Selective Learning: China, the CGIAR, and Global Agricultural Science in Flux

Volume 52 Number 2
Published: November 26, 2021

This article analyses the interaction between China and the CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) since the 1970s, exploring the formation of China’s modern agricultural science capability and its approach towards learning. While China was previously regarded and treated as a recipient of international scientific expertise, it is now a more equal partner and contributor, with capacity to provide funds, support exchange programmes for scientists, and collaborate in building laboratories and joint research programmes. Some of these now extend beyond the CGIAR system and are creating new platforms for scientific collaboration and knowledge production in the South. By offering an illustration of China’s ‘selective learning’ approach, emphasising self-reliance and pragmatism in its engagement with the CGIAR, this article feeds into broader debates on how China contributes to global
development knowledge and learning.

From Issue: Vol. 52 No. 2 (2021) | China and International Development: Knowledge, Governance, and Practice