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
From April 12-14, I was in Ibadan, Nigeria for a very exciting meeting. I joined more than two hundred international and national partners from countries across Africa, including leaders from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and CGIAR centers, policy makers and the private sector to discuss a new initiative, “Africa Feeding Africa” or Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT). Read more