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.
I 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:
|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.