At the GFIA 2016, Abu Dhabi

Photo: Matt Manning

Photo: Matt Manning

On February 16-17th I joined hundreds of leaders from around the world at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Abu Dhabi. It was a great opportunity for ICRISAT and its partners to forge new partnerships and find ways to use innovation to address malnutrition, environmental sustainability and most importantly ensure farmers are commercially viable. Read more

Invest Karnataka: Commercial investment needed for development

This week I traveled to Bengaluru (in Karnataka state, India) to take part in a global meeting of private investors. At ‘Invest Karnataka’ I felt there was a lot of enthusiasm and optimism around Karnataka and the role private sector can play in bringing about economic development.


I was among more than 4,000 participants from the private sector, the government and to a lesser degree civil society that had gathered to talk about ways in which we can build partnerships to invest in long term sustained growth through innovation, an open society and open approach to development. Read more

Visiting the Largest Women’s Organisation in India – SEWA

I recently had the great pleasure of visiting SEWA (the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India) in Gujarat.   Their main office is in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – though they work across several states in India. SEWA was formed the same year as ICRISAT – in 1972.   What started with a small group of dedicated women working together in Gujarat has now become a vibrant co-operative with two million members across the country.

With members of SEWA in Ganeshpura village, Gujarat

With members of SEWA in Ganeshpura village, Gujarat

Both ICRISAT and SEWA have grown up in India and, whilst both are serving different purposes in society, what really struck me was how by joining hands with an organisation such as SEWA we can really achieve impact at scale in a short period of time.   This in turn will ensure that our science is relevant and that it meets the needs of women farmers to create economic opportunity and sustainable development … not only in India but in Sub-Saharan Africa as well. Read more