IRRI inks MoU furthering research cooperation with Nepal’s Agriculture & Forestry University
14 February 2020, Kathmandu, Nepal – International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General Dr. Matthew Morell and Prof. Sharada Thapaliya, Vice-Chancellor of the Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) in Nepal, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for furthering research and academic cooperation that is set to play a crucial role in generating relevant and scientific information to solve current challenges in the agriculture and forestry sectors of Nepal and help leverage research conclusions to influence policy direction.
The Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) established in Chitwan in 2010 is the first technical university of Nepal promoting education and R&D in agriculture, veterinary, fisheries, forestry, and allied disciplines through quality teaching, research, and extension. With over 100 faculty, 250 support staff, and 1880 students, AFU aims for the holistic development of agriculture, livestock, aquaculture, and forestry to raise the socio-economic conditions of rural Nepal. Dr.Sharada, VC at AFU, emphasized that the MoU is envisaged as a means to strengthen teaching and research capabilities, covering the broad areas of natural resource management including food security.
Under the aegis of the MoU, IRRI will collaborate with AFU such that Ph.D. and Masters students and faculty can work with IRRI scientists in its headquarters in the Philippines and other country offices. Joint training programs, collaborative research projects, access to agricultural research and educational facilities, and exchange of knowledge and expertise by way of faculty, researchers, and students are also proposed under this MoU.
Furthermore, the partnership will help strengthen the university’s teaching system through quality extension works, linking AFU with government agencies, international and national NGOs, community-based organizations, cooperatives, industries, and other key stakeholders. Dr. Nafees Meah, IRRI Regional Representative for South Asia said, “This major new initiative will help Nepal achieve its development goals primarily through training the…