Expanding collaborative research in South AsiaJune 15, 2010 at 5:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Plans have been outlined for scaling up collaborative research in South Asia, following a visit to ICARDA headquarters, 17-21 May, by a delegation of scientists and decision makers from India and Bangladesh. The delegation – comprising representatives of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the Directorate of Wheat Research, the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (India), the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture, and the Pulses and Oilseeds Research Centre in Bangladesh – was accompanied by Dr Ashutosh Sarker, Coordinator of ICARDA’s South Asia and China Regional Program.
Dr Mahmoud Solh, Director General; Dr Maarten van Ginkel, DDG-Research; Dr Kamil Shideed, ADG, International Cooperation and Communications; and other senior staff participated in broad-ranging discussions with the visitors. Progress on ongoing collaborative projects was reviewed; and specific areas identified for further work. In India, these include improvement of water productivity and irrigation efficiency; surveillance of wheat rust diseases; improvement of wheat end-use quality, stress tolerance, and water-use efficiency; improvement of both food and malting barley; and training in the use of FIGS (focused identification of germplasm strategy) for more effective use of genetic resources. Potential research areas in Bangladesh include improvement of important pulse crops – lentil, kabuli chickpea and grasspea – and training of young researchers on pulse breeding, pathology, genetic resources conservation, impact assessment and project development.
India and Bangladesh are key partners in ICARDA’s efforts; and the delegation expressed their appreciation of the Center’s support for research and capacity development. The proposed research plan will be more fully developed, jointly by all partners, creating a comprehensive framework to develop and scale out new agricultural technologies for dry areas throughout South Asia.