Deal of partnership signed to advance agricultural science

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Dec. 7: The government and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a 10-year collaboration to foster improved agriculture production and market systems in Nepal.

Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma and Director General of CIMMYT Bram Govaerts signed the MoU in the presence of Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr. Bedu Ram Bhusal amidst a function held at the ministry on Wednesday.

The partnership solidifies the commitment of both entities to enhance agricultural science and contribute to the sustainable development of Nepal's agricultural sector. CIMMYT, a non-profit international public organisation headquartered in Mexico, has long been entrusted with the critical mission of fostering agricultural advancements globally.

Through collaborative research, partnerships and training, the CIMMYT helps build and strengthen a new generation of national agricultural research and extension services in maize and wheat-growing nations.

Addressing the function, Secretary Dr. Sharma said that the new step of partnership with the CIMMYT would enhance food security in Nepal by increasing the productivity of crops, especially maize and wheat. “The 10-year duration of the MoU reflects the commitment of both the government and CIMMYT to achieving lasting impacts in the agricultural sector,” he said.

The government of Nepal and CIMMYT look forward to a decade of fruitful collaboration, leveraging their combined expertise to make significant steps in advancing agricultural science and fostering positive change in the nation's farming communities, he said.

Through collaborative research, knowledge exchange, and the implementation of innovative technologies, the partnership aims to address the evolving challenges faced by Nepal's farmers and contribute to Nepal's Agriculture Development, said Director General of CIMMYT Bram Govaerts.

He said that the MoU was not a formality; the collaboration between the two institutions would support increasing agricultural productivity and address agricultural problems through research and innovation.

This MoU further solidifies and expands upon this long-standing relationship, providing a framework for joint efforts and shared goals over the next decade, he said.

Key areas of focus include the introduction of improved maize and wheat, facilitation of agricultural mechanisation, development of digital soil map of Nepal and digitally enabled seed information system, human resource strengthening, climate change resilience, integrated soil fertility management, initiatives promoting gender equality and social inclusion and agriculture policy support, among others.

The partnership solidifies the commitment to collaborative efforts in Nepal, particularly with the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) since its establishment in 1991.

CIMMYT's engagement with Nepali dates back to the 1960s when informal collaborations began through visits and scientist training. The official partnership was formalised in 1985, and since then, CIMMYT has been actively engaged in initiatives aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity and resilience in Nepal. Over the years, CIMMYT has played a pivotal role in Nepal's agricultural development through various collaborative initiatives.

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