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CABRAA: new Franco-Mexican international associated laboratory

Goats are the model species used in research on reproductive biology and animal agroecology carried out by CABRAA. The agreement to create this international associated laboratory, developed between INRA and a department at the Antonio Narro Autonomous Agrarian University (Mexico), was signed on 9 July 2015 just a few days before the Mexican president’s visit to Paris.

Signature of the agreement to create the CABRAA international associated laboratory for reproductive biology and agroecology in goat husbandry between France and Mexico. From left to right: F. Houllier, INRA President; J.R. Valenzuela Garcia, Rector of the Antonio Narro Autonomous Agrarian University in Torreon; and E. Cabrero Mendoza, Director General of CONACYT.. © MENESR, X.R.Pictures
Updated on 07/27/2017
Published on 07/09/2015

In honour of its national holiday on 14 July, France will receive the Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. Meanwhile, INRA is finalising the creation of an international associated laboratory (LIA) – CABRAA – with Mexico. This laboratory is one of the scientific cooperation instruments presented during the second Franco-Mexican Forum for Research and Innovation, held on 9 and 10 July in Paris, to promote the strengthening of France and Mexico’s ties in the field of research, higher education and innovation.

CABRAA is the fifth international associated laboratory created by INRA and the second that follows the conditions established in 2014. It consolidates more than 20 years’ cooperation between the Joint Research Unit for Reproductive and Behavioural Physiology (INRA, CNRS, Université de Tours, IFCE) and the Centre for Research in Caprine Reproduction (CIRCA) at the Antonio Narro Autonomous Agrarian University (Mexico). The collaboration has already produced a number of results: 35 articles published in renowned international scientific journals, efforts to transfer knowledge through articles in journals aimed at farmers and agricultural consultants, and applications for improving goat husbandry in Mexico and in France (e.g., in goat breeding centres). The two institutions have enjoyed close cooperation for several years, including jointly managed theses, scientist exchanges and bilateral projects.

In this open laboratory, the researchers involved in both countries work together frequently without leaving their home countries. Their research focuses on the hormonal control mechanisms of ovulation in goats. They are also taking an agroecological approach to improving natural, inexpensive methods to control breeding seasons under genuine rearing conditions using fewer hormonal treatments. The fact that the animal husbandry contexts, animal breeds, economic situation and varying environmental conditions between the tropical and temperate regions are so different between the two countries has proven to be quite complementary.

The international associated laboratory will officialise and facilitate the institutions’ joint research programming, oversight of doctoral candidates, scientist exchanges and experiments carried out jointly. The laboratory’s aim is clear in the agreement: to produce quality science with a view to furthering knowledge in the field of animal production and agroecology. This research is especially important for the animal-related industries and production companies that are dealing with shifts in consumer attitudes, which have an impact on the market and lead to rising demand for products that are “clean, green and ethical”.