Centre Description

Centre Description

The NEWS India-UK Virtual Joint Centre builds on existing global leadership by UK and Indian nitrogen (N) researchers to develop and test innovative approaches that optimize N management and help food security goals to be met while also reducing multiple environmental threats. The acronym "NEWS" stands for “Nitrogen Efficiency of Whole cropping Systems”, reflecting the need for both increased efficiency of N uptake and better planning of the whole crop rotation. However, NEWS India-UK also takes two important further steps. Firstly, it applies the outcomes of biological and agronomic advances in N use efficiency (NUE) at the farm scale. Secondly, it scales up the outcomes to the national scale.

Analysis of natural genetic variation, together with the opportunity that can be provided by Genetic Modification (GM) techniques, will support process studies on improving plant level NUE. At the field scale, the project will quantify full N budgets, measure all major N emissions to the air and water and demonstrate how NUE improvements translate into reduced N pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The field scale will also bring together the options to see how a combination of genetic and agronomic improvements can maximize net benefits of better N management for higher productivity and climate resilience. The experimental datasets will then be applied, with support of case studies, to assess the farm scale NUE, using mathematical models to bring information together. Simple tools will be developed to support small-holder farmers in better decision making with respect to N use.

Finally, the national-scale work will use models to scale up field and farm scale results. This will use available national data on Indian agriculture, together with expert understanding, to develop country-level estimates and provide a forward look.

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