Wits officially on board as ACGT partner on Generation Challenge Programme

The ACGT has recently recommitted to its participation in the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) by signing a revised Consortium Agreement on behalf its partner institutions. This latest development means that the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is now officially a GCP Consortium member – the first signing took place in 2005 before Wits was included as the third ACGT partner.

Challenge Programmes are an initiative of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) that partners with a wide range of institutions, both inside and outside of the CGIAR, to address complex issues of global or regional significance with a high likelihood for great impact. The GCP specifically aims to improve crop productivity in drought-prone environments. The Programme’s partners draw on plant diversity and new technologies to improve crops with desired traits, focusing on drought tolerance.

Through its wide range of partners, GCP links basic science with applied research and helps to weave an effective and interactive community of crop researchers at both global and regional level. The select group of consortium partners currently comprises centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), advanced research institutes, and national agricultural research systems in developing countries.

The GCP Consortium members aim to create a platform to assemble and use the intricacies of applied genomic sciences for the benefit of crop improvement efforts. The re-signing of the Consortium agreement consolidates Wits, CSIR and the University of Pretoria’s – through the ACGT – ability to participate actively in the Programme’s competitive grant process.

ACGT Director, Dr Jane Morris also currently sits on the Programme Steering Committee.