The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and India’s National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) have formalized a partnership to work together in livestock genetics and animal health research programs for human and livestock development in India.
Iain Wright, deputy director of ILRI, and Subeer S. Majumdar, director of NIAB, signed a memorandum of understanding between the two institutes following a meeting at the ILRI campus in Nairobi on 20 August 2019. The new partnership will contribute to reducing poverty, better natural resource management and improving food and nutrition security in India. ‘I believe in strong partnerships,’ said director Majumdar, who added that NIAB has a mission to apply science and research innovations in improving animal health and productivity. ‘We look forward to working with ILRI,’ he added.
With an estimated population of 1.2 billion people, India has the largest livestock inventory in the world (200 million cattle) which accounts for 32% of the world’s cattle and is the sixth-largest producer of poultry meat and the third-largest producer of eggs with 180 million eggs produced each day. In 2017, India alone also accounted for 20% of the total world milk production of 849 million metric tonnes. The country is harnessing opportunities for human development from livestock and the government earlier this year created the independent Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries to guide the sector’s development.
Wright noted that NIAB has grown into an institute conducting high-quality animal biotechnology research with state-of-the-art facilities. ‘We at ILRI see exciting opportunities to work with NIAB scientists on a range of topics on animal health and genetics for the benefit of livestock farmers in India and in other countries,’ he said.
NIAB is an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology of India. The organization aims to harness novel and emerging biotechnologies to improve animal health and productivity with the primary research focus on animal genetics, genomics, transgenic technologies, reproductive biotechnology, bioinformatics and nutrition enrichments.
At the meeting, ILRI program leaders presented ongoing research with partners on vaccine development and livestock genetics and learned about the projects NIAB scientists are undertaking to address similar challenges in India. The two institutes will hold further discussions to identify specific areas of collaboration in vaccines, animal disease diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance, livestock genetics and capacity development.
For additional information read more on NIAB
Watch Subeer Majumdar explain the vision of NIAB.