India is a major agricultural producer and a significant agricultural research for development partner and is the second largest producer of the global staples wheat and rice in the world.

In 2016, the John Innes Centre and other UK partners established a new collaboration with India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and BBSRC in the UK to enhance research links, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in global food security.

The collaboration will focus on increasing crop yields and improving disease and drought resistance.

The John Innes Centre is a partner in two virtual joint centres on agricultural nitrogen which are co-funded between BBSRC in the UK and DBT in India. These are the India-UK Nitrogen Fixation Centre (IUNFC) and the Indo-UK Centre for the improvement of Nitrogen use Efficiency in Wheat (INEW).

Optimising the usage of nitrogen fertilisers and increasing the efficiency of biological nitrogen fixation are essential to the challenge of sustainably feeding a growing world population as well as mitigating the impact of agriculture on the environment.

These virtual joint centres will conduct innovative research pursuing the production of high crop yields with lower inputs of nitrogen fertiliser.

One of our flagship international development programmes explores the potential of grass pea (Lathyrus sativus) as a climate resilient crop in Africa and South Asia. Some of this work is co-funded between BBSRC in the UK and DBT in India.