World leading plant science and conservation organisation of the UK, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), to further research on locally cultivated species that have developed various valuable traits over the years, including disease resistance, nutritional qualities and stress tolerance. Such neglected and underutilised species (NUS) will help improve productivity in agricultural, forestry and horticultural species.
The six-year collaboration will help implement joint research projects relevant to climate change, stress biology, high value agriculture and nutrition and conservation science. Topics include seed ecology and cold tolerance, characterisation of high value oilseeds, weed biology and seed dormancy, orchid seed biotechnology, fruit tree cryopreservation and seed banking. Both organisations will exchange staff, commit to co-supervise PhD and Masters students, and jointly organise annual training courses on aspects of plant biotechnology and conservation.
Prof. Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR, said:
This agreement is of very high importance to us, because it will open up new opportunities for scientists across the National Agriculture Research System including ICAR to collaborate with Kew. I anticipate not only increased dialogue between researchers of both the countries but also strong support for human resource development of young researchers and scientists.
Richard Deverell, Director, Kew, said:
I am delighted to add this important agreement to our network of international partnerships, which are so vital to the continuing relevance of Kew’s scientific and conservation work. I look forward with great enthusiasm to working with the ICAR and National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources over the coming years.
This first formal agreement between the ICAR / Department of Agricultural Research and Education and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, was signed on 13 Feb 2014.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is the world’s premier botanic garden with a remit to research the science of plants and to share knowledge on plant and fungal diversity. It helps safeguard the world’s plant life for future, promote sustainable use of plants and inspire an appreciation of plants and the environment. Kew Gardens, a UNESCO heritage site, is a non-departmental public body, receiving grant-in-aid from the UK Government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Kew’s Seed Conservation Department manages a global plant conservation network called the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, forestry, fisheries and animal sciences across the country.
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