Heilongjiang Province (known as the ‘Big Barn’) is located in the Northeast of China and is the largest grain production area and the most important potato production province in China. Grain output has almost doubled in the province in the last 10 years from 30 to 60 million tonnes. Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HAAS) was founded in 1956. It has 36 branch institutes around Heilongjiang province and 3230 staff, including over 500 senior researchers. The organisation works on a wide range of agricultural issues including soil, nutrition, environment, animals and a number of crops, including rice, maize, soybean, potato and wheat, with the longest potato research history in China. With the help of government financial support, HAAS recently built the largest crop demonstration park in China at 500 Ha. HAAS has a number of national and international collaborations and welcomes the opportunity to visit colleagues at the James Hutton Institute.
Di Liu is Party Group Secretary of Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HAAS) and a professor of husbandry specializing in pig genetic breeding in Northeast Agricultural University. She is a scientific expert for the National Modern Pig Industry Technology System of China. She has the following titles: National Outstanding Professional & Technical Personnel and National Agricultural Research Outstanding Talent. She is also the Director of the Chinese Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Association, Animal Genetic Breeding, Director of the Animal Genetic Markers Branch, Chief Expert of the Provincial Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Project of livestock systems. She achieved the second prize for the National Scientific and Technological Progress and the first prize for Heilongjiang Province Scientific and Technological Progress. She has managed many projects and published over 400 papers.