KATHMANDU, Nov 14: Japan has showed interest to Nepal to conduct research in plant breeding, seed production and gerplasm.
Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC) and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Kathmandu on Wednesday to collaborate in the research. Japan has also agreed to help in Nepal in agriculture, trade and investment through its research.
Tek Bahadur Gurung, acting executive director of NARC and Masaru Iwanaga, president of JIRCAS, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions.
Earlier in January, researchers from Japan had come to Nepal for their research. The visit was a stepping stone for signing of MoU between the two institutions.
“JIRCAS and NARC are collaborating with each other for research in Nepal. Japanese food scientists have already done research on gerplasm and field derivation in Kathmandu Valley. Findings of the study will help to enhance phosphate nutrients in soil which will help to increase rice production," Iwanaga said at the signing ceremony. "Both Nepal and Japan have common culture in fermented food. A study of this tradition could be a promising research area,” he added.
At the program, Japanese government officials assured their Nepali counterparts that they would explore the probability of research in various fields. They also said Japan could accept foreign workers in agriculture sector in the near future.
Similarly, Gurung of NARC said that the collaboration with JIRCAS will help agriculture sector of Nepal. "We will hold discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to finalize priority of the government and conduct research accordingly," Gurung said, adding: "Plant breeding could be one of the areas in collaborative research work. Promotion of underutilized crop, which can withstand impacts of climate change, will benefit us in the future.”
It is the umbrella agreement between NARC and JIRCAS. According to officials of NARC, Japan is interested to help Nepal in increasing production of rice. The researchers are focusing on hybrid rice which gives high yields.
Japan is also interested to conduct research on buckwheat farming. According to the MoU, Japanese scientists will come to Nepal to conduct research on different crops.