Scientists and Phd students from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), University of Leeds and the Indian Agriculture Research Institute have received a one-million pound grant from the UK government to develop sustainable, anti-parasitic crops through new bio-technologies. The crops will have to be new, parasite-resistant, sustainable and ecologically safe.
The Indian Institute of Science. From hindu.com
The programme is important as global crop losses to parasites are huge, estimated at potentially $125billion. UK and Indian scholars say the research will have great value for farmers in semi-arid peninsular and western India, where climate change is likely to have its largest impact.
Crops dying due to parasites affects farmers and ultimately consumers as it hits at growth, livelihood and food supply. Dryland farmers are the worst hit in India as unfavourable conditions sometimes don't permit them even hand-to-mouth living, let alone taking supplies to the market. Researchers from the three institutes will look at developing technologies that will help crops grow and sustain, particularly in dry areas where there is no other source of livelihood.
Throughout the research, there will be movement of Phd students between UK and India via projects. Students registered in the UK will gain first-hand insight and awareness of the need for translational and strategic research, and students from Indian institutes will benefit from training in the UK. This interaction will also help them develop their academic career.
Read more: Times of India