The 11th Meeting of the Inter-Regional Cooperative Research Network on Cotton for the Mediterranean and Middle East Regions was held in Antalya, Turkey, from Nov. 5-7, 2012. The meeting was a joint activity of researchers from the network’s various groups, which include breeding and biotechnology, agronomy, fiber and yarn technology, and the economy. The purpose of the meeting was to gather researchers from the different regions and groups to find multidisciplinary solutions to common problems that plague the industry. The group’s newly elected general coordinator of the meeting was Dr. Mohamed A. M. El-Sayed Negm, head of spinning research at the Cotton Research Institute’s Agricultural Research Center in Giza, Egypt.
One way the meeting organizers addressed the issues at hand was by organizing the industry into four small groups:
1) Breeding and biotechnology, which will be chaired by Dr. Bojin Bojinov, Dean of the Agricultural University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria
2) Agronomy, chaired by Dr. Hüseyin Başal of the University of Adnan Menderes’ Faculty of Agricultural Department of Field Crops in Turkey
3) Fiber technology, chaired by Dr. Eleni Tsaliki of the National Agricultural Research Foundation’s Cotton and Industrial Plants Institute in Greece
4) Economy, chaired by Dr. Michel Fok, CIRAD, France.
In addition to these issue-centric groups, Dr. El-Sayed Negm appointed “national coordinators” that will take care of the communication from the different cotton-producing regions of the world. Some of the finalized chairmen of the regions at hand include: Bulgaria’s Dr. Ana Stoilova of the Cotton and Durum Wheat Research Institute; Egypt’s Dr. Suzan Sanat; Greece’s Dr. Apostolos Kalyvas of the Cotton and Industrial Plants Institute; Spain’s Mr. Felipe Ray; Sudan’s Dr. Ahemd Mustafa of the Agricultural Research Corporation; and Turkey’s Dr. Fehmi Gülyasar, cotton expert in Bayer Crop Sciences. El-Sayed Negm will publish a complete list of appointed national coordinators at a later date. These designated individuals were encouraged at the meeting to share their work amongst themselves and other industry researchers via the International Cotton Advisory Committee’s (ICAC) email list. Dr. El-Sayed Negm will be working with ICAC to expand subscriptions to this list.
Furthermore, recognition was given at the meeting to Dr. El-Sayed Negm’s predecessors in the group’s general coordinator position. Both CIRAD’s Braud and Dr. Urania Kechagia of Greece’s National Agricultural Research Foundation were awarded shields on behalf of the countries in their respective regions for their services to the group during the past 20 years.
The group looks to increase participation in the 12th Meeting of the Inter-Regional Cooperative Research Network on Cotton for the Mediterranean and Middle East Regions, which will be held in Egypt. In order to do this, they plan not only to invite guests by name, but secure additional funding to sponsor the attendance of more researchers.