Biotech Updates

President of India visits International Research Center

December 3, 2010

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, visited the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) which is located in Aleppo, Syria. This is the first visit of the president to an international agricultural research center. She noted that the Indian government and ICARDA share the same goals of strengthening agricultural development.

"India has one of the world's strongest research programs in agriculture," said Dr. Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA's Director General. "This strategic partnership combines Indian know-how with ICARDA's strengths – which include successful research and strong partnerships in more than 35 countries." Joint research projects include biodiversity conservation, crop breeding, soil and water management, livestock production and pasture management, economic policy and other areas.

The president, together with Shri Bharatsinh Solanki, Minister of State; two Members of Parliament – Shri K.E. Ismail (Rajya Sabha) and Shri Vijay Bahadur Singh (Lok Sabha) – and Shri V.P. Haran, Indian Ambassador to Syria, had a tour of fields and laboratories. She expressed her special attention for ICARDA's genebank, which holds the world's biggest collection of dryland crops. Each year, hundreds of genotypes from this genebank are sent to various research organizations to be utilized for various plant breeding programs.