Groupe Roullier news : Innovation


Rice farming from Beijing to Saint-Malo – Questions for Bin Wang

Rice farming from Beijing to Saint-Malo – Questions for Bin Wang

Written by Groupe Roullier / published in Innovation

Bin Wang is a Chinese intern currently studying at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). He arrived in France in September 2017 and made improvements to rice cultivation in a closed environment  his specialty  under the responsibility of Mustapha Arkoun, Doctor in Plant Physiology, Nitrogen Project Manager.

We wanted to ask him a few questions in order to find out how his integration into the Groupe Roullier and Saint-Malo is going.

  • Would you tell us about your background?

My name is Bin Wang, I am from China, specifically from the capital – Beijing. In China, I study at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), which is located in Beijing.

I am currently doing a five-month internship within the Groupe Roullier as an agronomist. I came to Saint-Malo in September 2017 because I wanted to discover a new working culture and a new country. I had the opportunity to join the Groupe Roullier, and I am very pleased. 

  • What are your fields of study?

My field of study is agronomy, and I study everything related to the agrosystem. 

In addition, I am particularly interested in improving the efficiency of production in terms of nutrition for people – mainly with rice, which is a staple food in China. It is a way for me to improve production, both in terms of quality and quantity.

At the CMI, I am in charge of researching species such as rice and understanding the nutritional metabolism, particularly nitrogen in relation to environmental aspects. Of course, this research is related to my thesis subject, which brings me additional knowledge, allowing me to be very professional in my assignments.

The aim of this field of study is to improve the production of rice in a closed environment in order to increase production, to feed the growing Asian population, and to cope with the shortage of rice fields.

  • How was your integration into the Groupe Roullier?

This is the first time I have been to France or Europe. It's a real discovery for me, both professionally and culturally. This internship allows me to discover a culture completely different from the one I’m used to in China.

From a professional point of view, I am very happy to be able to work with quality equipment, which is available to us in the laboratories and greenhouses of the CMI. I can therefore conduct in-depth research, allowing us to be at the forefront of innovation. When I came to Saint-Malo, I didn’t expect to work with such tools, and so I go to work every morning with great pleasure.

I don’t find it difficult to live in a foreign country and in Saint-Malo. I haven’t experienced any problems in getting used to it. I particularly appreciate Brittany’s climate, which is milder than in Beijing, where currently the temperatures are colder. Since my arrival, I have had the opportunity to taste and really appreciate Breton and French gastronomy.

  • What activities do you get up to outside of work? Do you take advantage of time off to travel around Brittany?

During my time off, I like to learn about the latest scientific news related to my field of study. I enjoy reading scientific journals as this allows me to keep up with the latest research being carried out around the world.

But, of course, I have other activities outside of my job. I have taken some time since my arrival to visit Saint-Malo and its surroundings. It is a very beautiful city where you can breathe the fresh sea air, which is a big change for me from my daily life in Beijing, where I am always very busy. I had the opportunity to go to Dinard and Rennes, and also to enjoy the beach and taste traditional Breton cakes. It really is a pleasure to discover all these new things that I will be able to tell my relatives about.

  • In the long term, what is your career plan? Are you thinking about working in France?

After I submit my thesis at my university, I want to obtain my diploma, allowing me to engage professionally as an agronomist with the aim of finding solutions for future generations.

I want to go back to work in China, since it’s my home country and my family is there. I love France, but my field of study is related to the agronomic situation in China. I specialise in rice farming, as China is the world leader in rice production.

But I will hold onto unforgettable memories of France and of my experience with the Groupe Roullier and working alongside Dr. Mustapha Arkoun, thanks to which I have been able to improve my knowledge in the field of agronomy.