Australia backs Indian food security research

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Hyderabad, Sep 10 (UNI) Australian External Affairs Minister Stephen Smith today emphasised the need for protecting the world's food crops from adverse impact of climate change.

Visiting a new sorghum research project being funded by the Australian Government at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) near here, he said ''Australia's involvement in collaborative agricultural research and development programmes demonstrates the Australian Government's international commitment to achieving more productive and sustainable agriculture.'' The Australian Government has committed $1 million to the sorghum project through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research(ACIAR), according to Australian embassy release here.

The sorghum project ''Improving post-rainy sorghum varieties to meet the growing grain and fodder demand in India'' is funded through the ACIAR, which commissions agriculture research programmes between Australian and developing-country scientists.

Australia and India were undertaking several joint research programmes by applying the latest advances in biotechnology and plant breeding to develop improved crop varieties to sustain high yields under dry conditions. Indian and Australian farmers share similar agro-climate conditions in their grain growing regions, the release added.

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