No. 1459 25 March 2011

64th Governing Board Meeting
South-South Initiative launched, Medium-Term Plan approved

Governing Board The ICRISAT Governing Board at its 64th meeting in New Delhi, India.

In launching the “ICRISAT South-South Initiative” (IS-SI) to boost India-Africa partnerships on agricultural research-for-development, ICRISAT has further elevated its role as a bridge, broker and catalyst in the global fight against poverty and hunger.

Governing BoardGB Chair N Poole led in launching the ICRISAT South-South Initiative to boost India-Africa partnerships in fighting poverty in the drylands.

The formation of IS-SI highlighted the 64th meeting of the ICRISAT Governing Board (GB) held in New Delhi on 21-24 March. Concluding the India-Africa Roundtable on Agriculture for Development on 23 March, GB Chair Nigel Poole led in launching IS-SI as a platform for focused and systematic partnership towards a stronger and inclusive development cooperation between the two continents.

“IS-SI will build upon ICRISAT’s already strong and successful India-Africa partnerships to scale up its role as driver of prosperity and economic opportunities in the dryland tropics,” Dr Poole said.

Every 1 USD spent on international agricultural research leads to a return on investment of 9 USD worth of economic value in developing countries. ICRISAT DG William Dar said that IS-SI will open more opportunities for increased financial and technical support and enhanced public-private-people partnerships on research-for-development. “The initiative will also see better policies, more effective institutions, improved infrastructure, and better access to markets and to higher quality inputs, particularly for dryland farmers in India and Africa,” he added.

Governing Board
IS-SI will open more opportunities for increased financial and technical support and enhanced public-private-people partnerships on research-for-development. It will also see better policies, more effective institutions, improved infrastructure, and better access to markets and to higher quality inputs for dryland farmers in India and Africa.

“We welcome and appreciate very much this initiative to enhance South-South partnership between India and Africa,” expressed Dr S Ayyappan, Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), during the meeting. He added that India and the African continent should capitalize on common features like climate, soil, water and small land holdings in boosting agriculture.

The roundtable meeting, part of the series of activities held during the Governing Board meet, was attended by senior officials and private entrepreneurs from India and African countries like Sudan, South Africa, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mali and Nigeria among others.

Governing BoardThe Board gives the go-ahead to the institute’s Medium-Term Plan.

Meanwhile, to set into full motion the implementation of ICRISAT’s new Strategic Plan, the GB also approved the Institute’s Medium-Term Plan for 2011-13. The plan provides a three-year roadmap of specific actions to be taken by the Institute to pursue the targets of the Strategic Plan to 2020 and Business Plan (2011-15). Propelled by the concept of inclusive market-oriented development or IMOD, the Strategic Plan will help the dryland poor to grow their way out of poverty through better access to markets and other support services. It also envisions more stability, security and productivity, allowing the dryland poor to escape the poverty trap for good.

Other decisions made and items approved during the Governing Board meeting include:

  • The Institute’s US$ 56.3 M budget for 2011 and its efforts in sustaining financial health;
  • An organized and strong engagement in the CGIAR reform process, particularly in the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) planning and implementation;
  • Performance indicators on human resources, financials and governance, and research;
  • Addressing gender and diversity issues; and
  • Enhancing resource mobilization.

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Vigorous partnership on improving pulse production between ICRISAT and India

Pulses meetingGB Chair N Poole, ICAR DG S Ayyappan and Dr Dar during the opening session of the pulse meeting.

The 64th Governing Board meeting set forth more avenues of opportunities to further strengthen the already-strong ICRISAT and India partnership.

The Brainstorming Session on Pulses held on 22 March showcased the collaborative research partnership between India and ICRISAT in improving pulses production in the country. Over the last 34 years (1976-2009 and 2010), 197 improved varieties of sorghum (35), pearl millet (80), chickpea (37), pigeonpea (20) and groundnut (26) have been released by ICRISAT with India, raising production and incomes of millions of smallholder farmers.

In India, pulses are grown on about 23 million ha annually, with a production of 14 million tons. The demand is around 17 million tons, leaving a gap of 3 million tons for importation. This is the challenge that the brainstorming session hoped to address.

The session saw a gathering of scientists and experts from ICRISAT and ICAR, the Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), National Center on Integrated Pest Management (NCIPM), and Department of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Some recommendations drawn during the session for India to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses include: empowering farmers with available technologies and knowledge; enhancing availability of quality seeds of improved, high-yielding varieties; improving farmers’ access to inputs; providing supportive policies for better price support; and enhancing public-private partnerships.

64th Governing Board Meeting in pictures

GB Pictures

1. Courtesy visit to HE Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture, GoI.

2. Dr Dar, Dr Poole and ICAR DG S Ayyappan during the visit to the National Agricultural Science Center (NASC) museum.

3.The India-Africa roundtable meeting.

4. Field visit to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Experiment
Station - chickpea research.

5. At the IARI Experiment Station - pearl millet research.

6. ICRISAT GB members and Management Group at ICAR.

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Mind 2 Market Contest
Two awards go to Business Plans based on ABI case studies

ABI ABI-ICRISAT COO SM Karuppanchetty makes a point during the event.

Two Business Plans, based on ABI-ICRISAT case studies, won prizes at the Mind 2 Market (M2M) contest held at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, on 21 March. The event was organized by ICRISAT in partnership with Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (WCED).

Contestants of M2M, an open innovation platform where ideas meet their implementers, consisted of students, professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs. The platform required contestants to discover an innovation, unravel the market, define the customer, think ‘out of the box’ and identify the right business model that will enable its successful commercial exploitation.

ABI The jury with the three proud winners (with certificates) of the ISB-Mind 2 Market contest.

Of the three prize-winning business plans, two were based on ABI-ICRISAT case studies: the Beej Bazaar – Empowering Indian farmers to sell his seeds and Sweet Sorghum. The winning teams were Unnati from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) for their case on Sweet Sorghum, North East Star from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong for their case on Beej Bazaar and Sharp Minds from Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research for their case on improved cooking stoves. The winners were each awarded

The jury comprising SM Karuppanchetty, COO, ABI-ICRISAT, Dr Krishna Tanuku (Ex-Director, WCED, ISB), Mr Venkatram Vasantavada (Director sales, Pioneer Hybrid International Ltd.) and Mr Anand Nandkumar (ISB) sat through three rounds adjudging impactful innovations from over 100 teams from top Indian B-schools.

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ICIS Developers’ Workshop

ICRISAT, AVRDC and the GCP, with support of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), will host the ICIS Developers Workshop 2011 on 28 March-1 April 2011 at ICRISAT-Patancheru. About 60 participants, including 40 from overseas, are participating. The workshop will review the progress of the International Crop Information System (ICIS) and discuss development plans in relation to the Integrated Breeding Platform project.

For more information, go to
or call KDV Prasad @ Ext 2367.

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