Saturday, 9 January 2010

Irish Aid increases collaboration with Irish universities and international research centres to reduce global hunger

7 January 2010. The Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power T.D., announced significant funding for collaborative research between Irish universities and CGIAR international research centres to combat hunger.

In Ireland the research which Irish Aid is funding will play an important role in raising the profile of agricultural research for development within Irish universities and developing a cadre of scientists who are focused on development.

The funding will be dispersed as follows:
  • Nearly €150,000 will be allocated to support two PhD research projects on plant breeding which will be conducted at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture’s facilities in Uganda and Nigeria, the National University of Ireland, Galway, and University College Cork. The first will investigate approaches for improving productivity of East African Highland bananas, a major staple crop of the poor, grown by many small farmers. The second will conduct research to elevate vitamin A levels in varieties of yellow maize consumed by the poor. This will reduce malnutrition as vitamin fortification of staple crops enhances the health and nutrition of children.
  • In addition, just over €210,000 will be provided to each of the three following research institutes; the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA); the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); and to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Reference: Irish Aid Press release