FOSRIN: Food security through ricebean research in India and Nepal

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The partners

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CAZS-NR logoCAZS Natural Resources, Bangor University.

CAZS-NR specialise in research, teaching and consultancy, with the emphasis on the drier rainfed agricultural areas of the developing world. We have world-wide experience in participatory variety selection and plant breeding, and natural resource management, including desertification, socio-economics and agri-environment projects. CAZS-NR managed the UK DFID Plant Sciences Research Programme (PSRP) for 15 years, currently co-ordinate an INCO project in Africa (INDIGENOVEG, a co-ordinated action with 14 partners), and recently completed two phases of another (MAPOSDA) in southern Africa and in S Asia. We have also coordinated another INCO project in India and Pakistan, and have strong links with Universities, NARS and NGOs in the region.

With 16 specialists, 8 support staff and associates from other parts of the university, our expertise includes plant and crop physiology and agronomy, including key technologies such as 'on-farm' seed priming, the development of participatory (client-oriented) plant breeding and agronomic techniques, and analysis of genetic diversity by molecular markers. The project staff have long experience in the use of participatory and client-oriented techniques for crop improvement and in agronomy, in particular through many successful projects in India and Nepal with the Asian partners funded by the UK DFID and others.

Laboratory facilities include equipment for molecular biology and biophysical analyses of plant tissues and cells. The CAZS-NR office in Kathmandu, Nepal (Dr KD Joshi) acts as regional coordinator for S Asia to ensure smooth running of the project.

CAZS-NR staff involved are Dr Philip Hollington, the Coordinator, Prof John Witcombe, and Dr Dave Harris. Dr Krishna Joshi is regional coordinator, based at our office in Kathmandu.

CAU home pageDept. of Agricultural Economics, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU), (Germany)

The University of Kiel was formally inaugurated on 5 October 1665 and is now the largest employer in the city, and has expanded steadily since 1945, catering in 2005 for over 20,000 students in eight faculties. Through a world-wide net of international relations CAU contributes to the global alliance of science, and its scientists and institutes participate in a number of international co-operations. Furthermore, the CAU is proud of its over 40 co-operation agreements throughout the world as well as of its 200 European Socrates/ Erasmus agreements. Not only 2,000 international students from more than 100 countries but also 400 to 500 foreign scientists enrich its academic and cultural life.

Over 350 years, CAU has given impetus and set new standards in many fields. Members of staff have included a number of Nobel prize winners. Some of the many recipients of this award to have taught at Kiel were Philipp Lenard (Physics 1905), Max Planck (Physics 1918) and Otto Diels (Chemistry 1950).

The Department of Agricultural Economics is the focal agricultural economics research and teaching unit of the Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences of CAU. Major research areas are information and innovation economics and management, agricultural and food marketing, agricultural policy analysis, agribusiness management, farm management, and agricultural production economics. The Department has an excellent national and international research reputation. Staff comprises six professors and directors, two senior research fellows, four postdoctoral economists, and more than 30 post-graduate research staff. Library access and computer facilities are excellent, clerical and research support are adequate.

CAU staff involved in FOSRIN are Prof RAE Mueller and Prof M von Oppen, as well as a postgraduate PhD student, Ms Doreen Buergelt.

UIB home pageDepartment of Geography, Universitat i Bergen, Norway

The University of Bergen, established in 1946 and with about 16,000 students, and 2,500 faculty and staff, is Norway's International University. Cooperation with developing countries is one of the two main focuses, and every year it welcomes large numbers of foreign students and researchers, many of whom are sponsored by European exchange programmes. The main areas of international co-operation involve collaborating with universities in developing countries in the areas of health, social sciences (particularly poverty), and water and resource management. The overall aim is to initiate, facilitate and conduct relevant research, to encourage local competence building and to support the development of research facilities in these countries.

Students from all over the world, and, in particular, developing countries are offered masters and doctoral training. In international health, the UiB has developed a variety of areas of expertise including work in nutrition, leprosy, immunology, and vaccination. Many of projects in this area are inter-disciplinary in nature, involving many different departments at the university. Another major area of international cooperation is in water. The efficient and sustainable use of water resources is of critical importance in many parts of the world. Indeed, the issue of water management and the politics of sharing resources between countries is expected to lead to escalating conflicts in many parts of the world in the future. UiB is involved in collaborative projects dealing with water management and resources in various locations around the world.

The Department of Geography at University of Bergen has a long commitment to research on economic and social development in Nepal and India and is involved in several collaborative projects with Tribhuvan University and NARC in Nepal and several Indian Universities. Farming systems has a central place in the research tradition.

Within UiB, Dr Peter Andersen is the project contact.

GVT home pageCrops Research Component, Gramin Vikas Trust, Dahod, Gujarat, India (GVT): Dr JP Yadavendra

The Gramin Vikas Trust (GVT) is a national level NGO; the organization executes two DFID and Government of India projects: the WIRFP (Western India Rainfed Farming Project) and EIRFP (Eastern India Rainfed Farming Project). GVT is working with the indigenous (tribal) populations in these regions for the alleviation of poverty by livelihood enhancement and community empowerment. The WIRFP covers seven districts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, while EIRFP covers nine districts of Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. GVT has initiated a novel approach of collaborative research with SAUs to generate and disseminate appropriate technologies for resource-poor farmers. Dr Yadavendra was a senior legume breeder with GAU and is now coordinating GVT's collaborative research efforts. GVT has a long experience in participatory approaches for diagnosis of rural poverty and farming systems. This experience, and already existing data compiled by GVT, will be used to facilitate the work of the socio-economist. Dr Yadavendra will use his extensive experience in legume breeding and germplasm characterisation, legume agronomy and participatory research to supervise the germplasm evaluation and characterisation in western India and to coordinate these activities in northern and eastern India.

Dr JP Yadavendra in GVT is the country coordinator for India.

Indian State Agricultural Universities (SAUs)

The SAUs form part of the Indian national agricultural research system. All 34 SAUs are involved in teaching and research in applied agricultural sciences and in agricultural extension, and the consortium contains two SAU partners. In both cases the SAU runs at least one farm science centre (KVK) with direct responsibility for extension of new agricultural technologies to local farmers. The universities take part in the ICAR funded All India Coordinated Crop Improvement Projects (AICCIPs) that involve plant breeding and multilocational varietal and agronomic trials. Both of the principal investigators are senior academics in their departments and actively involved in teaching, research and extension and in AICCIPs.

CSKHPAU home pageFodder Production and Grassland Management Centre, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University (CSKHPAU): Dr Naveen Kumar

Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (now Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya) was established in November, 1978.  The College of Agriculture, established in May, 1966 formed the nucleus of new farm University. The University is situated at Palampur at an elevation of 1250 metres, and has the mandate of imparting education in agriculture and allied sciences, furthering advancement of learning in hill agriculture by research and undertaking extension of scientific knowledge to the farmers of Himachal Pradesh.

Research by the faculty of Agriculture is aimed to properly utilize land, water and biotic resources and take advantage of the numerous ecological niches which are favourable for a range of speciality/off season crops. The aim is also to find solutions to the challenges and problems faced by the agricultural community of the state. The University try to keep a constant watch on the problems which are likely to become a limiting factor in increasing productivity as a result of fast changing agricultural scenario. In particular, CSKHPAU has considerable expertise in agricultural systems relevant to the marginal, hill lands where ricebean finds a niche. The faculty has been instrumental in identifying/developing 13 high yielding varieties of different of crops suitable for cultivation in the four agroclimatic zones or for different farming situations in the state.

The university has been involved in previous international cooperation, including a multinational project funded by IRRI to assess the sustainability of rice-rice and rice-wheat systems.

Dr Naveen Kumar leads FOSRIN in CSKHPAU, and brings not only local expertise but specific knowledge of ricebean to the project.

AAU home page (slow)Dept. of Agronomy, Assam Agricultural University (AAU)

AAU conducts research on commodities, natural resources and development to meet the diverse needs of the farming community in Assam State, which has six agro-climatic zones each with a Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), as well as six commodity research stations. The University aims to develop economically viable and sustainable crop production technologies which can be adopted by farmers. Current efforts include varietal identification/development of major crops for different agro-ecological situations, development of production technologies for field and horticultural crops, aromatic and medicinal plants, soil and water management, cropping and farming system, integrated nutrient management, integrated pest management, post-harvest technology and biotechnology. The University transfers new technology to the extension services, working closely through the AICCIP on forage crops. The headquarters of the Directorate of Extension Education is in Jorhat, where the project is based, and will provide direct access to farmers.

Dr Seuji Neog is the FOSRIN representative in AAU.

NARC home pageNepal Agricultural Research Council, Kathmandu, Nepal (NARC)

NARC is Nepal's apex body for agricultural research, with the ultimate goal of poverty alleviation with sustainable growth of agriculture production through the development of appropriate technologies. It was established in 1991 with the institutional facilities of the then national Agricultural Research and Services Centre (NARSC) which had been working as a prime agricultural research organization in Nepal since 1985 under the Ministry of Agriculture. NARC was established as an autonomous organization under the "Nepal Agricultural Research Council Act - 1991" to develop an efficient, effective and dynamic agriculture research system in Nepal to uplift the economic level of the people by agricultural research.

NARC's objectives are to conduct high level studies and researches on various aspects of agriculture; identify the existing problems in agriculture and find out measures to solve them; and to assist the government in the formulation of agricultural policies and strategies. This requires high level research on various fields of agriculture in line with national agricultural policies, the prioritization of studies and researches to be conducted, the provision of research and consultancy services to clients, the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of agricultural research activities in Nepal and the documentation of research activities. NARC has access to 4 Regional Research stations and 18 smaller Agricultural Research Stations in different parts of Nepal. It administers research programmes in 14 different commodities, including grain legumes. NARC currently has 2008 approved positions including scientists, technicians and administrative and finance staff.

Within the Plant Breeding and Seed group, there is an awareness of the need to adopt multi-disciplinary approach in generating technologies. This includes agri-environment based testing, cooperation between the formal and informal sectors in variety testing, and ensuring the use of well-adapted local material. NARC recognise the need for an appropriate dissemination system be introduced to popularize the developed technologies i.e. frequent meeting of researchers with extension agents and farmers, publication, press release etc, and for a common platform (policy level, working level), where research and extension workers can come together and discuss the policy and technical issues to solve farmers, clients problems.

Dr Jwala Bajracharya is the FOSRIN representative in NARC, and will be working on molecular biodiversity.

LI-BIRD home pageLocal Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development, Kaski, Nepal (LI-BIRD)

Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) is a non-profit making, non-governmental organisation (NGO) which was established in October 1995 and has its headquarter in Pokhara, Nepal. It is registered in the District Administration Office, Kaski and affiliated with the Social Welfare Council in Kathmandu. It is committed to capitalise on local initiatives for a sustainable management of renewable natural resources and to improve the livelihoods of the people of Nepal. LI-BIRD strives to develop and maintain active links with local, national and international institutions in achieving its objectives.

LI-BIRD's goal is to create and increase opportunities for the sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity that reduce poverty, and to improve the livelihoods of the resource poor and marginal people across Nepal through participatory research and development. They capitalise on local initiatives which deal with the conservation and utilisation of biodiversity for sustainable development through participatory research and development programmes. These include efforts to improve the quality of life of the resource poor through income generating activities and increased food and nutrition security with an emphasis on equity, gender and environmental issues; efforts to create awareness, influence policy interventions and strengthen networks and partnerships which influence the conservation and utilisation of biodiversity in Nepal; and provision of training and professional services to personnel involved in biodiversity, research and development.

Li-BIRD emphasise a participatory approach to the development, dissemination and scaling up of technologies, encouraging and vauing farmers' initiative, knowledge and innovation in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects. Networking with diverse partners and stakeholders at different levels, from grassroots to national and international, is an important element. LI-BIRD's main partners include farming communities and Community Based Organisations (CBOs), whom we work closely with in our field-based projects. LI-BIRD also works closely with Government line agencies, NARC, INGOs, NGOs and with private entrepreneurs and national and international academic institutions.

Programme Foci include Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management; Participatory Technology Development; Livelihood, Community Development and Poverty reduction; Dissemination, Awareness, Advocacy and Policy (DAAP) and Training. LI-BIRD work through multidisciplinary/ interdisciplinary projects that reflect the programme foci. Since its inception, LI-BIRD has completed over 2 dozens projects. Currently, it has 22 on-going projects in parts of 16 districts of Nepal. Funds come from national and international sources of all kinds, from institutes and companies to universities and donor agencies who work within and outside of the country. They also generatefunds through activities such as the production and sale of seeds, laboratory services and membership fees from our general members.

In LI-BIRD, Dr Pratap Shrestha leads FOSRIN, and is assisted by Mr Resham Gautam


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