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Taking time to engage with investors

My first priority when joining ICRISAT was to visit all of our country offices and see our work on the ground with partners and engage directly with farmers. I learnt so much from these visits.  My attention has recently focused on meeting more donors to understand their perspectives and needs in relation to what ICRISAT can contribute towards a shared vision of prosperity through agriculture research for development.

There was strong donor support for ICRISAT’s program during meetings on my recent visit to the USA. This both confirmed the importance of our work and the opportunities for us to improve the delivery of technical, actionable, measurable and relevant research.  While in the US, I met with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MARS, Tata Trust, USAID, World Bank, IFAD and the Clinton Climate Initiative.

Holistic model Diagram_1a SmallI explained how we are taking steps to improve the efficiency of our operations, facilitating work across programs and disciplines, and integrating work in Africa and Asia.  We are also linking work across the whole agricultural R4D chain in service of national priorities to empower farmers to become profitable and manage risks.

ICRISAT has developed this agricultural R4D value chain graphic to represent the holistic approach  we take working from the land and water management all the way through to agribusiness and market development.

The largest proposals ICRISAT has had approved for funding so far this year are:

Donor Agency Project
 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  Tropical Legumes III
 Government of Andhra Pradesh  Technical Assistance – Primary Sector Mission in Andhra  Pradesh
 International Institute for Tropical  Agriculture (African Development  Bank)  Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program    (ATASP-1)
 UK Department for International  Development  Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project  (AgMIP Phase II)
 Cornell University  Genomic & Open-source Breeding Informatics Initiative  (GOBII)
 JSW Foundation  Improving Climate Resilience of Tribal Farmers in  Maharashtra through Integrated Watershed Management
 Directorate of Agriculture and Food  Production, Government of Odisha  Improved Pigeonpea Production Technology in Odisha
 USAID-Mali  Africa RISING’s large-scale diffusion of technologies for  sorghum and millet systems (addl. funding)

At the end of the day, whether it be our research collaborators, farmers we seek to help, or our donors, we all have a shared vision for improving the lives of smallholder farm families. We can achieve more if we can work together and this is my intention – we are all partners and care about making a difference.

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