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Rijk Zwaan helps modernise China's ag sector

As the agricultural sector in China undergoes major modernization, Dutch vegetable seed company Rijk Zwaan, has been introducing new varieties and sharing its knowledge about cultivation and marketing, to help growers create extra value.

The Chinese government is guiding the massive process of upgrading China's traditional agriculture into a modern and efficient cultivation industry. This process involves hundreds of millions of farmers and millions of hectares of land. Seeds play an important part in this transition, as breeding companies are able to continuously introduce plant varieties with ever-better combinations of desired characteristics, whether improved flavor, shelf life or appearance, or better traits from a grower's perspective, according to the company.

Knowledge transfer

Rijk Zwaan started its first activities in China in 1998, and the company now employs 140 people at its subsidiary in Qingdao, Shangdong province, and works with about 30 demonstration stations across China.

In cooperation with many local partners and governments, Chinese institutions, other vegetable seed companies and partners throughout the entire vegetable chain, Rijk Zwaan introduces new varieties and transfers knowledge about cultivation and marketing to help growers create extra value.

Rijk Zwaan sows seeds for healthy future

Furthermore, Rijk Zwaan invites hundreds of Chinese agriculture professionals to the Netherlands each year so they can see modern agriculture techniques for themselves and put their new knowledge to good use upon their return to China.

Rijk Zwaan's efforts bring with them a considerable social responsibility because the world's population is expanding at a rapid pace and a growing number of people must be fed using a finite number of natural resources, according to the company.

In China, too, the rapidly growing middle class and rising interest in health and food safety are increasing the demand for high-quality, reliable and varied food products.

Making a difference
Rijk Zwaan recently launched a new round of investments aimed at establishing a state-of-the-art agricultural research and training center in China.

"By developing varieties specifically for the different regions in China, and by strengthening our partnerships at a local level, we believe we can really make a difference in this huge market," said Rijk Zwaan's Managing Director Marco van Leeuwen. "Together with our partners, we want to make a significant contribution to a healthy future."

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