UASB and IRRI sign research collaboration, membership in BIC initiative

The University Of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore (UASB), one of the premier agricultural universities in India, recently entered into a partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for scientific and technical collaboration in rice research, and will also become a member of the institute’s new Bio-Innovation Center (BIC) initiative.

Rice is the primary food staple for India, and its production is the main source of income and livelihood for millions of smallholder farmers and rice value-chain actors in the country. To make rice production more productive, nutritious, and resilient in the face of growing populations, natural resources scarcity, and climate change, key research, development, and innovation need to be accelerated to ensure food and nutrition security in the future.

Signed last 8 July 2021, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UASB and IRRI will encompass strengthened cooperation between the two institutions, with high priority given to the following areas: (i) mapping of stresses in rice-growing areas; (ii) development of improved rice varieties, improved rice nutritional value, better crop management practices, small and medium scale mechanization, digital technologies, and postharvest loss reduction; (iii) capacity building through training programs; and (iiii) sharing of post-graduate and doctoral research students for research and related activities.

UASB will work closely with IRRI via Bio-Innovation Center, a new initiative that allows private and public sector partners to leverage the institute’s world-class research infrastructure, expertise, and resources for the development or scaling up of research and innovation solutions. Depending on the terms of the agreement, members will have access to IRRI’s advanced technologies and facilities, integrated research support, regulatory and stewardship support, training and consulting services, and more. Learn more about the BIC initiative here.

During the signing, UASB Vice Chancellor Dr. S. Rajendra Prasad said the MOU should jumpstart international research on rice science to cater to the needs of the South Karnataka farmers and address the challenges they face. He further emphasized that work on this project needs to start immediately and prioritize the initiation of project activities. He asked Director of Research and Associate Director of Research GKVK from ZARS Mandya to work closely with the Director of Bio-Innovation Center of IRRI to make this partnership successful to help further the farmers and value chain partners.

“UASB is pleased to enter into this partnership for research collaboration with IRRI,” said Director of Research Dr. Y.G. Shadakshari. “IRRI has been a long-time partner of India in advancing rice research and production, and through this strengthened cooperation and the innovative BIC service provision, the university can enhance its human capacity, research capabilities, and technology development to boost agricultural education and innovations in the Karnataka region and India as a whole.”

“IRRI looks forward to its collaborative efforts with UASB to strengthen and transform food systems in India, ” said Dr. Gururaj Guddappa Kulkarni, Director of the IRRI Bio-Innovation Center. “As a top agricultural educational institution, UASB’s extensive reach and capacity in the region will help disseminate and catalyze innovations faster, accelerating impact for millions of farming families in India.”

The University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore (UASB) was established in 1963 as the first State Agricultural University in Karnataka, and today it is one of the leading institutions of higher learning in India. Offering courses in Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Agricultural Marketing & Cooperation, Forestry, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Biotechnology, and Food Science, UASB provides quality education, productive research, and effective dissemination of technology that is transforming the development of agriculture in Karnataka and India.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) aims to improve livelihoods and nutrition, abolishing poverty, hunger, and malnutrition among those who depend on rice-based agri-food systems. In doing so, IRRI’s work protects the health of rice farmers and consumers, and the environmental sustainability of rice farming in a world challenged by climate change. IRRI’s work promotes the empowerment of women and supports opportunities for youth in an equitable agri-food system. IRRI is a member of CGIAR.

(Republished from See original article here)