AFBI recently hosted a delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), led by Mr Abdulstar Majeed, Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
In hosting the visit Prof Gilliland described AFBI’s strong scientific association with Kurdistan, detailing how leading AFBI scientists have travelled out there to provide expertise and develop the agricultural science support for the local agri-food sectors.
This visit of high level delegates from KRG also included Mr Khasro Ajgay, Director of Political Affairs (KRG UK Representation), Mr Karwin Jamal Tahir (KRG High Representative to the UK) and Miss Nawal Karim (KRG Director of Trade and Investment Relations). The purpose of the visit was to build upon the existing AFBI relationship and explore how AFBI could become involved in further projects in the future.
During the visit AFBI scientists reviewed past work that the institute had conducted in Kurdistan and presented their latest research innovations. This covered topical areas in animal and plant health control and prevention, including AFBI’s expertise in virology and vaccine development. Other topics covered involved food safety and during a visit to the facilities at the Hillsborough research farm, the latest discoveries in improving animal production systems (in dairy, beef and poultry) was demonstrated.
Mr Jason Rankin of AgriSearch also met the delegation to explain how this farmers’-levy organisation works to promote improvements in agricultural practice by helping farmers adopt the innovations created by AFBI’s research.
During the visit, Mr Majeed said: “We are delighted to be back in Northern Ireland, where we share many synergies. We look forward to developing many more partnerships into the future.”
This visit was yet another example of how AFBI is reaching out beyond Northern Ireland in its mission to extend its international reputation and portfolio of collaborative research.