No. 1471 17 June 2011

Pathway to prosperity and sustainable food security
Inclusive market-oriented development key to second Green Revolution

William Dar

“An inclusive market-oriented development approach will revolutionize agriculture and ensure food and nutritional security as well as income security of the smallholder farmers and the poor in the developing world,” said DG William Dar.

Addressing the global summit on Green Revolution II – Growth Engine for Transformation, Dr Dar highlighted the need for an inclusive market-oriented development or IMOD to empower smallholder farmers in overcoming poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better and resilient farming, leading them to a dynamic state from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture.

Global green Summit DG Dar (center, right) presents the ICRISAT Strategic Plan to 2020 to Mr Dilip Modi (center, left), President of ASSOCHAM during the summit. Also seen are Mr V Nagi Reddy (far left), Principal Secretary (Agriculture), Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and Anil B Jain (far right), Chairman, Agriculture & Food Security Committee, ASSOCHAM.

He stressed that developing countries must give highest priority to agriculture, and must increase public investment that will enable smallholder farming to achieve greater productivity and profitability. Dr Dar also underscored that India can become a global model in making smallholder agriculture a nation’s engine to transformation.

Organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) with ICRISAT as its knowledge partner, the summit was held on 15 June at Hotel Taj Deccan in Hyderabad. The event brought together multi-sectoral stakeholders to deliberate on sharing scientific innovations and services to propel India’s agricultural growth.

“The Indian agricultural sector needs to be revamped to meet future demand and the nutritional security of this huge population. A second Green Revolution with a focus on holistic development of the agriculture sector is imperative to support small, marginal farmers in sustaining their livelihoods,” said Mr Dilip Modi, President of ASSOCHAM. He added that provision for end-to-end services, solutions to problems faced by farmers and providing linkages to markets is significant to facilitate access to better technology and other resources.

One of the highlights of the summit was the launch of the ASSOCHAM-ICRISAT study on Second Green Revolution: Role in Transforming Indian Agriculture. Based on the study, the next Green Revolution in India should be focused on a convergence strategy for civil society and public and private sectors to devise a mechanism in sustaining enhanced productivity, providing opportunities for agricultural growth and boosting the economy.

Around 150 delegates participated in the conference which included farmer entrepreneurs. The Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP) also participated in the conference exhibition by showcasing successful cases of ICRISAT’s Public-Private-People (PPP) partnership initiatives.

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Financing the agricultural value chain
Union Bank of Nigeria and ICRISAT host international conference on agricultural financing


Improved financial markets accelerate rural growth, leading to economic development and prosperity. In this new global agricultural and economic order, however, what will make agricultural financing work?

Rising to this challenge, the Union Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with ICRISAT hosted a two-day International Conference on Agricultural Financing with the theme: Financing agricultural value chain in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in Abuja on 16-17 June.

The conference brought together actors along the agricultural value chain, namely researchers, farmers (small, medium and large), traders (retailers and wholesalers), processors (small, medium and large), exporters, consumers, bankers, cooperatives, regulators, industrialists, and research & development specialists from Nigeria and other countries in SSA.

Representing DG William Dar, Dr Farid Waliyar, Director - West & Central Africa delivered the keynote address during the conference on the topic: Building sustainable livelihoods and transforming rural communities through agricultural financing.

Focusing on financing the agricultural value chain, the conference aimed to increase investment returns and enhance competitiveness at different points by different players of the chain. It also sought to identify bankable agricultural projects by financial institutions; improve risk identification and mitigation by lenders; foster greater understanding of lenders’ expectations by farmers and better policy alignment with sector realities by regulatory agencies.


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Second annual review meeting
HOPE project benefits sorghum farmers

Hope George Okwach presents the HOPE project progress report during the meeting.

The impacts of the HOPE-Dryland cereals project are now being enjoyed by thousands of smallholder sorghum farmers in Maharashtra. The improved cultivars, crop management practices, and input and output market linkages provided by the project in the last two years have helped more than 17,000 participating sorghum farmers achieve an average 40% higher grain and 20% higher fodder yields in 2010-11. HOPE’s interventions also helped farmers overcome the high climatic variability during the last two years. Additionally, the higher market price (over 34 per kg) in 2011 boosted farmers’ incomes from sorghum.

In his opening address at the second annual review and workplan meeting of the HOPE-Dryland cereals project on sorghum held on 14-16 June at Patancheru, DG William Dar expressed his appreciation to the dedicated ICRISAT partners and scientists on the success of the project. Stressing the impacts of climate change on agricultural production, he noted that the project is very much aligned with the Institute’s focus on yield improvement in postrainy sorghum in India, where terminal drought stress is a major constraint.


The HOPE-Dryland cereals project on sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and implemented in 11 countries including India. ICRISAT is the lead center for sorghum, with the Marathwada Agricultural University (MAU), Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV), and Director of Sorghum Research (DSR) as project partners.

Oscar Riera-Lizarazu welcomed the participants during the meeting while George Okwach presented the overall progress of the HOPE project across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia (SA). Belum VS Reddy presented the highlights of the sorghum research progress, Nagaraj on targeting, Parthasarathy Rao on marketing, and Ashok Kumar on delivery for adoption.


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Nestlé R&D team visits ICRISAT-Sadoré

A team from Nestlé’s recently re-established research & development center in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, visited ICRISAT-Sadoré on 9 June.

Nestle The Nestlé team with ICRISAT staff at Sadoré.

The team included project and department heads for Agronomy (Dr Kam-Rigne Laossi), Product & Ingredients Development (Miss Elise Nsangou), and Pilot Plant and Process Development (Dr Souley Kalilou). The team interacted with ICRISAT’s Country representative Dr Mahamadou Gandah and scientists from ICRISAT and AVRDC.

The team described the company’s new focus on product development based on locally-produced ingredients, and sought assistance from ICRISAT in identifying available sorghum and pearl millet varieties that have been characterized for nutritional content, so that these could be assessed for nutrient availability and processing characteristics.

ICRISAT provided the Nestlé team with seed samples of two pearl millet varieties, reported to have superior grain iron and zinc levels for agronomic and product quality evaluation. ICRISAT researchers and the team explored opportunities for future research-for-development collaboration.

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Chickpea in rainfed rice fallow lands project reviewed

Chickpea meeting

The annual review and work plan meeting of the project Enhancing chickpea production in Rainfed Rice Fallow Lands (RRFL) of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh States of India was held in Raipur, Chhattisgarh on 9-10 June.

Farmers in the RRFL regions have difficulty accessing newly developed high-yielding varieties of chickpea. Yet, they have shown great interest in cultivating these varieties in rice fallows as a second crop due to their adaptability and profitability in comparison to other crops.

The meeting reviewed the progress and innovations by the project and the sustainability of models developed. Representatives from the consortium of institutions and farmers from the eight project districts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh participated in the meeting.

A consolidated work plan for 2011-12 was developed by the project team, which was approved by the committee. Based on the proof of concept, the project was recommended for further expansion in similar environments in other states in India.

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ABI-ICRISAT showcased at 4th Global Forum on Innovation &Technology Entrepreneurship

ABI Kiran Sharma with the focus group on Community of Practice on Agribusiness.

ICRISAT’S INNOVATIVE APPROACHES in improving the lives of the dryland poor were showcased at the 4th Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship organized by infoDev-World Bank in Helsinki, Finland, on 30 May to 3 June.

This biennial event meant to exchange know-how, establish partnerships and develop innovative approaches, was participated in by AIP’s Kiran Sharma and Karuppanchetty, along with the Agri-Business Incubation’s (ABI) co-business incubation partners from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Dr Sivasubramaniam, Director; Dr SD Sivakumar, Co-PI; and Mr Bhubesh Kumar, Business Manager).

ABI Karuppanchetty during the session on agribusiness incubation.

A case study on ICRISAT’s ABI program was presented, along with case studies from seven other agribusiness incubators across the world. Karuppanchetty and Bhubesh also took part in a two-day program focusing on training incubator managers in innovation and technology entrepreneurship and best agribusiness management practices.

A Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Fair and discussions on the Community of Practice (CoP) forthcoming initiatives in scaling up agribusiness incubators in developing and underdeveloped countries and enhancing the ecosystem for agribusiness entrepreneurs were part of the event, in which about 500 delegates from 90 countries representing entrepreneurs, business incubator managers, policymakers and investors took part.

Incidentally, the Hyderabad-based Nandan BioMatrix, a former client of AIP-ICRISAT, was chosen among the Top 50 global firms for rapid commercialization support by the World Bank.

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Community sensitization under HOPE project in Kano, Nigeria

Nigeria Village-level discussion in Gwarzo.

AN INCLUSIVE, participatory, people-centered approach that encourages self-help capabilities and creates a feeling of ownership goes a long way towards improving the livelihoods of poor farmers. The community mobilization initiative undertaken recently in Kano, Nigeria, by ICRISAT’s Kano Station under the auspices of the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) project was meant to achieve this purpose. Led by ICRISAT’sNigeria Country Representative Hakeem Ajeigbe, the activity, a follow-up to the HOPE project Nigeria country planning and review meeting held in Kano last 29-30 March, included two villages each in four Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

Consultative meetings were held with Heads of the Department of Agriculture of LGAs to garner support for ICRISAT activities. As many as 223 farmers participate in the project in 2011, which includes four large-scale sorghum plot management demonstrations, 16 sorghum integrated Striga control demonstrations and 203 sorghum minipacks.

Dr Hakeem took the opportunity to explain the activities that would be of interest to ICRISAT in the near future. The farmers, while sharing their problems on the challenges faced by climate change and pressure on land use, were enthusiastic about ICRISAT’s research on groundnut, millet and integrated genetic and natural resource management.

The Green Sahel Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative (an NGO based in Jigawa), which collaborated with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and Community-Based Agricultural and Rural Development Project (IFAD-CBARDP) in linking farmers to markets in 2010, will lead the activities in Jigawa state, concentrating on millet.

District Head of Gwarzo SK Bayero welcomed the project. He facilitated discussions and participation of village heads and promised to make his farm available to ICRISAT for demonstrations of any improved agricultural practices that benefit farmers.

In 2010, HOPE project activities were confined to six states of Nigeria. With the establishment of ICRISAT’s Kano station, two new states, Kano and Jigawa, have been included in 2011.

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