Organizers

GCP21: The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21 Century known by its well-attended international cassava conferences: Ghent, Belgium 2008 and Kampala, Uganda 2012, will sponsor the 3rd International GCP21 Conference in Nanning, China, January 18-22, 2016. GCP21 conferences are covering all aspects of cassava R&D from genomics to products and will host group-interest and thematic satellite meetings. GCP21-III will focus on the current global concerns of cassava biology and utilization, promoting the use of advanced biotechnological technologies to solve key technical problems, to improve the yield, the nutritional quality and its industrial utilization, to help tackle global hunger and poverty.

ISTRC: The International Society for Tropical Root Crops has an international mandate to help improve the research and development of cassava, sweet potato, yam, taro, potato and other root crops. The Society was formed in 1967. Since then Symposiums have been held every 3 years in different parts of the world. This will be the 17th Symposium of the ISTRC and the first one to be held in China. The Society has a constitution elected Councillors and has nearly a 1000 financial members worldwide. There are two active and fully function regional branches of the Society -the Africa Branch and the Pacific Branch. Both branches have their own constitutions and actively pursue the development and promotion of root and tuber crops in their regions. This Congress (17th Symposium of the ISTRC) in China in January 2016 offers a unique opportunity to present papers and poster sessions on cassava, sweet potatoes, yam, taro and potatoes. The Executive of the ISTRC invites you to join a large number of leading world scientists and others in this Congress.

CATAS: Chinese Academy of Tropical Agriculture Sciences (headquartered in Haikou, China) is a national academy specifically for tropical and subtropical agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) of the Chinese government. CATAS leads the cassava research in China, in multiple aspects including germplasm conservation and evaluation, breeding and planting technology (by the Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute); basic research on molecular mechanism of high starch accumulation and tolerance to drought based on genomics, transcriptomics and genomic breeding (by the Institute of Tropical Biosciences and Biotechnology), and evaluation and diagnostic of pests and diseases in cassava (by the Environment and Plant Protection Institute). There are two principal cassava research programs, the Chinese Cassava Industry Technology System and the National Basic Research Program of China funded by MOA and MOST respectively.

CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences is targeting the national strategic needs and the world frontiers of science, striving to accomplish world-class science and to continuously make fundamental, strategic and forward-looking contributions to national economic construction, national security and social sustainable development by strengthening original scientific innovation, innovation of key technologies and system integration. As the nation's highest academic institution in natural sciences and its supreme scientific and technological advisory body, and national comprehensive research and development center in natural sciences and high technologies, it consists of the Academic Divisions and various subordinate institutions. Its Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences (SIBS), is a well-known institute on cassava and sweet-potato fundamental research and biotechnology.

GxCRI: the Guangxi Cassava Research Institute is one of the two agricultural institutes working on cassava in China. It was established in 2009 with the background of Guangxi being a province very important for cassava production in China, for more than 25 years. The production of cassava in the province accounts more than 70% of the country. The province is also very strong in cassava processing industry development, with major products such as starch and alcohol. Major research activities in GCRI are: breeding, cultivation practices, extension technologies, biotechnology, cassava comprehensive utilization (animal feed, human food, further use of by-products, etc.), rural economic development approaches based on cassava as an important income resource, technical training. There are now 20 scientists working in GCRI: 6 breeders, 8 agronomists, 1 entomologist, 1 pathologist and 4 biologists. GCRI is located in Nanning city, capital of Guangxi province, it's subtropical climate, with 4 seasons, about six months for Summer (May-Oct), two months for Autumn (Nov-Dec), one and half months for Winter (Jan-Feb) and two months for Spring (Mar-Apr). The annual rain-full is around 1700 mm, and the average temperature is 23oC.

GXAS: the Guangxi Academy of Sciences was established in 1980, is the most important institute in Guangxi province of China, affiliated directly to the provincial government. It is covering 7 sub-institutes, I the field of botany, mangrove, oceanography, computer science, biology, physics and energy. It covers a total of 19 research centers and 41 disciplines, such as biotechnology, oceanography, environment, informatics, botany, new material, renewable energy... In total 577 research members, including 133 professors and researchers, are now in GXAS to implement the range of research, and more than 111 million yuans are dedicated to science each year. There are three official journals; the Guangxi Sciences, Guihaia and the Journal of Guangxi Academy of Sciences. GXAS has three national and six provincial research centers in the fields of biomass biorefinery and oceanography. The three national research centers are National Engineering Research Center for Non-food Biorefinery, State Key Laboratory of Non-Food Biomass and Enzyme Technology and National-Province Joint Engineering Research Center for Bio-Energy. Research on enzyme engineering, microbial strain reconstruction, and ethanol fermentation from molasses and lignocelluloses are well known in China and in the world.

Exploring novel sciences and technologies, solving bottleneck problems in science and technology, implementing research to satisfy the development and modernization of the Guangxi province as well as the nation, the GXAS has allowed sustainable development. Since 2008, more than 850 novel projects have been launched by GXAS, of which 463 were accomplished, 41 have been achieved, 16 have obtained the provincial-grade Scientific and Technology Award. At the meantime, more than 1273 research papers and 41 patents have been published. Since the establishment of GXAS, it made a significant contribution to science and technology, and to the economic development of Guangxi province and China.

GCP21, ISTRC, CATAS and GCRI will join forces to organize a dual conference covering cassava and all other root and tuber crops, in Nanning, Guangxi, China, January 18-22, 2016. The dual conference will take place in the same location in Nanning and attendees will be free to attend any plenary, oral and poster sessions organized for the conference. The conference will also host satellite meetings at the request of specialized groups, they will take place before and after the main conference. A travel grant program, based on special fund raising, will be developed to offer young scientists, particularly from Africa, the opportunity to attend the conference. There will also be possibilities to have exhibits during the whole week of the conference for interested parties. Finally a field visit of the Guangxi Cassava Research Institute, cassava plantations and a cassava starch factory will be organized at the end of the conference.