On 21 April, 2022 Professor Andrea Zuccolo and Ms. Saule Mussurova from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visited IOFS headquarters to introduce and discuss collaboration opportunities within the Strategic Development Program for Rice development.
Mr. Andrea Zuccolo provided an informative presentation about activity of the Center for Desert Agriculture at the KAUST, and International Oryza Map Alignment & Oryza Genome Evolution Projects.
The Director-General of IOFS H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet taking into account the current shortage of essential food commodities, such as rice, wheat, and other cereals emphasized the importance of research and development and modernization of the strategic commodities' development to ensure self-sufficiency and food security in intra-OIC geography.
Furthermore, on April 22 IOFS Program Managers Dr. Shakhlo Atabaeva, Makpal Bulatova and Raushan Kumekbayeva attended KAUST special lecture named "Transportable elements in plants: from comparative analyses to potential exploitation as a source of genetic variability" at the School of Sciences and Humanities of Nazarbayev University. The lecture considered research work and activities that addressed rice varieties' development (drought-tolerant and supplemented by vitamins as well as high productivity), responding to the modern challenges.
Sides expressed mutual interests in cooperation within IOFS programs, particularly in capacity development, R&D in commodity production, as well as in the exchange of the best practices of KAUST with the esteemed research institutions in the OIC member states to strengthen the food system and ensuring food security in OIC geography and beyond.