Evidence of the earliest domestication of rice has been found in China in about 7500 B.C. China'’s development of farming over the centuries has played a key role in supporting what is now the world’s largest population. Nevertheless, famines occurred periodically throughout China'’s history, including during the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. And Chairman Mao Zedong’s belief that “man can conquer nature” led to the implementation of many irrational agriculture policies and production practices.

Since China’s open door policy which started more than 30 years ago, the economy and agricultural production has expanded rapidly. This has caused many environmental and ecological problems. If China continues along this path, a catastrophic agriculture production failure is waiting to happen. Can a young country like Canada assist an old country like China improve its current agricultural production practices?

Speaker: Chi Chang

Chi Chang was born in Guizhou, China. He moved to Taiwan with his parents in 1949 where he grew up and was educated. Moving to Canada in 1969, he completed his post-graduate study obtaining a PhD from the University of Manitoba in 1976.

Dr Chang has worked at Lethbridge Research Centre since 1978 as a Research Scientist. His areas of research are soil and the environment. He has been involved in several international projects: one in Sudan in 1982, and two CIDA projects in China (1991 – 2002 and 2006 – 2008). He just returned to Lethbridge after working for two years in Chengdu, China.

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