Updated on 27 September 2012
Happy 40th Birthday ICRISAT
Bangalore: The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) held a program in its Patancheru campus to commemorate its 40th anniversary. The chief guest of the event was Professor MS Swaminathan, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, India, and chairman, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, who said that, "Inclusive agriculture is the key to winning the fight against poverty, hunger and malnutrition in the dryland tropics of the world,"
In his talk Prof Swaminathan highlighted the need for inclusiveness to empower the farming poor. He highlighted that by giving smallholder farmers access to technologies and by connecting them to markets, we could provide them options for a more profitable and resilient agriculture towards achieving food, nutrition and economic security.
With the theme "A journey to prosperity in the dryland tropics," the week-long celebration began with a science symposium on Monday, attended by about 100 international agriculture experts, partners and scientists, and a loyalty day program on Tuesday to honor staff for their dedicated service to the Institute. ICRISAT's 67th governing board meeting will also be held later this week as part of the anniversary celebrations.
Professor Swaminathan also recognized ICRISAT's four decades of commitment and dedicated service to the most underprivileged sector of the world, the poor in the dryland tropics. He posed a number of challenges to the institute including, crop biofortification to combat the ‘hidden hunger' or malnutrition due to micronutrient deficiencies prevailing in the developing world; and appropriate mechanization to help resource poor farmers, particularly women, in ensuring the economic viability of small-farm operations.
Dr Nigel Poole, chair of board, ICRISAT, highlighted the institute's science-based and sustainable innovations have greatly improved rural livelihoods, contributing to the CGIAR's high return of $17 for every dollar invested. He stressed that this impact is due, in no small part to the institute's strategic public, private and civil society partners worldwide.