FAMU eyes China for sustainability partnership

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) wants to play an important role in providing food, water and academic exchange to the world’s largest nation, China.

President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. plans to forge a partnership that allows China to benefit from the groundbreaking agricultural research and academic strategies developed at FAMU.

“We share the sense of urgency in resolving these issues because of the need to find techniques that grow food faster and on less land, thereby enabling us to feed more people. We also know that the academic exchange will result in tremendous benefits to both China and FAMU,” Mangum said.

Coordinated by the HBCU-China Scholarship Network, Mangum returned from a four-city visit to China prepared to explore partnerships that will broaden the FAMU global imprint. She joined other HBCU presidents who visited Beijing, Nanjing, Ningbo and Shanghai looking for ways to do just that.

The benefits of an academic exchange of students are immeasurable, Mangum said, because of the cultural exposure for all involved. Also, establishing a leadership role in the process of maintaining a livable world is crucial to solving the crisis.

The president’s vision is on track with China’s efforts to increase crop yields without leaving soil lifeless or environmentally damaged. FAMU is already finding solutions, according Mangum. She points to the university’s recent School of Environment Energy Water Good Nexus International Summit. The conference provided an intriguing look into how science is ensuring access to basic human needs with the help of research.

Inner-city farms, rooftop gardens, unique filtering processes for dwindling water supplies and award winning discoveries that take the research to the global marketplace are all part of the FAMU research repertoire.

China must increase its food crops by 50 percent over the next 20 years. Producing more food without damaging the environment is a serious dilemma Mangum feels FAMU scientist will help resolve.

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