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Crop Research: Academic exchange and knowledge-transfer between India and Germany

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Approximately 950 participants from over 300 organisations and 55 countries attended the fifth “InterDrought-V” Conference in Hyderabad (India) from February 21 – 25th 2017. The conference serves as a platform for scientists to present and discuss key issues and strategies pertaining to the improvement of drought tolerance in crops. Climate change poses a massive threat to farmers as well as people living in semi-arid climates – dry and semi-dry regions with little annual precipitation. Changes in metrological effects caused by climate change are a threat not only to crop harvests, but also to global nutrition and food security.


Professor Frank Ewert, scientific director at ZALF and professor of Crop Science at the University of Bonn, Germany was invited as a key speaker at the event and presented a session on Climate change impact on crops – linking research to the scales of problem perception. Emphasized was the importance of an integrated comprehensive scale for research approaches to decrease the threats of drought stress on crop yields as well as food and nutrition security. “Successful adaptation strategies for drought should take into account the breeding of new crop varieties as well as possibilities to improve water use across existing production and operating systems across the landscape level,” exclaimed Prof. Ewert.

The conference provided a platform for scientists to interact, present, and discuss their work on multiple aspects of drought stress in crops and agricultural systems. New results for breeding and cross-fertilizations as well as from research on interactions between genotype, environment, and agricultural technology measures were presented. Among the highlighted opportunities was the potential for new phenotype platforms such as modelling. Additionally, the theme of production system design with improved resilience against drought was discussed as a main topic in one of the conference sessions. The next conference will take place in the United States in 2020. The conference inspired discussion and many opportunities for future collaboration in research as well as promotion of early career professionals between ICRiSAT and ZALF. The research institute ICRiSAT (International Crops Research Institute for semi-arid Tropics) organized this year’s conference in Hyberdad. The International Crop Research Institute for semi-arid Tropics has been active for over 45 years in plant research and the establishment of crop plants.


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