US and Egypt talk best practices in plant preservation

18-02-2017 07:02 PM

Mary Fikry

Dr Gayle Volk, Senior Researcher at the United States Department of Agriculture National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation has been on a visit to Egypt to consult with scientists and researchers at the National Gene Bank of Egypt. Together, they worked to identify best practices to preserve plant species that are indigenous to Egypt, thereby helping ensure that those species are available to breeders and researchers to improve the quality and market value of local crop production.

Facilitated by the Foreign Agricultural Service office of the US Embassy in Cairo, Dr Volk’s visit is part of an ongoing five-year collaborative programme in plant species preservation supported by the US-Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund.

“Egypt is home to many ancient plant species that are at risk of being lost as growers switch to modern varieties,” Dr Volk said. “Together with the Gene Bank of Egypt, we are working to preserve these ancient species as part of Egypt’s rich agricultural heritage. By doing so, we are preserving their potential to help breed new plants with greater disease resistance and higher crop yields that can help produce more food.”

The US-Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund promotes collaboration between US and Egyptian scientists to address development challenges and promote economic growth, particularly in applied research and technology commercialization. This programme provides grants for high-impact scientific research in areas such as public health, food security, energy, and water security. Over the past 20 years, the Joint Fund has funded over 500 collaborative projects by over 10,000 Egyptian and US scientists.

Watani International
18 February 2017

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