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IRRI and ICAR to further promote research and development on rice genetic resources

Dr. Sudhanshu Singh, director of ISARC, and Dr. Gyanendra Pratap Singh, director of ICAR - NBPGR, at the IRRI India Office in New Delhi. (photo)

New Delhi, India- 06 December  2023 -  The International Rice Research Institute(IRRI) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research - National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBPGR) signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to promote cooperation in research and development work related to rice genetic resources. 

The LoI was signed by Sudhanshu Singh, Director of IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC), and Gyanendra Pratap Singh, Director of ICAR-NBPGR at the IRRI India Office in New Delhi. 

Under the agreement in principle, IRRI and ICAR will promote cooperation in the evaluation of Indian rice germplasm for nutritional traits and major agronomic attributes, exchange of high-value rice germplasm including specialty rice, capacity building and sharing of laboratory and field facilities, and development and implementation of collaborative research projects on mutually agreed areas.

The LoI is within the purview of the existing Memorandum of Agreement between ICAR and IRRI of 1974. Additionally, it aligns with the IRRI-ICAR Work Plan  2023 to 2027 signed by the respective director generals on 19 April 2023. 

“Under the work plan signed in April this year, NBPGR and IRRI have come together with common objectives to promote and accelerate progress in the joint evaluation of Indian rice germplasm for high-value traits and major agronomic attributes.”  Dr. Gyanendra Pratap Singh stated. “I am hopeful that this agreement will also facilitate international academic and research linkages, and provide mutual support for access to research and training in various disciplines of agricultural research.” 

Dr. Sudhanshu Singh explained the implementation of the cooperative strategy under the agreement. 

“On behalf of IRRI, I would first acknowledge the support and cooperation that we have received from the Government of India over time,” he said. “This LoI will surely deepen our existing relationship with ICAR. ISARC is actively engaged in the development of grain and nutritional quality profiles of high-quality traditional rice, nutritional quality improvement in rice, research on low-glycemic index rice, heavy metal contamination, rice value chain aspects, and rice-based product development. 

“I am confident that today’s agreement will help both organizations to venture into new possibilities and opportunities to boost research and development of rice germplasm augmentation and utilization in India, “ Dr. Sudhanshu Singh added.

Also present at the ceremony were ICAR-NBPGR Officials, Dr. Rakesh Singh, head of the Division of Genomic Resources, and Dr. Raj Kumar Chauhan, principal scientist at the Division of Genomic Evaluation. 

Attending from IRRI were Drs. Uma Shankar Singh, advisor for Asia and Africa Research & Partnerships, Vijaya Marthi, country coordinator,  Saurabh Badoni, scientist; . Anthony Fulford, soil scientist, Sheetal Sharma, senior soil scientist;  and C.V Prakashan, social scientist.