Category Archives: Innovation

Tasting Smart Food delicacies at the booth with (far left) Kenya’s former Agriculture Secretary Dr Wilson Songa and his wife Josephine (far right) and Moses Siambi.

Supporting global efforts to make data on agriculture and nutrition available and accessible

With dignitaries at the 2017 GODAN Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Abraham Ali (Image works Africa)

With dignitaries at the 2017 GODAN Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Abraham Ali (AGRA)

I recently had the opportunity to be part of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) 2017 summit in Nairobi, Kenya, from 14-16 June. The monumental potential that data has to build resilience for food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture was evident at this event hosted jointly by the Government of Kenya and the GODAN Secretariat.

Hon. Willy Bett, the Kenya Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, rightly said during a press conference at the summit: “In the climate change era where drought has become a new and constant reality, we cannot build resilience without the right type of data being available to inform the decisions we make. Only an evidence-based approach using credible data will help us transform our economies through agriculture.” Read more

Learning from farmers

On 28-30 April ICRISAT participated in the National Trade Fair: Organics and Millets, organised by Govt of Karnataka where Dr Bergvinson interacted with Karnataka Agriculture Minister Mr Krishna Byre Gowda and other stakeholders. Watch Dr David Bergvinson talk about how millets can create economic opportunities for rural communities, entrepreneurs and youth. He also visited Tumkur district in the state and interacted with youth to understand how the science community can support them to be successful entrepreneurs.

ICRISAT’s science of delivery in 2016 and looking forward to 2017

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.

Groundnut in Gujarat poised for Growth

‘High Oleic’ groundnut trial at JAU (Junagadh Agricultural University), Gujarat. Photo: P. Janila, ICRISAT

‘High Oleic’ groundnut trial at JAU (Junagadh Agricultural University), Gujarat. Photo: P. Janila, ICRISAT

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

Linking the Year of Pulses and the Sustainable Development Goals

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.