Canada trip delivers promise of new funding and new collaboration

October 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ICARDA Director General Dr Mahmoud Solh welcomed at IDRC HQ in Ottowa by Dr David Malone IDRC President (right) and Dr Jean Lebel, IDRC Vice President (left)

New research and development work with partners in Canada is set to be the product of what’s been described as an excellent and productive trip to Ottawa by ICARDA’s Director General Dr Mahmoud Solh. ICARDA Board Member Mr John Coleman kindly organized the visit and accompanied Dr Solh in his delegation. At a meeting with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) it was made clear by Dr David Malone (IDRC President) and Dr Jean Lebel (Vice President IDRC) that they would like to strengthen their research partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa. IDRC sees ICARDA as among the strongest research institutions in the region and IDRC is already an important funder for the Dryland Systems CRP 1.1. The IDRC meeting also discussed specific areas for future collaborative research, including food security and climate change. Dr Solh visited the AAFC (Department of Agriculture and Agrifood of Canada) experimental farm near Ottawa and met with Dr. Gilles Saindon, the Director General for Research, Development and Technology for the central Canada region and Mr. Robert Patzer, Director of International Engagement.

AAFC scientists presented overviews of their research and identified concrete possibilities for cooperation. One example was the dry land area provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta which hold opportunities for collaboration in lentil and other crops. Discussions were also initiated on a MOU with AAFC to serve as a framework for collaboration.

At a meeting with Michael Callan, the Director of CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) North Africa and Middle East Program, Dr Solh discussed opportunities for partnership in the region. They particularly examined the possible CIDA participation in ICARDA’s annual regional coordination meeting for the Nile Valley and SSA Regional Program.

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