29 March 2013
No. 1564

Agricultural education in the fight against poverty and hunger

“We need to make agriculture a respectable business and farming a profitable enterprise so that educated youths will take it as their profession rather than migrating to cities and struggling there for their livelihood. For those of you who are getting your degrees in agricultural sciences, there is no better opportunity to dare, to rise and to shine.”

Director General William Dar delivering his address at the graduation ceremony of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, Karnataka.

At the graduation ceremony of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, Karnataka on 22 March, Director General William Dar as Chief Guest talked about fighting poverty and hunger through agricultural education, calling the graduating students as “torchbearers of development”.

"Agriculture accounts for only 16-17% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India but continues to be the main source of livelihood for 60% of its population. However, many people would like to move out of agriculture if they have alternate sources of livelihood, as observed from our village level studies. Who will produce the necessary food if people move out of agriculture?” stressed Dr Dar.

Addressing the gathering also attended by UAS board of regents and staff, Dr Dar talked about the long-standing ties between the University and ICRISAT, and the challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, vagaries of climate change, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity the world is facing.

“There is a need to look into the emerging relation between agriculture, nutrition and health on one hand, and food, water and energy on the other. By optimizing the use of resources and innovating, we can contribute to pushing for a sustainable and resilient green economy,” he asserted.

Dr Dar highlighted the importance of ICRISAT’s inclusive market-oriented development (IMOD) approach to ensure that the benefits of market-led diversification reach small and marginal farmers. He cited the Bhoochetana initiative as an example, where soil test-based fertilizer recommendations have been used as an entry point to improve the livelihoods of farmers in Karnataka state by increasing crop yields substantially.

Former ICRISAT staff Dr Richard Jones being conferred an honorary doctorate by the university’s Vice-Chancellor RR Hanchinal (left).   Dr Dar inaugurating the construction of the UAS research complex.

“These interventions implemented by the Government of Karnataka’s (GoK) Department of Agriculture have benefitted more than three million dryland farmers, and Bhoochetana has shown that science-led development can be a game-changer for smallholder farmers,” he added. During the second phase of Bhoochetana, GoK in partnership with ICRISAT plans to cover 100% of the state’s rainfed area which would help farmers enhance their productivity year round.

Dr Dar also inaugurated the students’ hostel facility in the campus and visited the UAS Krishi Vigyan Kendra where he interacted with researchers and students.

back to top Back to top

Training-cum-field exposure for Odisha Tribal Development Officers

To strengthen their knowledge of grain legume production, eight officers from the Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Program, Bhubaneswar visited ICRISAT on 11-14 March.

Officers from the Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Program with ICRISAT staff at Patancheru.

Led by Project Director Mr Susanta Nanda, the officials interacted with scientists from the Research Program – Grain Legumes, seeking information on improved varieties suitable for their locations, crop management practices, and crop protection. They learned about timely, effective and safe use of plant protection chemicals and the need for maintaining environmental health in their agricultural systems, and farm machinery used for land development, irrigation and plant protection.

The program was organized under the IFAD-EC project “Improving Farmers’ Livelihood and Food Security through Enhanced Legume Productivity in India and Myanmar”.

back to top Back to top

ICRISAT seals partnership with Congo and Cameroon in setting up Food Testing Laboratories

Dr KK Sharma exchanging MoUs with (left) Mrs Claudine Munari, Minister of Commerce and Supplies, Republic of Congo and (right) Mr Christophe Eken, CCIMA, Cameroon.

The need for India and Africa to pursue bilateral ties was reaffirmed at the 9th Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Partnership Project held on 17-19 March in New Delhi.

At the said event, two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed between ICRISAT and the Cameroon Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Crafts (CCIMA), Republic of Cameroon and the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, Republic of Congo, aimed to advance efforts for the establishment of Food Testing Laboratories in the two African countries.

The agreements seal the bilateral initiatives among the parties in establishing the Food Testing Laboratories towards helping small and marginal farmers and local entrepreneurs promote their business prospects by entering markets with products that meet national and international standards.

ICRISAT’s Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP) is conducting the feasibility study, and will facilitate handholding and mentoring as well as provide support and guidance in implementing the business plan for the establishment of Food Processing Business Incubation Centres and Food Testing Laboratories in five African countries, to include Cameroon and Congo. ICRISAT is the implementing agency for this initiative under the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS II) of the Government of India’s (GoI) Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

The country-to-country agreements were signed between India-Republic of Congo and India- Cameroon, who were represented by Ms Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs, GoI; Mrs Claudine Munari, Minister of Commerce and Supplies, Republic of Congo; and Mr Christophe Eken, CCIMA, Cameroon.

The MoU between ICRISAT and the host institutes of Congo and Cameroon were signed by Dr Kiran Sharma, CEO, AIP-ICRISAT on behalf of Director General William Dar.

back to top Back to top

Public-private partnership through Action Platform

The second symposium on Action Platform to create Shared Value in Agribusiness promoted by a consortium of corporations in India was held in  Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India on 18 March.

Representing ICRISAT at the event, Dr SP Wani, Assistant Research Program Director – Resilient Dryland Systems chaired the group on natural resource management. He advocated the use of water management as an entry point in the convergence of activities of the different action groups in the platform. He elaborated on the opportunities for public-private partnership through the Bhoochetana initiative similar to the case of Karnataka state.

The two-day session covered the action taken and planned by the participating companies through collaborations and public private partnerships; building value chains; tie-ups between companies in terms of inputs, equipment and advice; building agri-finance collaborations; and building the future of Indian agriculture.

back to top Back to top

New ICRISAT branding guidelines launched!

Director General William Dar officially launching ICRISAT’s new branding guidelines with the SMC staff.

In a memorandum signed by Director General William Dar on 25 March, the new Branding Guidelines for ICRISAT was launched – including a new visual branding for ICRISAT and a guide for linking with the CGIAR and its Research Programs.

Why the need for new visual branding

Part of any message we send is visual. This should support our messages and accurately reflect the
type of organization we are. Every few years an organization should review how it is visually being represented and determine if this is accurately reflecting its mission and the type of organization it aspires to be.

ICRISAT wants to reflect its innovative approach and cutting-edge science. To do this, we saw a need to modernize how we are presenting ourselves visually. It was important to ensure that any new visual branding was:

  • Modern but reflecting the seriousness of our scientific research;
  • Representative of our mission – core elements being the people, agriculture, science and the semi-arid tropics; and
  • Unique to ICRISAT, and not just an attractive design that any organization could adopt.

What the new branding elements mean

To achieve our branding goals, we have selected:

  • Colors that represent agriculture (green) and the drylands (maroon). We have replaced the current use of brown for a more modern and attractive maroon color, and also selected a deeper green to give a more serious but vibrant tone to our work. Orange was selected for aesthetic purposes to be used as a highlighter;
  • A watermark that uses parts of our logo and brings in the human element to the center of our agricultural science and creates something that is uniquely ICRISAT; and
  • Other elements to create a unique design include a vertical orientation, specific font, positioning of the logo and text, and presentation of photos.

Key action items

  1. Apply ICRISAT’s new visual branding to ALL outputs/products (publications, PowerPoint presentations, stationary, posters, videos, staff email, and all other major outputs).
  2. Add “ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium” on all products, including your email signature.
  3. IMOD should be referred to in all key outputs.
    Below your email signature, you can write:
    “ICRISAT works through a strategy called Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD) - harnessing markets while focusing on ensuring smallholder farmers’ benefit.”
  4. Use only the approved CGIAR Research Program names, such as:
    CGIAR Research Program on DrylandCereals (DrylandCereals for short)
    CGIAR Research Program on GrainLegumes (GrainLegumes for short)
  5. Work undertaken as part of a CGIAR Research Program must include the explanation,“This work has been undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on …” or the Program logo with the associated text as shown below.
  6. ICRISAT staff affiliation must always be ICRISAT and not a CGIAR Research Program.
    To access the guidelines, product templates and relevant logos, please go to: http://intranet.icrisat.org/co/ICRISAT-brand-design.htm

Branding elements and application

Colors The main corporate colors are: green and maroon, to be used in large blocks. Orange is used as a highlighter color only. White space is also to be used whenever possible.

Text and font – Font for general material will be Arial or Calibri. Font for inside text of scientific material will be Times Roman or Revival. Paragraph text is left justified only.

Watermark design – A watermark of parts of the ICRISAT logo has been created, only to be used when incorporated into the green/maroon color block, to ensure that it becomes part of the design and not a competing logo.

Vertical orientation and line – The block colors and highlighter color must be used in vertical blocks and vertical lines. The overall page design must have a vertical design/feel to it.

ICRISAT logo – Covers (or other entry/front sections of products), should include the full version of the current logo, i.e. with the full name, acronym and image. The logo should always be presented in the corporate  (green) color (and not black or white) – unless this option is not available. Products should be designed to allow for the logo to be in the corporate color.  The logo should be placed on the bottom left quadrant (where at all possible).

Photos – Use monotone color photos, and sometimes with part of the photo in color, mainly on covers or other entry/front sections of products.

We are proud to say that this new visual branding was developed by our in-house talents. Thanks to ICRISAT’s graphic designers – Vengal, Meeravali, Chandra and Bharathi. Also, thanks to the panel that reviewed and guided the process – Joanna, Tina, Lydia and Smitha, and to all Strategic Marketing and Communication staff who have contributed in one way or another. This is a great example of team work.

back to top Back to top

ICRISAT participates in Odisha Agricultural Trade Fair

Visitors at the ICRISAT stall during the agricultural exhibition-cum-trade fair held in Chandrasekharpur.

A variety of ICRISAT’s pigeonpea varieties, hybrid seeds, plants, and  project accomplishments and activities including those of the Kothapally watershed were put on show at the state-level Krishi Mahostav, an agricultural exhibition-cum-trade fair held in Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar, Odisha on 19-22 March.

ICRISAT was allotted an exclusive booth where it displayed activities conducted as part of the project on ‘Introduction and Expansion of Improved Pigeonpea Production Technology in Rainfed Upland Eco-Systems of Odisha’ with financial support from Rastriya Krushi Vikash Yojna (RKVY).

Over 1000 leaflets (Effective and Efficient Seed Production of Pigeonpea Hybrid/Variety), 300 booklets (Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Disease Management of Pigeonpea), and 250 booklets (Cultural Management Practices of Pigeonpea) in the local language Oriya were distributed to stakeholders. Value-added products like pigeonpea dal (in 0.5 -1 kg packs) prepared by women’s self-help groups of Kalahandi and Rayagada (using the dal mill supplied by the project) were also displayed. About 1,400 kg of dal was sold from the ICRISAT stall.

The fair was inaugurated by Odisha Chief Minister Mr Naveen Patnaik.  Mr RS Gopalan, Director of Agriculture and Food, spoke on the occasion. The annual fair conducted by the Government of Odisha through its Department of Agriculture, saw 357 booths showcasing products and machinery from public and private institutions.

Among those who participated were State coordinator Mr Sarat Kumar Tripathy (ICRISAT), and District Coordinators Mr B Sahu (Kalahandi), Mr Y Naik (Nauparha) and Mr S Mohanty (Rayagada).

back to top Back to top

Multiple Crop Model training held in Nepal

Participants of the training program in Nepal.

To train participants in using multiple crop models for the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Regional Integrated Assessments, a five-day training program was held in Nepal on 18-22 March.

The training included sessions on Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT), Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) and AgMIP information technology (IT) tools that facilitate use of multiple crop models for simulating crop production variations associated with farm

survey data. A small number of experienced crop modelers were trained as trainer to provide instruction and/or guidance to other researchers in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Participants were selected through a competitive process that targeted highly motivated scientists proficient in using computers, software packages and at least one crop model for data analysis and with sound knowledge of agronomy. Experience in statistical and economic tools for climate-induced risk assessment or crop modeling was considered an added advantage.

Attended by 14 participants from 5 countries, it was organized by ICRISAT together with AgMIP, University of Florida, Washington State University, Columbia University, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and the International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT).

The training program was part of the “Enhancing Capacities of the AgMIP South Asia Regional Teams through Capacity-Building Workshops and Knowledge-Sharing Platforms” project. It was partially supported by Department for International Development/UKaid; CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security; and CIMMYT/Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA).

The activity was coordinated by Carolyn Mutter, AgMIP International Coordinator;  Job Kihara, AgMIP sub-Saharan Africa Coordinator; and Dileepkumar Guntuku, AgMIP South Asia Coordinator and ICRISAT’s Global Leader for Knowledge Sharing and Innovation.

back to top Back to top

ICRISAT to help develop Fishpedia portal

ICRISAT together with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Kanpur will coordinate with fisheries R&D organizations under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, in developing a digital knowledge management platform for fisheries.

Participants of the meeting of consortium partners held in New Delhi.

Participating in the first meeting of consortium partners held on 21 March in New Delhi, Dr S Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR thanked ICRISAT and IIT for the initiative and sought the active participation of all the R&D organizations in content mobilization and project implementation. Dr B Meenakumari, DDG-Fisheries, ICAR said the Fishpedia project would fulfill a long-felt need of the sector.

Dr NT Yaduraju Project Coordinator and ICRISAT Principal Scientist – ICT4D, Knowledge Sharing and Innovation, highlighted the project objectives, work plan, deliverables, timelines and roles and responsibilities of partners during the meeting.

back to top Back to top