Tackling food shortage, increasing crop yield and improving disease and drought resistance are key areas in an MoU signed by India’s department of biotechnology and a consortium led by the University of Cambridge.
The agreement inked on Wednesday seeks to establish a joint UK-India crop science programme. It is also aimed at enhancing collaborative research, promoting knowledge exchange, and supporting capacity building to develop resilience in food security, a university statement said.
The agreement was signed by Cambridge vice-chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz, K VijayRaghavan of India’s science and technology ministry, and Research Councils UK India director Nafees Meah on behalf of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Borysiewicz said: “This collaboration builds on the close links already established between leading researchers in the UK and India and is another great example of both countries’ commitment to growing our partnerships in translational and applied research.
“This collaboration will create opportunities for leading experts in the UK and India to come together to tackle global challenges in the areas of food security, crop science and biotechnology.”
The agreement foresees joint projects on the fundamental science underpinning yield enhancement, disease resistance and drought resistance; research into crop re-breeding; and the translation of fundamental research into sustainable agriculture practice.
It also contemplates the establishment of a joint Indo-UK Plant Science Centre in India, the statement added.