An agreement between the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Assam Agricultural University (AAU) will boost joint endeavours to advance the livestock sector in Assam, a state in India’s far northeast corner known for its tea plantations, heavy rainfall and wildlife sanctuaries.
Habibar Rahman, ILRI’s regional representative for South Asia, and Apurba Chakraborty, director of research at AAU, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 30 July 2018 in Assam’s capital, Guwahati. The MoU is a joint agreement to conduct livestock research to reduce poverty and improve nutritional security among the largely rural Assamese population.
During the signing ceremony, Kamal Malla Bujarbaruah, AAU’s vice chancellor, said ILRI can play a major role in improving the state’s livestock sector. He specifically suggested that ILRI collaborate with Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) vocational training groups and the impact analysis work of the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) program.
Habibar then briefed the gathering on ILRI’s global and regional activities. He said the ILRI-AAU MOU will encourage collaboration between researchers from ILRI and AAU and further help develop capacity in livestock research through joint supervision of students doing post -graduate and doctoral research. Both organizations, Habibar said, would benefit from this collaboration and work closely together to improve the livelihoods of livestock keepers in the state.
In addition to AAU Vice-Chancellor Kamal Malla Bujarbaruah, in attendance were R N Goswami, dean of the veterinary faculty at AAU; Ram Pratim Deka, an ILRI scientist based in Assam; and AAU professors and department heads, chief scientists from research stations, principal scientists and investigators of different research projects.
AAU and ILRI have been working together on different livestock-based projects since 2006. The new MoU between the two organizations will help to further strengthen, shape and guide their collaborative work in future.