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Australian Centre For International Agricultural Research CEO Visits ILRI

On 27 June 2017, Andrew Campbell, chief executive officer of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) visited the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi. As part of the visit, Campbell, who was accompanied by Mellissa Wood, ACIAR’s general manager for global programs, toured the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub laboratory facilities

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Among the highlights of the facilities tour were discussions with scientists from national agricultural research institutions who are currently research fellows at the BecA-ILRI Hub through the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) program. Various governments and donor agencies—Australia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sweden, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID)—fund the ABCF program which provides access to high-end bioscience facilities, and hosts research by African scientists and their partners working to tackle key challenges to food and nutritional security on the continent.  

Through support to the ABCF program’s 2016 Advanced Genomics and Bioinformatics training workshop, ACIAR facilitated the training of four national crop breeders who are part of an initiative— Demand led plant variety design for emerging markets in Africa—is developing plant varieties suited to market demands in Africa. 

Campbell and Wood also visited the Integrated Genotyping Service and Support platform set up with funding from BMGF and implemented in partnership with Australian genotyping and information technology company, Diversity Arrays Technology Pty Ltd (DArT); held discussions with ILRI scientists involved in vaccine research and measurement of green house gas emissions in livestock production systems; and visited the ILRI bio-repository which provides long-term storage for biological material, as well as management of and access to associated data.

 

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