NUI Galway Signs Research and Education Alliance with (ICRISAT)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

NUI Galway has entered into a Research & Education Alliance with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). ICRISAT is headquartered in India with a range of research stations in Africa. This Research Alliance will combine efforts, expertise and capacity in order to advance Plant and AgriBiosciences research for poverty reduction in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa). The Alliance will strengthen collaborations between research groups within the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Cluster and scientists in ICRISAT. The Alliance will conduct research on staple crops of the poor to improve smallholder productivity and food security.

The Director General of ICRISAT, Dr. William Dar recently met with NUI Galway President Dr. James Browne to co-sign the inter-institutional Memorandum of Understanding between NUI Galway and ICRISAT. Dr. Dar has a PhD in Horticulture (Crop Physiology) and has served as Presidential Adviser for Rural Development and Minister of Agriculture in the Philippines prior to joining ICRISAT. Before this, he was Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), and Director of the Philippines’ Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under the Department of Agriculture (DA). Dr. Dar has been Director General of ICRISAT since 2000.

Welcoming the inter-institutional agreement, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, “This significant partnership between NUI Galway and ICRISAT will, I believe, further advance the existing strong research links between our two organisations. Our researchers will collaborate with ICRISAT staff to help some of the world’s poorest countries to improve their agricultural output, ultimately helping to reduce hunger and poverty in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Dr. Dar further stated that “NUI Galway has a range of research expertise in the fields of Plant and AgriBiosciences which are highly synergistic with ICRISAT’s scientific programmes and humanitarian mandate. This MoU builds on the existing research links between NUI Galway and ICRISAT in order to forge a more powerful research alliance to advance food security and sustainability goals in the dryland tropics.” He emphasised that the Research Alliance will also help advance the goals of Irish Aid in relation to the Hunger Task Force recommendations to improve smallholder productivity and reduce malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.

For further information contact Professor Charles Spillane, Head of Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Cluster, NUI Galway 091 494148. Email: charles.spillane@nuigalway.ie

Web links:

www.icrisat.org
www.nuigalway.ie/botany/
www.plantagbiosciences.org

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