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Crop Biotech Update

DBT Calls for Sustainable Crop Production Research Proposals

February 18, 2011

The Sustainable Crop Production Research for International Development program that aims to support high-quality basic and strategic biotechnological research to improve the production of major food crops in developing countries invites proposals from all eligible institutions. The program is a joint multi-national initiative of the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Department for International Development (DFID), together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in the USA, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of India's Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The program will focus 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. Emphasis will be placed on the staple crops including rice, wheat, maize, sorghum and cassava. Proposals will also be considered for other food crops that are grown widely and where the proposed research has the potential to make a widespread contribution to the alleviation of hunger and poverty.

In India, the program is open to all researchers who are eligible for DBT funding, including those employed by institutes of the ICAR, universities, other recognized research institutions, or non-governmental organizations with relevant scientific expertise. Proposals initiated and led by researchers based at institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia would be particularly welcomed.

For more details on the program visit http://dbtindia.nic.in/docs/IndoUKJointCall.doc and inquiries may be addressed to Amanda Read at dfid.bbsrc@bbsrc.ac.uk Last date for proposal submission is March 31, 2011.