academic journals in rural studies, one of which Chinese Rural Economy ranks at 3rd out of 35 in the world academic journals lists (WAJCI-Q1) in 2019. University of Nottingham’s participation at this prominent conference laid a sound foundation for developing the international cooperation between the University and CASS in the areas of agricultural and rural development research.

This partnership was nurtured as part of the Future Food Beacon of Excellence’s China Strategy, which aims at working with the world’s leading institutions to help address the global challenges of food security in line with the United National Sustainable Development Goals. Social science plays a key role to develop transdisciplinary approach to deliver our ambitious vision by increasing collaboration, strengthening networks and partnerships, and raising the reputation of our world-changing research.  Efforts have been made to build research partnership between the RDI of CASS and Nottingham University Business School (including NUBS China), through mapping out joint research capabilities and research interest between the two institutions.


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