The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have renewed their partnership for collaborative research in livestock research to address poverty and safeguard food and nutritional security in India.
The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 28 November 2022 at the ILRI, South Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, for a new workplan that will guide research activities between 2023 and 2026. The new agreement follows the expiry, at the end of year, of the 2019-2022 agreement that was signed in early 2019.
Under the new agreement, both ICAR and ILRI will receive grants from the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) under Window – III for collaborative research-for-development projects in the country.
The new agreement was signed by Himanshu Pathak, Secretary, DARE, and director general of ICAR; and Jimmy Smith, director general of ILRI, in the presence of Aly Abousabaa, director general of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and regional director, Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), CGIAR; Temina Lalani Shariff, CGIAR regional director for South Asia; Bhupendra Nath Tripathi, deputy director general, Animal Sciences, ICAR; Habibar Rahman, ILRI regional representative for South Asia; J.P. Mishra, assistant director general (ADG), International Relations (IR), ICAR, and other dignitaries.
Pathak said the new MoU between will facilitate smooth implementation of shared projects in the next four years. He acknowledged the importance of livestock not only for India but also for the South Asia region and said that ICAR and ILRI would work closely to support new livestock development programs that have been initiated by the Government of India to improve the livelihood security of smallholder farmers.
Rahman shared details of projects that will be undertaken by the two organizations between 2023 and 2026. These will include the development of vaccines and diagnostics of exotic diseases (e.g., African Swine fever, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Rift Valley fever), a Pan India project on controlling methane emissions, initiatives to empower women in the livestock sector, and genomics research on the Red Jungle fowl.
Tripathi added that the new work plan would also encourage collaboration between ICAR and ILRI researchers and sharing of research findings to further advance India’s livestock sector. ILRI’s Smith praised the relationship between ICAR and ILRI saying the two organizations have had a long history of working together. He said that the priorities in the new work plan take advantage of the skills and expertise available in each of the organizations.