No. 1452 4 February 2011

ARM ends: Yes we did, and we will deliver!

ARM Dr Dar delivers his closing address to ARM participants.

ICRISAT’s Global Annual Research Meeting (ARM), which started last week, successfully ended yesterday at Patancheru. The meeting was attended by over 158 senior scientists and managers from all locations.

Outcomes, Outputs and Milestones

The major output of the two-week ARM was the crafting of the Institute’s outcomes, outputs and milestones. After rigorous group discussions and guided by IMOD, the ARM came up with six institute outcomes that ICRISAT plans to achieve in the next three years. Each outcome has associated outputs with a corresponding set of milestones. The six outcomes are:

  1. Food sufficiency: Smallholder farmers in the dryland tropics producing sufficient food from rain legume and dryland cereal systems to at least meet their food needs

  2. Intensification: Smallholder farmers capturing additional market opportunities from sustainably intensified and value added grain legume and dryland cereal systems

  3. Diversification: Smallholder farmers diversifying their crops, systems and products achieving major value gains.

  4. Resilience: Smallholder farmers/households maintaining food, nutritional and economic security during periods of environmental and economic shocks

  5. Health and Nutrition: Smallholder households consuming more nutritious and safe diets

  6. Women: Women in smallholder households engaging in and benefiting from IMOD.

A day of fun for cultural change

ARM ARM Participants at ISH.

On Saturday morning, participants were asked to select a colored pipe cleaner and based on the colors, which helped the formation of different colored groups. Later various games, based on the creativity, mental ability and physical ability where conducted at different venues in the campus.

The first task was to create group names and coats-of-arms. Many interesting names came up such as Poverty Killers, Innovators, Bounty Warriors, Growing Green and IMOD Crazies with a group cheer, such as I Make My Own Dream, We are five, we always strive… and the like. Later, participants shot basketballs, had a treasure hunt, and enjoyed other activities. One of the most interesting tasks to witness was when groups competed to make the longest line on the lawns with whatever material they had at hand. It was great to see the resourcefulness of the participants as mobile phones, key chains, cello tapes, belts, caps, socks, and even their own stretched out bodies went into the line. Prizes were all in the form of snacks, toffees, potato wafers and the like all team members could enjoy. Thanks to HR for organizing a great break from the serious meetings.

ICT-KM social media for engagement and collaboration

On Monday morning, the ICT-KM sessions started with a presentation by Communication Director Rex Navarro, which stressed the emergence of new media and its influence on the way people communicate within and outside the organization. CGIAR Chief Information Officer, Enrica Porcari, and Knowledge Sharing Specialist, Nadia Manning-Thomas, then conducted a session that focused on how our scientists can communicate their research in a better way using CGXchange and other platforms on the web. The session demonstrated how to make use of tools and methods for better knowledge sharing.

Tuesday afternoon was devoted to demonstration sessions on ICT-KM and social media. Far removed from their routine research and scientific discussions, participants, most of them with no experience of social media, had a refreshing session on social media and blogging by Peter Casier of the UN World Food Program. Peter started with an interactive overview on the role and power of social media for our institute. By the end of the session, the participants understood different platforms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, BlipTV and Blogger. When a participant was asked what he felt about the session, he said, “I just created my own blog!”

Enrica Porcari and Nadia Manning-Thomas demonstrated data sharing, and visual and geo tools to help researchers communicate their work.

The ICRISAT-KSI team also demonstrated various information and learning resources such as the e-library (infoSAT), VASAT and Sharepoint, which can be accessed anywhere in the world through the website and the newly revamped Intranet .

DG wraps up ARM

At the closing session of ARM, Director General William Dar congratulated all participants for their painstaking efforts in bringing this year’s meeting to a successful end. In his address, Dr Dar said, “We set aside our own egos. We took the time to listen carefully to each other. We took a disciplined, logical approach to work planning. We began with our four Mission goals – reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dry tropics.”

“We worked logically back from there, describing the Outcomes, Outputs, and Milestones we would need to achieve in order to reach those goals”, he added.

Time to celebrate

On Thursday evening, Dr Dar hosted celebratory cocktails and dinner for ARM participants at the Konark House to celebrate the success of ARM. Before dinner, a fun-filled program, with skits by the ESA, WCA, and SA teams was enjoyed by participants with Rex Navarro and Agathe Diama as the emcees. The show, which included a song by Director General Dar, was brought to an end by a rousing “Team ICRISAT” song followed by dancing.


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Patancheru hosts farmers from Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh

Vermicomposting training Farmers getting an overview of vermicomposting.

In order to provide first hand information on productivity enhancement and sustainable management practices, ICRISAT hosted large groups of farmers from Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh at Patancheru recently. A group of 150 farmers from Raichur District of Karnataka visited ICRISAT from 17 to 19 January. ICRISAT is technically supporting the Government of Karnataka for a mission mode project called Bhoochetana towards enhancing the productivity of crops in targeted districts.

On 29 January, Patancheru hosted another group of 24 farmers from Madhya Pradesh, where ICRISAT, in association with the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, is implementing a project on Increasing Agricultural Productivity of Farming Systems in Parts of Central India through Participatory Research-cum-Demonstrations and Knowledge Sharing Innovations.

During the visit, farmers had an overview of various activities of ICRISAT through a video show and on-station watershed research, where they learned about soil improvement and water and nutrient management practices. In addition, they also learned about rainwater harvesting and income-generating activities.

At the Adarsha watershed, Kothapally, farmers witnessed the live example of collective action and community participation for integrated watershed management. Farmers also learned about the benefits in terms of increased crop yields, cropping intensity, improved water availability, diversification of crops with high-value vegetables and income-generating activities for women and vulnerable group members.

During the visit, farmers also got a chance to interact with a number of scientists as well as the lead community members.

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ARM in pictures




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ICRISAT participates in MSME Expo 2011

ABI-ICRISAT Visitors to MSME Expo 2011 at the ABI stall.

ICRISAT’s Agri-Business Incubator participated in the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Expo 2011 from 22 to 23 January at the exhibition hall of the National Small Industries Corporation, Hyderabad.

Personnel from more than 100 manufacturing and servicing units, functioning under various schemes of the MSME, thronged the two-day national vendor development program cum industrial exhibition.

The Agri-Business Incubator is one of the partnering institutions of MSME under the Support for Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of SMEs through Incubators program. The program aims to promote and support innovative ideas and technology in the agricultural domain through financial and technical assistance of the MSME.

At present, eight clients of ABI-ICRISAT are funded under this scheme, which caters to a range of items from mobile-based agro applications to cooking oil sprays to a hydraulic digger.

Apart from promoting the concept and its operations, ABI-ICRISAT also promoted the Network of Indian Agri-Business Incubators and its activities. ICRISAT Seed Business Venture generated a lot of interest among the visitors and all leads on the venture were immediately routed through to the ABI client, M/s Aakruthi Agricultural Associates of India.

The Expo was a good opportunity for ABI-ICRISAT clients to attract buyers for their products, which helped them to get exposure to the market and build confidence in their ventures.

During the two-day Expo, over 350 people visited the stall and thirteen leads generated at the Expo are being processed and sent to the respective partner incubators for follow-up.

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Agri-Science Park renamed as Agribusiness and Innovation Platform

The Agri-Science Park (ASP) at Patancheru has now been renamed as the Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP). It is headed by the Chief Executive Officer, Kiran K Sharma. AIP has three components: Agri-Business Incubation (ABI) Program, Innovation and Partnership (IP) Program, and NutriPlus Knowledge (NK) Program.

The following personnel will lead the programs:

SM Karuppanchetty - Chief Operating Officer, Agri-Business Incubation; AR Ilyas - Chief Operating Officer, Innovation and Partnership; and Saikat Datta Mazumdar - Chief Operating Officer, Nutriplus Knowledge.

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