The Global Farm Platform is now supported by two BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council, UK) International Partner Awards. An award shared between Rothamsted Research (UK) and CIAT (Kenya) aims to develop collaborative links in the areas of tropical forages for livestock production.
Secondly, an India Partnering Award is shared between the University of Bristol (UK) and the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU, India) and addresses the health and welfare consequences of maladaptation of high-producing cross-bred dairy cattle to environmental stressors in India.
In support of this programme, M.S. Swaminathan, the Indian geneticist and international administrator renowned for his leading role in India’s “Green Revolution”, writes:-
“The dairy sector has long been recognised as making a critical contribution to India’s ability to feed its growing population, for much of whom dairy produce is the main dietary source of animal protein and other essential nutrients. India has the planet’s largest cattle population and while this comes with caveats concerning environmental considerations such as greenhouse gas production and nitrogen cycling, nevertheless for cultural and religious reasons dairy produce remains a crucial dietary resource, for a large proportion of the human population, and this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. Indeed, there is a drive to expand the dairy sector still further. High grade proteins and essential vitamins are recognised as essential for instance for the healthy growth and development of children, and ultimately for the future of the nation. It is therefore highly appropriate that work be conducted to maximise the productivity of these animals while maintaining their health and welfare using environmentally sustainable practices, and we see international partnerships as an essential in providing the skills required to tackle current and future problems.”
See also a report in the New India Express.