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On A Mission To Take On A Bigger Role In Enhancing Livelihoods, Nutrition And Climate Resilience In The Global Drylands
Wednesday, 2021/09/08 | 07:24:23

Figure: ICRISAT Governing Board Chair inspects a sorghum panicle at a demo rainfed plot at the ICRISAT heritage watershed site. Photo: S Punna, ICRISAT


September 2021


The visit of ICRISAT Governing Board Chair Dr Prabhu Pingali provided an opportunity for staff at headquarters to present the organization’s work and accomplishments and update on the latest research in the pipeline. Interacting with the staff, Dr Pingali shared his appreciation on the work being done. His observations mainly centered on creating greater visibility for ICRISAT’s success and impacts, taking the lead in publishing research and aiming at a bigger role in the global drylands by contributing to greater food and nutrition security, improved livelihoods and climate resilience of smallholder farmers.


Dr Pingali had broad discussions on different subjects with the leadership of ICRISAT – Dr Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes, Director General, Dr Arvind Kumar, Deputy Director General – Research, Mr Angshu Sen Gupta, Director Finance and Operations and Mr Kunal Sarkar, Interim Director Human Resources.


Dr Pingali also visited laboratories as well as research fields and had detailed discussions with scientists of different disciplines on research progress.  On day one, the tour started with Mr Ram Kiran Dhulipala presenting an overview of the work and innovations in Digital Agriculture. Answering a query from the Board Chair,  Dr Srikanth Rupavatharam cited the research publications authored by ICRISAT staff and mentioned the high-profile partners and universities ihub is collaborating with and the income-generating avenues that were created. He also spoke of the growing use of apps like Plantix and drone technology. Dr Pingali evinced keen interest in the digital products like the Meghdoot app developed for the Government of India to deliver weather information to farmers. He took time to watch live the ICRISAT M&E tool MEASURE. He appreciated the fact that ICRISAT’s digital products were in demand amongst other CGIAR centers and public-private partners.


The field trip ended with a visit to the ICRISAT heritage watershed site. A lush rainfed sorghum crop intercropped with pigeonpea was standing in the field. Dr Kaushal Garg explained to the Board Chair how improved varieties when grown with good soil and water management practices give the best results. He said that the ICRISAT Development Center (IDC) creates the synergies for the coming together of crop research and agronomy, adding enormous value to the work of ICRISAT and resulting in enhanced yields and improved farmer incomes.


See: https://www.icrisat.org/on-a-mission-to-take-on-a-bigger-role-in-enhancing-livelihoods-nutrition-and-climate-resilience-in-the-global-drylands/

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