A group of 14 Limagrain representatives visited the CIMMYT-Asia maize program in Hyderabad, India, on 18 July 2012. Limagrain is an international agricultural co-operative group specialized in field seeds, vegetable seeds and cereal products. Led by Daniel Cheron, CEO of Groupe Limagrain, the delegation included Georges Freyssinet (CEO of Genective), Valerie Mazza (corporate scientific director), Sophie Boulinguez (scientific project manager), Elisabeth Chanliaud (research coordinator), Christiane Duchene (seed regulation & IP manager), Mimia Ghania Taleb (biotechnology project manager), Frank Coutand (patent department manager), Jean-Paul Guinebretiere (research manager), Arnaud Messager (scientific director of Vegetable Seeds Division), Pascual Pérez (head of Trait Discovery), Philippe Bertaux (research director of Limagrain Asia), Suhas Nimbalkar (head of R&D Support Services, Bisco Bio Sciences), and Vinod K. Yadav (breeding coordinator of Bisco Bio Sciences). The team was received by P.H. Zaidi, Senior Maize Physiologist of the CIMMYT-Asia Program, and CIMMYT maize program staff based in Hyderabad.
After a formal introduction, Zaidi gave an overview of the research program and priorities of the CIMMYT-Asia maize program, and the ongoing collaborations with various public and private institutions in the region, including the International Maize Improvement Consortium (IMIC-Asia). He emphasized CIMMYT’s initiatives towards purposeful partnerships, which offer a big opportunity for pro-poor agricultural investment and innovations (such as IMIC-Asia and MAIZE), the global alliance for food security, and the livelihood of resource-poor in the developing world.
The Limagrain team discussed the ongoing research programs at CIMMYT-Hyderabad and expressed particular interest in research on abiotic stresses, especially on drought and heat stress, and major diseases, including foliar diseases and stalk rots. Cheron mentioned the existing collaboration with CIMMYT, including research on double haploids in Mexico and within IMIC-Asia. In the future, he hopes to further strengthen the partnership, especially in Asia, starting in India and China. The group also visited CIMMYT’s root phenotyping facility at the ICRISAT campus and appreciated its significance for precision phenotyping for molecular breeding projects. At the end of the visit, Cheron suggested that the Limagrain-India team further explore avenues of mutual interest to build an even stronger partnership with the CIMMYT-Asia maize program.