The UK-China Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN) is a unique mechanism established by the Chinese and UK Governments in 2008 to provide a coherent framework for carrying out sustainable agriculture cooperation activities. Its objectives are to: (i) stimulate innovative thinking and research on all aspects of sustainable agriculture; (ii) communicate information on sustainable agriculture issues and disseminate best practice to key audiences; and (iii) contribute to global sustainability through wider sharing of expertise between developed and emerging economies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Knowledge Sharing and Mutual Learning Platform has been established to: (i) support the implementation of UK China cooperation initiatives in agriculture, food and environment sectors; (ii) promote cross-disciplinary collaborations; (iii) enhance communication and engagement amongst existing initiatives and stakeholders to maximize synergies and support policy development; and (iv) foster new cooperative partnerships.

Latest News

June 15, 2019

SAIN Signed UK China Cooperation Initiative on Agricultural Green Development

On 27th May, the UK China Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN) organised an “UK China Agricultural Green Development Forum” in the UK Pavilion at the Beijing International Horticulture Expo 2019. 40 people attended the event, included the UK representatives from British Embassy, ADAS, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Universities of East Anglia and Aberdeen; and the Chinese representatives from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), China Association of Agricultural Science Society (CAASS), China Agricultural University (CAU), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the Institute of Soil Sciences of Chinese Academy Sciences (ISSCAS). The Forum was chaired by Yuelai Lu, Head of SAIN Secretariat (UK), and Wu Xiaochun, Deputy Director General, of Rural Energy and Environment Agency of MARA. Ray Smith, the Agricultural Counsellor of British Embassy and Mr Mo Guanggang, the Deputy Secretary General of CAASS delivered opening speeches. Prof Bob Rees of SRUC, Prof Roger Sylvester-Bradley of ADAS, Prof Chen Fu of CAU, Prof Ju Hui and Wang Hongyuan of CAAS delivered keynotes, highlighted the pathways to improve nitrogen management and development of climate resilient agriculture in China. The participants of the Forum signed a Pledge to promote UK China cooperation on agricultural green development. In the Pledges, all signatories proposed to work together on delivering agricultural green development through innovative scientific research, dissemination, and integration of technology and food production standards.

October 31, 2018

SAIN Forum 2018 held in the UK, focus on agriculture green development

SAIN Forum 2018 was held in the UK in 8-10 October. The theme of SAIN Forum 2018 was knowledge sharing and mutual learning – supporting the green development in agriculture in the UK and China. SAIN Forum 2018 comprised a series of events, included: Seminar with LEAF (Linking Environment And farming), visiting LEAF Demonstration Farm, Bottom Farm Seminar with Natural England, visiting agro-environment scheme sites in Norfolk Seminar in University of East Anglia (UEA), visiting Wensum TDC and Salle Farm SAIN Forum 2018 was organised by SAIN Secretariat (UK) in partnership with the Rural Energy and Environment Agency (REEA) of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA). The Chinese delegation, led by Mr Gao Shangbin, deputy director general of  REEA, included the members from REEA, National Animal Husbandry Services, the Agri-Environment Protection Institute, and UNDP (China). The UK collaborators of SAIN Forum 2018 included Natural England, UEA, ADAS, LEAF, Wensum Alliance, Farrington Oils Ltd (Bottom Farm) and Salle Farms Co. Mr Gao Shagbin delivered the key note on China’s eco-agriculture development and highlighted the priority areas for further cooperation between the UK and China. Ms Alice Midmer of LEAF, Ms Hannah Thacker of Natural England, Dr Ji Zhou of Earlham Institute , Dr John Williams of ADAS and Dr Brian Reid of UEA delivered key note speeches respectively integrated farm management, agricultural ecosystem conservation the in UK, AI and application in agricultural resource management, improved manure and nutrients management and soil amendment by biochar. Dr Yuelai Lu, Head of SAIN Secretariat (UK), said the Forum was an excellent event for knowledge sharing and mutual learning between Chinese and UK agricultural officials, advisers, farmers and academics in the meeting rooms […]

August 19, 2018

Seeding a New Green Revolution

Researchers at the University of Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Sciences discover a new gene which improves yields of cereal crops such as wheat and rice, using less fertilizer. “Elite crops” can be grown to maintain their current high yields with less fertilizer, according to a paper published online this week in Nature. The new study led by Professor Xiangdong Fu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing, and Professor Nicholas Harberd from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford, and part-funded by the BBSRC-Newton Fund Rice Initiative, have discovered a gene with the potential to reach sustainable global food security by understanding of how plants metabolize nitrogen. The worldwide “Green Revolution” began in the 1960s and saw yearly increases in global cereal grain yields. The revolution was fuelled by the development of new high-yielding dwarfed varieties of cereal, known as Green Revolution Varieties or GRVs. These dwarfed varieties still dominate today’s wheat and rice crops. Because they are dwarfed they have shorter stems, and give relatively greater yields than the taller plants they replaced. They are also less susceptible to yield-losses from wind and rain damage. But the growth of GRVs requires farmers to use large amounts of nitrogen-containing fertilizers on their fields. These fertilizers are costly to farmers, and cause extensive damage to the natural environment. The crops themselves are less efficient at using nitrogen — a side effect of a growth-inhibiting protein called DELLA.  This means farmers must apply high doses of environmentally unfriendly, nitrogen-based fertilizers to compensate. The researchers in this project compared 36 different dwarfed rice varieties and identified a new natural gene variant that increases […]


Yuelai Lu @yuelailu
1 day ago

Proud to be a partner of GACSA.

Yuelai Lu @yuelailu
1 day ago

RT @rachelthorman1: Kairsty Topp shares our @ResearchNCircle work at #NCGG8 looking at how we can identify high risk conditions for #N2O em…