Zhiqian Ma and Ming Ni, general manager and vice-general manager respectively of Sano China for 10 years, spoke ahead of EuroTier China about the company’s extensive role in providing sustainable solutions for production boost to the global animal farming sectors.
EuroTier China will be held from 19-21 September in Qingdao, China. Zhiqian Ma and Ming Ni have studied in Germany - Ma Agricultural Science in Hohenheim and Ni Pedagogy in Stuttgart – and both then completed a trainee programme at Sano's founding site in Grafenwald before they returned to China.
Sano China is a launch partner for the EuroTier Worldwide Network of animal farming trade fairs.
What do you see as the major challenges globally for animal farming in the next five years?
Big data and artificial intelligence (AI) will be the driving forces for the next five years. Dealing with these engines responsibly and efficiently will certainly be one of the biggest challenges.
In general, agricultural enterprises in China are becoming larger. Well-trained personnel are in high demand and a scarce resource. Therefore, large farms not demand and need products of the highest quality, as well as individual concepts.
What is your vision for Sano China as you look forward to finding solutions to the challenges you mentioned?
Sano has developed SmartDairyNutrition (SDN) in order to use a large amount of data on the farms and to link isolated solutions with each other. SDN collects all feeding data from internal and external sources, links and interprets them and thus creates a holistic, digitised feeding and herd management system.
Network and relationships are essential in Chinese business. Sano, for example, has signed a cooperation agreement with the “Elite Cattlemen Programme.” The renowned agricultural professor Zhijun Cao of China Agricultural University founded the programme for more than 900 master students, doctoral students and graduates from the field of cattle husbandry. Under the slogan “Learning from the best,” the participants visit the founding site of Sano in Grafenwald every year.
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China have established cooperation for the further development of animal breeding. The Working Group of German Animal Breeders (ADT) serves the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture as the coordinator of the bilateral project. The project aims to develop selected Chinese pork farms into efficient demonstration farms using German genetics, German technology and German know-how. Sano is the main economic partner and supports the demonstration farm YIFA with its know-how in the areas of nutrition, husbandry and feed quality. The aim of the project is not only to increase efficiency but also to improve the quality of production while conserving resources. The company and the project celebrate great success and gain of experience.
Knowledge advantage, further education and development also play an important role in China. Sano China, for example, therefore offers numerous specialist training courses with international and national experts for employees and customers.
Additionally, Sano works with the two largest dairy farms in China.
What products do you have for animal farming and how do they help in the production boost?
Sano takes a holistic approach to cattle and pig nutrition throughout the company. Premixes and milk replacers of the highest quality go hand in hand with holistic advice and the Sano concept.
As a launch partner for the EuroTier Worldwide Network of animal farming trade fairs – what can you tell us about the transforming nature of the three markets that your company and EuroTier will be present in 2019 i.e. Brazil - South America; Abu Dhabi - Middle East, and Qingdao - China.
We notice the change in operating structures very clearly. Smaller farms are closing down and the remaining ones are getting bigger and bigger. Environmental protection and animal welfare also play an increasingly important role.
Can you elaborate on the role that expert technical know-how, a strong global network and innovation play in your company?
The triad of technical know-how, a global network and innovations form the basis for sustainable and efficient business at Sano.
The global network lives through various horizontal and vertical partnerships and alliances. In our product concepts, the highest quality, added value and customer benefit are core elements and guarantee a technical lead for our customers. Innovation and service ensure competitiveness.
What does the partnership between Sano and EuroTier mean to you and to your company?
The partnership between Sano and EuroTier has a long tradition. In Germany alone, Sano has been participating in EuroTier for many years. We see the expansion of the partnership for China and Abu Dhabi as a classic win-win situation.