Several donors have teamed up for an innovative research initiative that aims to improve food security in developing countries.
The U.K. Department for International Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Indian Department of Biotechnology have contributed US$32 million toward the Sustainable Crop Production Research for International Development Initiative. The project aims to back “high-quality basic and strategic biological and biotechnological research” that can help boost the production of major food crops in the developing world within the next five to 10 years.
The U.K. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which oversees the program, is inviting researchers to submit proposals for SCPRID funding. The new initiative will fund teams from the UK, India and developing countries to work on research projects to improve the sustainability of vital food crops. The research will particularly investigate ways to improve the disease-resistance and stress-tolerance of staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Funding will be awarded to teams that can show that their research can improve food security and increase sustainable crop yields within the next 5-10 years.
The application period ends March 31, 2010. More information on the grant competition can be found here.