12 Feb 2016
No. 1714

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Karnataka government leads the way in new holistic approach to public-private partnerships in agriculture

Mr Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr Jayachandra, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, Dr David Bergvinson and Dr SP Wani in discussion. Photos: Govt. of Karnataka

The Karnataka state government in India has initiated a public-private partnerships approach across the whole agricultural value chain – focusing not only on production but all the way through to agribusiness. Core to their holistic approach is having science-backed solutions at all stages and providing the policy support, thus making farming profitable, and ensuring the smallholder farmer benefits.

The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr Siddaramaiah, indicated in his discussions with Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, that he is very focused on creating an enabling environment for investment in Karnataka, with agriculture as one of the key sectors that he sees for the state’s growth in the future.

Ms Latha Krishna Rao addressing the gathering at the Global Investors Meet. photo: Govt. of Karnataka

The initiatives by the government are unique, holistic and pro-industry, providing not just policy backing and land for setting up processing units, but also financial support through bank credit and insurance, with strong market policies that can enhance the entire value chain.

Industry representatives expressed positive views on the government’s pro-industry approach. BigBasket, an online grocery store that caters to the urban market, shared that there is considerable demand for organic produce, and currently they are unable to meet the demand. Kotak Mahindra Bank said that they are willing to offer credit support to promote agribusiness.

In his address at the ‘Invest Karnataka 2016 Global Investors Meet’ Mr Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka, was very positive towards the involvement of national and international research organizations and the private sector, not just in enhancing production and productivity, but also in processing, so that smallholder farmers can benefit across the value chain. Talking about the “Karnataka Agri Business & Food Processing Policy 2015” he mentioned that in addition to providing single window clearance the policy also makes available various incentives for the private sector to set up processing plants across the state. Another unique initiative by the Government of Karnataka is strong policy support for biotechnology. This initiative of the government has a science-led approach that is promoted by ICRISAT.

In his interactions with the Chief Minister, Dr Bergvinson briefed him about the ongoing collaboration between Government of Karnataka and ICRISAT. Dr Bergvinson also presented samples of improved varieties of groundnut, pigeonpea and chickpea and particularly highlighted the importance of scaling-up pigeonpea hybrids in the state. Confectionery groundnut was also highlighted as an important mandate for public-private partnership. The Chief Minister appreciated ICRISAT’s efforts and stressed the need to popularize improved cultivars of groundnut, finger millet, pigeonpea and other crops in the state.

The achievements of Department of Agriculture and ICRISAT collaboration through Bhoochetana which has benefitted more than 5 million farmers with increased productivity by 20-66% were discussed. Bhoo Samruddhi, another innovative approach of convergence of different sectors to benefit the farmers was also highlighted.

Dr Bergvinson shared that the use of new science tools like marker-assisted breeding of improved cultivars of finger millet, pigeonpea, chickpea and groundnut allowed cultivars to be released quickly. He said that ICRISAT is working closely with Government of Karnataka and private sector partners to provide sustainable solutions to smallholder farmers to realize their full potential. ICRISAT builds this through public-private partnerships. Farmers are engaged in design, development and delivery of technologies to meet their needs.

He emphasized on the multiple benefits of nutri-cereals like millets and sorghum. He said that ICRISAT is proud to be the pioneer engaged in creating a consortium of corporate members. These partnerships are very diverse and very impactful. ICRISAT looks forward to public-private partnerships through corporate social responsibility to investing in the private sector, creating markets for smallholder farmers.

During the panel discussion on the agricultural sector Mr Byre Gowda stressed on the need to transform the agricultural sector which can be a growth engine for the state. He stressed the need for private companies to come forward and participate by enhancing their investments in the state in increasing production and productivity along with profitability for the farmers through value addition.

Dr Bergvinson in his address highlighted the science-led development in agriculture by harnessing the power of digital agriculture to enhance production, productivity and profitability along with ensuring sustainability of agriculture as a source of livelihood in the state. He elaborated on the innovative interventions undertaken by the Government of Karnataka with the help of a consortium of national and international partners led by ICRISAT.

Dr David Bergvinson met the Chief Minister along with Mr Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture; Ms Latha Krishna Rao, Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Development Commissioner; Mr Manjunath Prasad, Principal Secretary and Mr Panduranga Bomaya Nayak, Commissioner, Agriculture and ICRISAT team.

ICRISAT also set up a stall depicting new technologies and products for increasing productivity as well as profitability of the farmers in the state.

The ‘Invest Karnataka 2016 Global Investors Meet’ was organized by the Government of Karnataka during 3-5 February at Bengaluru, India. The inaugural function was addressed by dignitaries like Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons; Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group; Mr Anil D Ambani, Chairman, Reliance ADA Group; Mr Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director, JSW Steel; Mr NR Narayan Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys; Mr Azim H Premji, Chairman, Wipro Limited; Ms Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon Limited, along with other industrialists. There were more than 4,000 participants mainly from industries and different sectors. ICRISAT delegation was led by Dr Bergvinson, and comprised Dr SP Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center,

Dr K Krishnappa, Resident Scientist and Dr KH Anantha, Senior scientist – Natural Resource Management, ICRISAT.


Read more about the event on: http://dgblog.icrisat.org/

Know more about ICRISATs research in Karnataka. http://exploreit.icrisat.org/page/karnataka/995

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Launching VIDEO BLOG for the International Year of Pulses

Topics and experts captured for the launch include

The key big issues for pulses

By Prof. Kadambot HM Siddique, Hackett Professor of Agriculture Chair and Director, The UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Perth.

Breeding must keep pace with emerging diseases in pulses

By Dr Mamta Sharma, Senior Scientist - Legumes Pathology, Grain Legumes, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India

Don’t ignore aflatoxin contamination in pulses

By Anthony Wenndt, PhD scholar (Fungal biology), Cornell University, USA

In this ongoing series of video blogs, experts will speak about breeding for better climate smart pulse varieties, value chains, mechanization in pulse cultivation, herbicide tolerance, insect and disease resistance, intercropping systems, aflatoxin in pulses, and a host of other issues to draw the attention of policy makers, scientists and investors.

Go to: http://www.icrisat.org/iyp/

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Earth Care Awards

The Earth Care Awards (ECAs) is an initiative which highlights locally evolved climate friendly practices in the production and consumption regimes across multiple sectors with special reference to climate change. It recognizes the actions and innovations for climate change mitigation and adaptation by communities, entrepreneurs, large scale industries, and small and medium scale enterprises.

The awards are given for the following categories:
Community based mitigation and adaptation in water resources, agriculture, forestry and other land use Innovations for climate protection GHG mitigation in Large Enterprises and Leadership in Urban Climate Action.

For more information, http://www.earthcareawards.com/

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New publications

Bhoo Samruddhi: A Compendium of Success Stories, Research Report IDC-2.

Authors: Wani SP, Anantha KH, Dharmarajan BK and Krishnappa K

Published: 2015. Monograph. ICRISAT, Patancheru, Telangana, India.

Abstract: In India, of 142 m ha of arable lands, 60% is rainfed. Karnataka has the second largest area under rainfed agriculture in the country. Farmers’ crop yields in dryland areas are low (1-1.5 tons ha-1), two to five times below potential yield. Food production can be increased substantially in rainfed areas by applying enhanced water use efficiency measures, improving soil health and implementing new technologies in an integrated approach. Recognizing the problem, the Department of Agriculture (DoA), Government of Karnataka (GoK), has adopted science-led initiatives for achieving impact oriented development in the state and has brought in international expertise to unlock the potential of rainfed agriculture in the state. In addition to Bhoochetana, the farmer-centric initiative that has benefited more than 4.3 million farm households, the state government has initiated several innovative measures to improve agricultural production and livelihood of farmers. Realizing increased agricultural productivity, production and improved livelihoods, the government requested ICRISAT to lead a consortium of CGIAR institutions working in India, and to operationalize impact oriented research for development aiming to improve rural livelihoods. The ICRISAT-led consortium established a “proof of concept” for translating strategic research knowledge into improving livelihoods through scaling up the participatory research for development (PR4D) model.

OAR link: http://oar.icrisat.org/9267/

Bhoochetana : A Compendium of Success Stories, Research Report IDC-3.

Authors: Wani SP, Anantha KH, Sudi R, Krishnappa K and Dharmarajan BK

Published: 2015. Monograph. ICRISAT, Patancheru, Telangana, India.

Abstract: The Government of Karnataka has upscaled the learnings from Sujala-ICRISAT initiative to enhance agricultural productivity in dryland areas of the state by bridging yield gap in farmers’ fields with the help of science-based productivity enhancement interventions. The mission project on rainfed agriculture called “Bhoochetana” launched during 2009-10 to benefit dryland farmers in 30 districts of Karnataka, by adopting the principle of consortium, convergence, capacity building and collective action, proposed by ICRISAT to address the issues of efficiency, economics, equity and environmental protection. The consortium partners involved State Agricultural Universities (UAS, Bangalore; Dharwad; and Raichur), the Watershed Development Department (WDD), the Department of Economics and Statistics (DES), and other line departments, ICRISAT and the Department of Agriculture which is the nodal agency for the project. During the second and third year, project activities expanded to all 30 districts in addition to the six districts of the Sujala watershed program where soil health mapping had already been completed, with participatory selection of appropriate cultivars of major crops. In all 30 districts efforts have been made to collect soil samples by adopting a stratified soil sampling method and covering a large number of villages.


Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of the Peanut Research Community-Advances in Arachis through Genomics and Biotechnology (AAGB-2015), 4 - 7 November 2015, Brisbane, Australia.

Since 2006, the international peanut genomics research community has worked through the Peanut Genome Initiative (PGI) to integrate genomic and biotechnological approaches into the process for developing effective environmentally benign solutions that help reduce economic risks of peanut production. The PGI has facilitated improved collaboration between international scientists and stakeholders through a series of international conferences on Advances in Arachis through Genomics and Biotechnology (AAGB).

AAGB meetings provide a forum to develop, implement and account results of work toward strategic plans that ultimately lead to more productive varieties and enhanced quality products.

The program will include genomic presentations of diploid species and the cultivated species, use of molecular technologies for crop improvement, advances in sequencing and genomic science.

In the 8th International Conference at Brisbane, Australia, the following papers by ICRISAT scientists were presented.

Multiple biotic stress resistant and productive genotypes identified under Spanish bunch background in groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.)

Authors: Motagi BN, Gowda MVC, Naidu GK, Nadaf HL, Bhat RS and Kenchangoudar PV


Evaluation of groundnut genotypes for resistance to Sclerotium rolfsii under artificial field inoculated conditions.

Authors: Pujer S, Kenchangoudar PV, Gowda MVC and Motagi BN


Screening of groundnut interspecific derivatives for resistance to Sclerotium rolfsii.

Authors: Balaraju M, Kenchangoudar PV, Motagi BN, Adiver SS, Gowda MVC and Pujer S


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Readers’ comments

It’s really exciting news that 2.25 tons of chickpea (variety NBeG 47) are being harvested in just 75 minutes. Hope concerned studies have already been conducted on this legume variety towards parameters like taste, nutrients, cultivation period, water requirement, disease resistance etc.

Once again I sincerely appreciate the awesome work, being carried for the benefit of socially backward people.

Best regards.
Dr TK Ghosh, MSc, PhD., FAEB, FIFI, FMAS 

Response from Dr Pooran Gaur

This variety is at par in grain yield, maturity duration, resistance to diseases and protein content with the standard cultivar JG 11 and has additional advantage of suitability to machine harvesting.

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