In his end of the year message ICRISAT’s Director General David Bergvinson highlights the achievements of the institute in 2016, the UN’s Year of Pulses, across Asia and Africa. He also talks about the urgency and goals to aim for in 2017 to meet the SDGs as there’s still a lot of work to be done and we need to come together to achieve them.
This week I had the privilege to travel with ICRISAT Groundnut breeder, Dr Janila Pasupuleti, and Dr T Radhakrishnan, Director of Directorate of Groundnut Research (DGR) to large expanses of precision groundnut production in Saurashtra region in the Indian state of Gujarat. Junagadh is one of 11 districts there and it was truly impressive to see straight rows of groundnut devoid of weeds as far as the eye could see.
It was obvious how progressive and proud the Gujarati groundnut farmers are in this region. We talked about the challenges and economics of groundnut production with two brothers, Damodar Patel and Chandras Patel (Kevadra Village, Junagadh district), who spoke about the importance of the groundnut seeds they buy from local seed traders. Seed is a business based on trust and they are willing to pay a 40% price premium over state provided seed that translates to a total cost of USD200 per hectare. Read more
In his latest vlog ICRISAT Director General David Bergvinson talks about the relation between two initiatives — 2016 International Year of Pulses as well as the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. He speaks about his experience from the ground during a recent visit to South Indian States where he interacted with farmers and attended the 1000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) launch in Andhra Pradesh (by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu), and consultation on Pulses for Addressing Food and Nutrition Security at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Tamil Nadu.