06 December 2012
Plant scientists at NIAB are playing a leading role in a new multi-agency research project to improve the sustainability of vital food crops in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
NIAB is involved in four of the 11 recently announced Sustainable Crop Production Research for International Development (SCPRID) projects which aim to develop staple crops better able to resist pests or thrive in harsh environmental conditions. The four projects are:
The SCPRID programme is a unique £16 million initiative, involving over 40 international research organisations, harnessing bioscience to improve food security in developing countries. It is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), together with (through a grant awarded to BBSRC) the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of India’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Each SCPRID project includes at least one partner from the UK and one from a developing nation.
“Our central involvement in the SCPRID programme recognises the expanding plant genetic research capabilities at NIAB and reinforces our continuing commitment to support developing world agriculture,” said NIAB CEO Dr Tina Barsby, who recently visited Uganda and Tanzania as part of the BioSciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) project, which promotes better understanding of developments in agriculture and biosciences throughout Africa.
“We’ve been collaborating with African universities and plant science institutes for many years, and will shortly be announcing new plans to expand this programme even further through our NIAB Innovation Farm initiative. NIAB’s mission is to support improved crop production at home and overseas, and we are committed to bringing together UK and African researchers, funders and industry seeking to use plant science to address the global challenges presented by a growing population and a changing climate,” says Dr Barsby.
The Sustainable Crop Production Research for International Development (SCPRID) programme
To download a summaries of all projects being funded by the SCPRID initiative, click here. SCPRID projects with NIAB involvement include:
UK collaborator: NIAB
Overseas collaborators: University of Free State and CenGen Pty, South Africa, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute-Njoro, Kenya and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico
UK collaborator: NIAB
Overseas collaborators: NCRRI and International Centre of Tropical Agriculture, Uganda
UK collaborators: John Innes Centre, NIAB, the Sainsbury Laboratory and the University of East Anglia
Overseas collaborators: Aarhus University, Denmark, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ethiopia, Kenyan Agricultural University, Kenya, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Punjab Agricultural University, India
UK collaborators: NIAB and University of Cambridge
Overseas collaborators: IRRI, Philippines, AfricanRice, Tanzania and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India
BioSciences for Farming in Africa
A programme specifically designed to encourage informed discussion about the potential application of biosciences and genetics for farming in Africa, funded primarily by the John Templeton Foundation. For more information go to http://www.b4fa.org/