November 2016

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Professor KE Bingsheng is one of the foremost intellectuals working in the field of agriculture today. He has focused his attention on policy development for economic growth, sustainability and development.

He earned a BSc degree in 1982 from Peking University, an MSc in Economics in 1984 from Beijing Agricultural University and his PhD in Agronomy in 1989 from the University of Hohenheim in Germany.

Professor KE is based at the Chinese Agricultural University (CAU) which consists of 13 colleges with academic offerings including: agriculture and agricultural engineering; life sciences; food science and technology; automation science; computer science; economic management and social sciences. Enrolment includes almost 16,000 undergraduates and more than 5,400 postgraduate students. The faculty roster numbers almost 1,400.

In his early career at CAU, one can trace Professor KE’s steady academic footsteps from his professional positions as Lecturer in 1989, to Associate Professor in 1990 and Professor in 1993. He was appointed Deputy Dean and then Dean of the College of Economics and Management in 1991 and 1994, respectively, while also serving as Deputy Dean of the Graduate School in 1992. During this period he also served as a visiting scholar at Stanford University in the USA.

In 1995, he became the Vice President of CAU and would assume the position of Director-General of the Research Center for Rural Economy under the Ministry of Agriculture. From January 2008 to the present, Professor KE has been the President of CAU. Crucially, Professor KE made great strides in fundraising to improve campus infrastructure. Under his leadership CAU's academic reputation has risen markedly and it has been placed on the list of the 400 best global universities. And while the CAU is headquartered in Beijing, it has facilities spread far and wide across China.

Professor KE developed a strategic relationship with the UWI, first through partnership in the establishment and operation of a Confucius Institute at the UWI, St. Augustine Campus in 2013. Subsequently, the two institutions have continued to work together to develop an Agricultural Innovation Park (AIP) at our East Campus, Orange Grove facility of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture. Professor KE was instrumental in devising the master plan for the AIP and consistent with his penchant for acting on initiatives, he oversaw fundraising by CAU towards the establishment of the AIP as well as the procurement of greenhouses and their shipment to Trinidad, all with the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The greenhouses are currently fully operational and producing vegetable crops. The AIP is projected to serve as a major catalyst for substantial improvements in the food security, health and general wellbeing of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region.

Beyond this, there is dynamic cooperation in building human capacity and technical expertise for the Caribbean region’s agriculture sector. Under this programme there are Caribbean students currently pursuing postgraduate studies at the MSc and PhD levels jointly at CAU and UWI. These, then, are examples of technical cooperation functioning as a vehicle for capacity development and much more.

For outstanding contributions in the field of agriculture, institution-building and commitment to Caribbean development though partnership, the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa was confer on Professor KE Bingsheng.