Expanding ICARDA-Turkey partnerships

March 31, 2011 at 6:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

H.E. Dr Mehmet Eker (right) receives an ICARDA plaque from Dr Mahmoud Solh, honoring his leadership in agricultural development

H.E. Dr Mehmet Mehdi Eker, Turkey’s Minister of Agriculture, visited ICARDA headquarters on 24 March, to review ongoing ICARDA-Turkey collaboration and identify opportunities to expand research partnerships. The Minister was accompanied by Dr Masum Burak, Director General of Turkey’s General Directorate of Agricultural Research and member of ICARDA’s Board of Trustees; leading scientists from Turkey; and Dr Mesut Keser, head of ICARDA’s Turkey office.

Turkey’s large, highly skilled national research program plays an important role for the entire region. For example, the country hosts the International Winter

Greenhouse experiments on wheat rust disease. Left to right: Dr Nazari Kumarsi, plant pathologist, H.E. Dr Mehmet Eker, Dr Mahmoud Solh, Dr Masum Burak

Wheat Improvement Program in partnership with ICARDA and CIMMYT; and provides resources for research on food legumes and other areas. Discussions with ICARDA scientists and management identified several opportunities to build on Turkey-ICARDA synergies. The collaboration on wheat and food legumes will be expanded. New projects could also be initiated on climate change adaptation and on drought tolerance, in partnership with the Konya Drought Management Center.

“Turkey’s research centers are able and willing to contribute to agricultural development in West Asia, Central Asia and North Africa,” the Minister said. “ICARDA plays a catalytic role, bringing together institutions from different countries. We are happy to be part of these partnerships.”

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