International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU), Nepal to strengthen research and academic cooperation in the agriculture and forestry sectors of Nepal.
The MoU was signed by Dr. Matthew Morell, IRRI Director-General, and Prof. Sharada Thapaliya, AFU Vice-Chancellor.
Aims of the MoU—
According to Prof. Sharada, the MoU aims at fortifying teaching and research capabilities in terms of natural resource management and food security issues.
The MoU will initiate collaborative relations between AFU and other government agencies, NGOs, private organizations, industries and key stakeholders.
“This major new initiative will help Nepal achieve its development goals primarily through training the next generation of researchers and agriculturists,” said Dr. Nafees Meah, IRRI Regional Representative for South Asia.
The MoU is envisioned to produce relevant and scientific information to solve current challenges in the agriculture and forestry sectors of Nepal and implement policies backed by research conclusions.
Nearly 60% of the Nepalis are directly engaged in agriculture, making it the primary source of subsistence and livelihood in the country.
Rice is the most important staple food crop and agricultural product in Nepal. Around 30 million Nepalis depend on rice for 53% of cereal consumption and 30% of protein intake.
Rice contributes 12% of the nation’s GDP and 21% of Agriculture GDP.
Dr. Morell said that the MoU will enhance livelihoods, nullify poverty and proliferate food security by boosting the Nepal-IRRI Collaborative Five-Year Workplan.
Earlier in June 2018, the Nepali Government has signed a Collaborative Five-Year Workplan (2018-2023) with the IRRI to strengthen its rice sector.
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