11 January. Research funders from the UK and USA, and government departments in the UK and India have yesterday (11 January) announced a new £20M/$32M joint research initiative.
Up to £20M is available through the Sustainable Crop Production Research for International Development (SCPRID) initiative, which is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Department for International Development (DFID), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Biotechnology of India's Ministry of Science and Technology and Indian Council of Agricultural Research
The focus of the programme is on research to understand and counter the effects of abiotic (drought, temperature, salinity, nutrient deficiency etc) and biotic stresses (pathogens, pests, weeds) - including combinations of stresses - that constrain food crop production in developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Funding will be awarded to teams that can show that their research can improve food security and increase sustainable crop yields within the next 5-10 years.
The emphasis will be on the following staple crops: cassava, maize, rice, sorghum and wheat. A proportion (~15%) of the available funding will be allocated for work on other important crops but support is unlikely to be provided for research on 'niche' crops with the potential to enhance the livelihoods of only small groups of people.
For more details about the call and to view the call documents, please click click here. The deadline for submission of outline proposals is 31 March 2011.
Members of the BBSRC and Global Food Security research communities were in attendance at CropWorld 2010. Staff from BBSRC's Swindon office captured some of them on camera at the Global Food Security exhibit in the Science Zone. Watch the video for a taste of what was discussed.
BBSRC Chief Executive Professor Douglas Kell, Professor Maggie Gill, Chief Scientific Adviser - Rural Affairs and Environment, Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate, Scottish Government and Professor Maurice Moloney, Director of Rothamsted Research feature alongside researchers from UK universities and research institutes.
BBSRC coordinated the Global Food Security exhibit and speakers from the BBSRC and Global Food Security research community gave talks in both the congress and exhibition throughout the three days of CropWorld 2010. Global Food Security is a multi-agency programme bringing together the food-related research interests of Research Councils, Executive Agencies and Government Departments. The exhibit was the focal point for discussion about how the programme partners are working together to maximise their effectiveness and impact in meeting the food security challenge.