29) ICRISAT Signs an MOU with NCPGR (4 April 2001)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, and India's National Centre for Plant Genome Research (NCPGR), located at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Campus, New Delhi, recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) to implement a collaborative project on "Molecular marker development, tagging of chickpea genotypes against abiotic stresses and cloning of R gene against fusarium wilt."

Chickpea is an important source of calories and protein for the poor across Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. The goal of ICRISAT researchers is to find useful genetic markers that can accelerate the progress in chickpea breeding for difficult traits like drought and disease resistance.

These traits will help smallholder farmers cope with the natural stresses that they can't afford to overcome through irrigation and chemical sprays – while protecting the environment from the risks of these external inputs.

The 3-year (2001 to 2003) collaborative project will be funded by the NCPGR with a proposed budget of US$ 32,000 for ICRISAT's research activities.

As part of the project, a PhD student from JNU has already begun his studies at ICRISAT under the guidance of Dr. Jagdish Kumar, ICRISAT Chickpea Breeder. ICRISAT's key collaborator in this effort is Prof. Asis Datta, Vice Chancellor, JNU, who is renowned in the field of biotechnology in India.

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