As part of global efforts to strengthen CIMMYT’s presence with key partners in important maize and wheat production regions, in recent weeks Tom Lumpkin met with high-level agricultural research directors and other CIMMYT friends in India and Pakistan.
In Pakistan during 25-28 June, discussions with Dr ME Tusneem, Chair of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), covered renewed collaboration on topics such as research to combat Ug99, the new strain of stem rust that is moving out of eastern Africa to threaten South Asia’s wheat crops. CIMMYT and Pakistan are also developing a new memorandum of understanding on partnerships and moves to reopen the center’s office in that country. Important contributions to the work and discussions have come from former CIMMYT wheat cytologist, Dr Mujeeb-Kazi, who led CIMMYT’s efforts to develop synthetic wheats, and Dr Mushtaq Gill, long-time CIMMYT partner and champion of zero-tillage in Pakistan.
In meetings in India during 30 June-01 July, it was agreed with Dr Mangala Rai, Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), to develop a new five-year workplan that will be signed at the CIMMYT BOT meeting in India in October. Lumpkin also visited with Dr Gautam, ICAR DDG for Crops; Dr Mishra, Director of the Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), and Dr Dass, director of the Directorate of Maize Research (DMR), and interacted with directors and staff of National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and the Directorate of Maize Research (DMR).
Lumpkin thanked Olaf Erenstein, CIMMYT agricultural economist and liaison officer in India, for organizing the visits and accompanying him, in representation of the center. “Olaf arranged very productive programs in Islamabad and Delhi that should greatly reinforce CIMMYT’s stature in South Asia,” he said.