Chinese academics tour MIA's agricultural highlights

LEETON has proven it is at the top-of-the-pack when it comes to all things agriculture and now a group of Chinese academics have agreed. 

The MIA was the focus of a tour group from the Neijiang Normal University in China this week and the academics were impressed with what they saw.

The visit covered everything from the booming new aquaculture industry in the region and rice to wineries, cotton farming and hearing from scientists at the Yanco Agriculture Institute. 

With the MIA home to many burgeoning agriculture industries, there was no better place for the group to visit.

Yuyu Cai spoke on behalf of the group, which was able to come to the region thanks to an international leaders program. 

The initiative is run by the University of Sydney’s office of global engagement. 

“This school is from a Chinese university … they teach agriculture,” she said. 

“We’ve had two weeks of lectures of Sydney and our third week is here (in the MIA) because the Riverina is such an important part of the NSW and Australian agricultural industry. 

“(The aim) is to understand what farmers do here and how they care for their environment. 

“Sustainability is very important.”

As well as the tour of the area, the visitors also enjoyed many meals within the Leeton shire community and heard from local Mandarin-speaking guests. 

Ms Cai said the group would be returning with more knowledge to assist them in educating their students, particularly in the area of sustainability. 

“They are particularly interested in the fish here … there is a similar area to the Riverina in China where they want to introduce that industry there and see if they can farm the fish,” she said. 

With China’s population sitting at 1.371 billion, that means there is many mouths to feed in the country. 

“Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue in China because of the environment problem and how people do things,” she said. 

“I think it takes time to change people’s mentality, but it is worth trying because the environment, once it's damaged, is very hard to repair. 

“From a very young age we teach children about the environment and the need to be sustainable. 

“It is good to educate them on where there food comes from as well.”

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