Crops   » Sorghum
Sorghum
Photo: ICRISAT
 
 

Sorghum is a highly reliable crop that grows well in hot, dry environments. It is "climate change-ready", and provides food security and income for millions of poor farmers living in such locations. 

500 million - Number of people who rely on sorghum as a dietary staple

242 – Number of improved commercial sorghum varieties derived from ICRISAT research

484 – Average net return (US$) per hectare to African farmers growing improved sorghum

1,240 – Average net return (US$) per hectare to African farmers who feed sorghum to livestock



Micro doses to security - Microdosing, warrantage and small seed packs for better incomes in Africa

In the dry, and often barren, semi-arid tropics of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the longterm overuse of soil leads to land degradation, decline in soil fertility, and decline in crop yields. Studies show that land degradation in West and Central Africa (WCA) leads to a loss of about $42 billion in incomes, and 5 million hectares of productive land each year. In Zimbabwe, 75-90% of crop land is unfertilized as the average fertilizer application by smallholder farmers, when they can afford it, is a mere 3 kg/ha.

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Partnership for synergy - Promoting sorghum and pearl millet in the poultry feed industry

The area under sorghum is declining in India, China and Thailand due to several constraints on both production and marketing. Studies documented the constraints in sorghum farming in project areas (India, China and Thailand), and the major constraints found include (i) Availability and access to improved cultivar seeds and other inputs; (ii) Poor access to cost effective technologies to enhance production; (iii) Absence of farm advisory services to help farmers in taking farm level decisions; (iv) Inability to get timely credit from nationalized banks; and (v) Poor market linkages to industry.

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HOPE for the future - Sorghum and finger millet in HOPE Project, Tanzania

Agriculture, contributing to 25% of GDP and employing more than 75 percent of the population, is the mainstay of the economy in Tanzania and has potential to be a key driver of economic growth in the country. Nationally, the poverty level is estimated at 40%, with access to modern technologies cited as a constraint, as only 50% of the demand for improved seed and fertilizers are met. ICRISAT’s HOPE project on productivity and profitability improvement for sorghum and finger millet has project sites in five semi-arid districts of Tanzania namely, Kondoa, Singida Rural, Iramba, Kishapu and Rombo, with a combined population of about 1.5 m people.

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The game changer - Pigeonpea for uplifting livelihoods and sustainable agriculture in Rajasthan

Fifteen million hectares of dry areas in Rajasthan cultivated by smallholder farmers have been affected by frequent droughts and land degradation. Years of absent or minimal rainfall, coupled with the fact that soil enhancing legumes had not been grown here for ages, had not surprisingly led to depletion of soil health, making the soil uninviting and unproductive, This in turn has led to low productivity and sometimes abandonment of agricultural lands, causing extreme hardships to millions of farmers who depend on farming for their livelihoods.

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Just a small dose will do

Inclusiveness is about bringing life-changing innovations to millions of smallholder farming families who have the biggest needs – techniques that are adapted to smallholder, resource-poor farmers. The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Dr Kanayo Nwanze, speaking at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week opening ceremony in Accra, Ghana, said “We have seen good results from a fertlizer microdosing Just a small dose will do Philip Tshuma and his family proudly show extension agents their sorghum and pearl millet fields with microdosing application. technique developed by ICRISAT and its partners, using a bottle cap system so farmers can measure out small, aff ordable amounts of fertilizer.” Dr Nwanze believes that there is huge potenƟ al to increase yields using low-cost and existing technologies.

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Genetic resources for food security

The RS Paroda Genebank at ICRISAT’s headquarters in Patancheru, India, is one of the world’s largest repositories of genetic resources of its mandate crops, and at present conserves more than 120,000 accessions from 144 countries. From this facility, ICRISAT engages in the assembly, conservation, maintenance, characterization, evaluation, documentation and distribution of germplasm of its mandate crops – sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut and their wild relatives; and six small millets – finger millet, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, kodo millet, little millet and proso millet.

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Sweet sorghum

In the wake of steeply rising fossil fuel prices, interest in biofuels has grown worldwide. In addition to the leading biofuel feedstocks such as sugarcane, sugarbeet, cassava, rapeseed and maize grain, alternatives are emerging to help meet mandated blending requirements. Alternatives are also needed in the tropics and sub-tropics because some crops, such as sugarcane, require about a year to grow and need large quantities of water and fertilizers; sugarbeet demands a cooler climate, and is water and nutrient thirsty; and maize requires significant quantities of water and nutrients.

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Guinea-race sorghum hybrids

Sorghum varieties belonging to the Guinea-race combine high grain quality with excellent adaptation for major parts of the Sudanian zone of West and Central Africa. Despite their exceptional yield stability, however, yield levels rarely exceed 2 t ha-1 in farmers’ fields.

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ICRISAT-HOPE sharply increases sorghum yields in Maharashtra, India

HOPE has become reality for 25,000 farmers in dryland Marathwada and Western Maharashtra regions of the state of Maharashtra, known as the ‘Sorghum Bowl of India’. Initial assessments indicate that their grain yields rose by 40% and fodder yields by 20% on average over the past three seasons (2010-2012) due to improved sorghum varieties and crop management practices, along with improved market linkages. About half of these farmers operate on a very small scale, with landholding size of two hectares or less. Net income (the income that farmers retain after their costs of cultivation are paid for) has increased by 50%, to an average of US$78 per hectare of sorghum grown.

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The brilliance of genome sequencing

The integration of genomic tools in plant breeding is becoming routine, resulting in the more rapid development of superior crops. However, for most of the ICRISAT mandate crops, genomics-assisted breeding is still at an early stage. This is mostly due to limited genomic information and a poor understanding of the inheritance (genes, alleles, interactions, and regulation of these) underlying agronomic performance, product quality and tolerance/resistance to important abiotic and biotic stresses. In 2000, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L.) was the fi rst plant to have its genome sequenced. Since then, genome sequencing has progressed rapidly and several economically important crops have been sequenced – rice (2005), poplar (2006), grape (2007), papaya (2008), sorghum, maize and cucumber (2009), soybean (2010), and pigeonpea and strawberry (2011).

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Brain and brawn belie bad soil

Human beings inhabit a great range of environments; they are found in the coldest and hottest of climates, in lush green surroundings and in the driest tropics of the world – and still manage to survive

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Nourishment from NutriPlus

Food is one of our basic needs and pleasures. Everyone needs food, and the better the food, the better is our health and nutrition. The NutriPlus Knowledge Center (NutriPlus) is the latest initiative of the Agri-Science Park@ ICRISAT. NutriPlus activities are geared towards meeting the mandate of ICRISAT in nutritional security and poverty alleviation. NutriPlus offers a world class facility with services to support new ventures in the development of high value food products. The aim is to enhance the excellence of the food industry through innovative research and development, technology, marketing and allied services.

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Bioinformatics tools for molecular breeding

Over the past few decades, major advances in the field of information technology coupled with advances in genomic technologies, have led to more efficient applications of genomics in crop improvement programs. Today, large and complex sets of data are being routinely generated. Bioinformatics tools for the capture, curation, integration and analysis of these large volumes of data are therefore a necessity for increased efficiency and improved quality within the molecular breeding process.

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Rooting around for answers

Why a quantum leap in root research? Much has been reported on the potential of roots to improve crop yield and resilience under drought. However, most studies on roots have used time consuming methods to extricate roots from soil and assess the diff erences in length and density. This has limited their use in breeding because of a relatively low throughput, and fairly large experimental errors. Furthermore, the information on roots harvested at a single point in time only provides a snapshot of the roots at that particular time, ie, “static” data, which cannot help in defi ning the exact role of roots. Previously, it was assumed that deeper/more profuse roots would contribute to higher water uptake and then to higher yield. Yet, the relation between rooting and water uptake remains controversial.

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Keeping the good, while targeting the bad

Appetite suppressant: In 2008, insect-resistant transgenic crops expressing genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that control specifi c insect pests are being grown on some 40 million hectares in 25 countries. These insectresistant crops have been deployed successfully for the management of bollworms in cotton, and corn earworm and stem borers in maize – insect species that feed on many crops, including the ICRISAT mandate crops like chickpea, pigeonpea and sorghum, and cause considerable damage in farmers’ fi elds.

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Genebank: Investing in the future

RS Paroda Genebank: In 2006, ICRISAT published a book titled Genes are Gems (unrelated to genebanks); but if genes are gems, then what better place to store them than in a bank?! ICRISAT’s RS Paroda Genebank located on the campus at Patancheru, India is one of the largest genebanks in the CGIAR system, holding more than 119,000 accessions of its fi ve mandate crops and six small millets from 144 countries. Ninety percent of these accessions are conserved under long term storage (at -20o C). To provide easy access to such a large number of accessions, detailed information about each accession is stored in a database and can be accessed through SINGER, the germplasm/data exchange network of the CGIAR on the Internet.

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Stifling striga with stronger sorghum

Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is the 5th most important cereal crop worldwide. The plant is mainly cultivated in dryland areas of Africa and Asia, and also in the Americas. Average grain yields range from 800 kg ha-1 in Africa to 3400 kg ha-1 in America. Parasitic weeds of the genus Striga are the major biotic constraint to agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa. Striga hermonthica and Striga asiatica parasitize mainly cereals. Yield losses can, especially in the presence of additional drought stress, attain 100%. In comparison with chemical, mechanical and biological Striga control methods, the cultivation of crop cultivars resistant to Striga is of particular advantage to farmers, since it does not require specifi c investments in materials or labor.

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Multiplying the mycotoxin laboratories

Mycotoxins are fungal poisons that contaminate up to 25% of human food and causes losses ranging from $0.5 to 1.5 billion in the USA alone. Among various mycotoxins, afl atoxins, produced by Aspergillus fl avus and A. parasiticus, occur globally. Research reports indicate that afl atoxin contamination is widespread in staple crops such as groundnut, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, chillies, pistachio, cassava, and even in milk from animals fed with contaminated feed.

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Commercialization of pigeonpea spells prosperity

Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) is one of the most important food crops grown in eastern and southern Africa. Farmers love this crop for many reasons – tolerance to drought, important source of protein for the family, vital source of scarce cash, and provider of fodder for livestock. Pigeonpea fi xes soil nitrogen, allowing the poor farmers to improve soil fertility without expensive chemical fertilizers. Farmers have evolved elaborate intercropping systems allowing them to plant pigeonpea with maize, sorghum and other cereals making it highly suited to semi-arid, low soil fertility areas.

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TV dinners for livestock?

Poor livestock keepers in the semi-arid tropics point to feed shortages as one of their biggest animal production constraints. Crop residues provide fodder from the cropping system without need for additional resources such as arable land and water, as is often the case with planted forages. Crop residues already constitute over 40% of India’s feed resources, and their importance is likely to increase

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Reviving the think-tank in West Africa

Agriculture in Niger (one of the poorest nations) is the main source of livelihood accounting for 38% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 94% of labor force. About 62% of households live below the poverty line (less than US$1 per/day). Despite donor and government investments in R&D during the last 30 years, the aggregate impacts of agricultural research in Niger are limited, and food insecurity remains widespread. There is a need to reassess agricultural research priorities and development interventions to transform the agricultural sector.

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Led by light in West Africa

Living organisms use day-length to synchronize their daily and seasonal activities. Photoperiod-sensitivity is a spectacular expression of this phenomenon affecting reproduction, daily leaf movements or seasonal stem growth, dormancy and leaf fall.

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Sorghum – linking farmer, feed-manufacturer, fellow scientists and fowl

Traditional sorghum grown in the rainy season is often vulnerable to grain mold attack, making it unfit for human consumption. But with improved sorghum cultivars that are less susceptible to molds, all would not be lost. Also, grain harvested in the rainy season can still fetch a profit from the brewing industry (whiskey), and at a more basic level, from the poultry feed industry, which is growing at a rate of 15-20% per annum.

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Hagaz, the halcyon hybrid

Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is grown for grain and stover in tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa and the Indian sub-continent. In Eritrea, pearl millet is the second most important cereal in the country after sorghum and is grown by smallholder farmers on over 80,000 hectares, mainly in lowland and middle elevation regions. With no improved cultivars available until very recently, farmers grow exclusively traditional landraces, which have many preferred traits and a modest grain yield potential, but are generally susceptible to downy mildew.

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Guinea-race sorghum hybrids: New prospects for West Africa

“How would you go about improving the productivity of sorghum in West Africa so as to improve food security and increase farmer’s incomes, and do so by building on several thousand years of farmers’ selection for adaptation and quality of grain?” This question was put to researchers from ICRISAT, the Malian Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER), and the Institut National de l’Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Burkina Faso back in the year 1999.

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Sorghum, a crop of substance

Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is the world’s fifth most important cereal crop by area after rice, wheat, maize and barley. A staple food crop in the semi-arid tropics of Africa, Asia and Latin America, its importance as a fodder and feed crop for livestock has steadily increased over the last two decades.

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A new Sahel - sun, sand and salvation

The Sahel… in Arabic the word means coastline, or edge. The Sahel is the great dryland belt underlying the Sahara Desert, the northern perimeter of subSaharan Africa; in other words, the desert margin – a bleak, unforgiving landscape.

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Seeds of life

Timor-Leste, the world’s newest country, was formerly a Portuguese colony and subsequently an Indonesian province. When its inhabitants overwhelmingly voted for independence in August 1999, terrible civil strife ensued, resulting in widespread damage to infrastructure and disruption of farming activities.

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Old crops, new horizons

Drought has stalked southern Africa for a long time, and the biggest victims are invariably smallholder farmers. Working on nutrient-starved soils, with little access to modern technologies, markets or credit, they lived from season to season. Many aimed simply to feed their families, and in many years they failed. But things are changing, thanks to partnerships engendered by ICRISAT and implemented through the SADC/ICRISAT Sorghum and Millet Improvement Program (SMIP), which completes its activities this year.

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Of stalk and livestock

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and ICRISAT have an important common interest. ILRI studies ruminant livestock, which contribute to human welfare by providing food, draft power and manure. ICRISAT studies crop residues, which are consumed by livestock as fodder. It’s a marriage made in heaven – common ground for collaborative research. A multidisciplinary research team of scientists funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), ILRI and ICRISAT set out to identify genotypes of sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut that could be used to develop plants with greater biomass and nutritive value without sacrificing grain yield.

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Betting on biotechnology

Without the drought tolerance, nutrient use efficiency, pest and disease resistances, and many other traits that are built into genetic fabric of plants adapted to the dry tropics. It would be difficult to envision a Grey to Green Revolution. Much progress has already been made using conventional breeding to accentuate these traits and add new ones. But may believe that what has been achieved so far will pale in comparison with the advances yet to come through the revolutionary new tools of biotechnology. 

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Making every moment count

The short 4-6 month growing season is a fleeting window opportunity that can make or break the livelihoods of the poor in the dry tropics. Farmers struggle to extract every possible bit of green from the grey landscape while they have the chance. But a single low-yielding cereal crop is often all they can muster. Through a range of ingenious technologies that enable them to fit more and higher-value crops into their systems, ICRISAT and partners are helping these farmers tern their grey world green.

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Innovation platforms to livelihoods

Agricultural systems in Africa are notoriously low input-low output systems. This results in low production, and often very little to sell off to generate the much needed cash income. Moreover, markets in rural areas are extremely poorly developed and farmers often find themselves ill-informed about market requirements, grades and standards, price structures and associated policies. In addition, small land holdings and poor labor productivity result in very little excess for market-related sale. In semi-arid areas, where crop production is very risky, households sell their small livestock to pay for food, education and human health. Goat markets were poorly developed and transaction costs for all were very high, resulting in very low income/profits. Low reproductive rates and high mortality, primarily a result of poor dry season feeding, limits the number of animals a household can offer for sale, while poor animal condition and breed results in low prices at informal markets.

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Incubating confidence

The Indian National Agricultural Research System (NARS) is considered as one of the largest publicly funded research systems in the world. However, gaps in its extension machinery have held back many of its research developments from realizing their full potential and reaching its intended target group – the farmers. This has also led to technology fatigue in the system and is detrimental to the agriculture sector in which more than 60 percent of the population depends for its livelihood.

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Changer le destin des enfants de Koutiala autour d’une marmite (French)

“Nous avons besoin de prendre soin de nos bébés, même avant leur naissance. C’est comme quand vous voulez une bonne récolte de coton, vous avez besoin de fertiliser le sol en début de saison”.  Assa Kayentoo utilise un langage imagé qui parle aux femmes et hommes de N’golobougou.  Cette formatrice en nutrition de 46 ans faisait partie de la trentaine de femmes sur une promotion de 300 agronomes de l’Institut de Koulikoro au Mali. Elle est aussi un rare exemple d’une femme divorcée financièrement indépendante, s’occupant seule de ses deux enfants. Elle travaille pour l’ONG Malienne Amassa à Koutiala dans le Sud du Mali.

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From field to lab: whose priorities count?

Making decisions in the lab about what crop traits to improve over others, already assumes that one trait is more desirable than another. Increasingly, involving communities is essential for researchers to ensure that improvements to crop varieties are demand-driven by farmers. Rather than being confined to the lab, researchers are increasingly aware of the social context within which they work. For this purpose, collecting and analyzing data from both men and women – in combination with qualitative data on men and women’s perspectives – is important to clarify who, what, when, where and why for framer-driven research programs.

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Crop scientists search for better sorghum variety

Top crop scientists and researchers from Kenya and Tanzania are trying to establish a sustainable sorghum crop capable of multiple uses. The objective is to support the development of new sorghum multi-purpose varieties that are higher yielding and adapted to both biotic and abiotic (insects and diseases) stresses in the arid and semi-arid agro ecologies of eastern Kenya and in the northern and central zones of Tanzania. Researchers from the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Africa Harvest Biotechnology International Foundation (Africa Harvest) have brought together key collaborators and partners to review the project and plan the way forward.

 

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Eva’s endeavours: a professional path in plant science inspired by Norman Borlaug

Learning about the work of Nobel laureate, Norman Borlaug, in high school inspired Eva Weltzien to become a plant breeder so she too could contribute to improving the living conditions in the developing world. Today, Eva is a Principal Scientist in sorghum breeding and genetic resources at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Mali.

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(Audio) BBC Radio report on Africa Food Security (04:35min)

2014 was declared the African year of Agriculture and Food security. So after the declaration, do you know what your country is doing to keep off hunger? Scientist from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics are already carrying out research to improve the yield and drought resistance in certain crops. The BBC’s Frenny Jowi visited a group of farmers in Busia, Western Kenya who are leading in adopting growing alternative crops such as finger millet, sorghum and cassava to keep their silos and stomachs full all year round.

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Grain revolution in the desert (German)

News article from German deutschlandfunk.de about the Sorghum, millets and GM crops with quotes from ICRISAT scientist Dr Eva W Rattunde.

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Open access research for the semi-arid tropics

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has launched a new website - Exploreit - in order to improve access to its data. 

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ICRISAT's New Tool, EXPLOREit, Optimizes What Agricultural Research Can Do for Development

This week, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is excited to launch EXPLOREit, a new way of making valuable agricultural research accessible across the globe. This unique multi-navigational system will become the main source of our scientific information, with profiles of all topics, systems, crops, locations and resources in the countries where we work.

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Nourishing communities
An integrated approach to improving nutrition is being tested in Mali, with initiatives working with community health centres, women's groups and NGOs. Training on good nutrition and health includes breastfeeding, hygiene, use of maternal and child health services, malaria prevention and diets.Download: 152Kb

What do we mean when we talk of gender strategies for agricultural research?

The majority of women in developing countries rely on agriculture, and it is widely acknowledged that gender should be a major consideration in agricultural development for the rural poor.

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Tanzania's government signs off on sorghum

Sorghum has the potential to significantly improve food security and the incomes of smallholder subsistence farmers, especially those that live in dry areas where maize production has dropped due to low rainfall. In Tanzania, sorghum is grown in areas with marginal annual rainfall, such as the central, northern, southern and lake zones.

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Nourishing communities through holistic farming

Fighting malnutrition is a complex challenge which no one can claim to solve on their own.  We need to consider the agriculture, nutrition, social, and health environment and respond with tailored solutions. Understanding the local context starts by working with farmers so together we can address constraints and spread better practices. Engaging the right partners across health and agriculture is also essential to ensure a sustainable impact on nutrition.

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Millet for our bread in 2050?

A new study by the CGIAR Consortium’s Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) estimates that the global production of wheat, rice and maize could decrease by 13 to 20 percent in the coming decades because of climate change. Potato, a plant not really adapted to warm temperatures and the world’s fourth largest food crop, will also decline. This predicted production loss, due to warmer temperatures and a dryer climate, will be particularly harsh for smallholder agriculture in the South.

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Mali seed entrepreneur discovers taste for food security – in pictures

Mali's first woman seed entrepreneur Maïmouna Coulibaly has launched an agribusiness which brings tasty and nutritious seed varieties on to the market. 'When the seeds are good, so are the yields. But people need to like the taste to buy it at the market. When we do food tastings we find out what works,' she says.

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Mali's first woman seed entrepreneur helps improve food security

During last month’s G8 meeting, President Barack Obama announced The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a global partnership highlighting the importance of the private sector in promoting agricultural development.

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Africa Harvest in new project to popularize sorghum

Africa Harvest in partnership with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) recently launched the Sorghum for Multiple Use project (SMU project) designed to popularize and increase the demand of the crop. The project is funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)

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Sweet sorghum for food, feed and fuel

Sorghum: A sweet alternative

Mouldy sorghum finds its niche

New initiatives in to boost export of seeds and sorghum products from Telangana, India

 “The Government of Telangana is committed to encouraging the setting up of a Seed Export Accelerator (SEP) and Sorghum Export Development Platform (SEDP).  These initiatives will help farmers have greater access to quality seeds and will also improve their financial condition,” said Mr Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Cooperation and Horticulture, Telangana State. The Minister was speaking as Chief Guest at the two-day consultative meeting on ‘Enhancing exports of sorghum and seeds from India’ organized by the ICRISAT Agri-Business Incubation Program at ICRISAT headquarters during 17-18 March 2015.

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Philippines Congress commends Dr William Dar

The House of Representatives, led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., has commended former agriculture secretary and ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar for his “exemplary public service to our country and in appreciation of his notable achievements as a recipient of the prestigious Agriculture Leadership Award during the 7th International Leadership Summit 2014 in New Delhi, India.”

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Director General of ICRISAT retires after 15 years of transformative leadership in agricultural research

Dr William D. Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) with its global headquarters in Hyderabad, relinquishes his post on 31 December 2014 after an unprecedented three, five-year terms.

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ICRISAT investments in agricultural research yield high payoffs for the dryland poor

A growing pipeline of science-based agricultural innovations and impacts by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is impacting the lives of the dryland poor on a large scale, showing high returns on investment in agricultural research for development (AR4D).

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Philippine President honors ICRISAT Director General as outstanding overseas Filipino

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III recently honored Dr William D. Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) headquartered in Hyderabad, and 32 other overseas Filipino individuals and organizations who have either improved the lives of Filipinos worldwide, supported development programs in the country, or excelled in their field or profession.

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ICRISAT Governing Board commits to new significant research and science investments in Africa

The Governing Board of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has today made a decision to boost its research in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by investing US$ 5 million towards upgrading research infrastructure and building scientific skills on the African continent.

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Biofuel initiatives should enhance, and not compromise, food and nutritional security of the poor

“We can link the poor and marginal farmers with the global biofuels revolution without compromising their access to food and nutrition,” said Dr William Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

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MS Swaminathan and Saina Nehwal named ICRISAT Ambassadors of Goodwill

The International Crops Reserch Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has named Professor MS Swaminathan, renowned agricultural scientist and Father of India's Green Revolution, and Ms Saina Nehwal, Olympic medalist, ace badminton player and youth icon of India, as ICRISAT Ambassadors of Goodwill.

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Union Minister for Agriculture Shri Radha Mohan Singh visits ICRISAT

“Taking technologies that are ready to the doorstep of every smallholder farmer in the country is a priority for the Union Government. With support from ICRISAT and other agricultural institutions, we will reach out to more farmers in rural India,” said Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Honorable Union Minister for Agriculture.

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Information and communication technology tools to help improve pigeonpea yield

Three hundred pigeonpea farmers across 37 villages in India are to trial using phablets and mobile phones for the latest farming and marketing advice.

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The first peanut genomes sequenced

Alexandria, VA and Hyderabad, India (02 April 2014) – The International Peanut Genome Initiative (IPGI), a multi-national group of crop geneticists working in cooperation for several years, has successfully sequenced the genome of the peanut. The new peanut genome sequence will be available to researchers and plant breeders across the globe to aid in the breeding of more productive, more resilient peanut varieties.

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Nigerian Minister of Agriculture Akinwumi Adesina named ICRISAT Ambassador of Goodwill

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has named Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as its Ambassador of Goodwill.

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ICRISAT Director General William Dar receives FABA Special Award 2014

In recognition of his relentless efforts to improve the livelihoods of poor smallholder farmers is Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, Dr William Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), was conferred the prestigious Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) Special Award 2014.

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ICRISAT and partners map out research agenda for a market-oriented and resilient agriculture in West and Central Africa

An inclusive, science-based, resilient and market-oriented agriculture is the key to addressing key challenges hampering agricultural growth in West and Central Africa (WCA), and in attaining food and nutrition security, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability in the region.

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ICRISAT identifies climate resilient germplasm to support chickpea breeding

In yet another significant contribution to the fight against hunger and climate change, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has identified 40 germplasm lines of chickpea with resistance to extreme weather conditions such as drought, high temperature and salinity.

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ICRISAT scientist receives top honor from Crop Science Society of America

Dr Hari D Upadhyaya, Principal Scientist (Groundnut) and Head of Genebank at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in Hyderabad, India, received the most prestigious Crop Science Research Award from the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) during its annual meeting at Tampa, Florida, USA on 6 November 2013.

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ICRISAT and Biotech Consortium India Ltd organize workshop on Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), New Delhi today organized a workshop on Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops at the ICRISAT headquarters in Patancheru near Hyderabad.

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USAID-supported project to apply genomics research to sorghum improvement

An international team led by the University of Georgia’s Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory will work toward sustainable intensification of sorghum production, in a $4.98 million initiative recently funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

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“EXPLOREit” gets ICRISAT’s science to the public

EXPLOREit @ ICRISAT (exploreit.icrisat.org) breaks information barriers by making large volumes of agricultural scientific knowledge and information easily accessible by the public. EXPLOREit was launched today by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at its headquarters in Hyderabad, India.

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Stronger regional and international partnerships paving the way for food security and poverty reduction

Partnership is the key to overcoming poverty and food insecurity which remain as serious challenges in the dryland tropics of the world, affecting about 700 million people living on less than $2 a day.

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ICRISAT and Senegal strengthen partnership for food and nutrition security and improved livelihoods of the poor

A stronger and more dynamic regional and international research-for-development partnership in agriculture is the way forward for advancing food security and poverty reduction in the drylands.

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ICRISAT and Senegal strengthen partnership for food and nutrition security and improved livelihoods of the poor

The Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research (ISRA) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have committed to a stronger and more strategic partnership to harness the power of agricultural research-for-development in achieving food and nutrition security and in fighting poverty in Senegal.

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Global research programs on grain legumes and dryland cereals launched to boost food and nutrition security of the poor

With food insecurity and malnutrition persisting as the greatest challenge facing humanity in the coming decades, two grand research programs to boost food and nutrition and improve livelihoods particularly of the dryland poor were launched here yesterday by the world’s largest international agriculture research coalition.

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Olympic medalist lauds ICRISAT’s gene conservation efforts in the fight against hunger and poverty

“ICRISAT’s plant genetic conservation initiatives illustrate the value and use of biodiversity in the fight against hunger and poverty, and its impact on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in the dryland tropics,” said India’s ace badminton player and Olympic bronze medalist Ms Saina Nehwal.

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ICRISAT-led CGIAR Research Programs to boost food, nutrition and income security of dryland poor

The Fund Council of CGIAR, the world’s largest international agriculture research coalition, recently approved two ten-year research programs aimed at improving the food, nutrition and income security of billions of poor in the dryland tropics of the world.

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Agro-biodiversity vital in the global fight against hunger and poverty: ICRISAT

“Biological diversity has been and continues to be the foundation for agricultural research for food security and poverty reduction across the world,” according to Director General William Dar of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in Hyderabad, India.

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ICRISAT the best hope for poor farmers in the drylands

“ICRISAT represents the best hope of farmers in the semi-arid tropics, crucial for the economic prosperity and food and nutritional security of the dryland poor,” says Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister, Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina.

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ICRISAT-HOPE sharply increases sorghum yields in Maharashtra, India

HOPE has become reality for 25,000 farmers in dryland Marathwada and Western Maharashtra regions of the state of Maharashtra, known as the ‘Sorghum Bowl of India’.

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ICRISAT and BGI seal research partnership on modern sequencing technologies for molecular crop breeding

BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in India has jointly announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a long-term collaboration on applied genomics research and molecular breeding.

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ICRISAT stresses on partnership-based agricultural research-for-development on its 39th anniversary

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) celebrated its 39th Annual Day on 9 December at Patancheru highlighting purposeful partnership and market-oriented development as key in tackling poverty, hunger and malnutrition in the drylands.

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ICRISAT and EMRC International partner for the 2nd Africa-India Economic Mission

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and EMRC International, Brussels are partnering once again for the second edition of the Africa-India Economic Mission to be held in Hyderabad, India from 11-16 December 2011.

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South-South partnership key to fighting poverty in the drylands

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will lead representatives from world agriculture organizations in a discussion on South-South collaboration to fight poverty in the drylands tropics.

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On World Food Day and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, ICRISAT helps fight poverty and hunger in the dryland tropics

With nearly a billion people malnourished, and 70 million more people pushed into extreme poverty throughout the world by the current rising food prices, ICRISAT further elevates its role as a bridge, broker and catalyst in the fight against global poverty and hunger.

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World Heart Day: ICRISAT calls for sorghum and millet based health foods to help tackle India’s rising lifestyle diseases

At last week’s UN assembly India announced the launch of a nation-wide programme to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) from April 2012.

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ICRISAT germplasm materials making impact on global food security

A total of 735 highly-nutritious and drought-tolerant crop varieties developed using germplasm and breeding materials from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has been released in 78 countries, significantly contributing to increased income and better nutrition of resource-poor people in the dryland tropics.

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Global meet highlights innovative Ready-to-Eat products, new market opportunities

The three-day “Global Symposium on Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods: Opportunities for R&D, Entrepreneurship and Markets” held on 25-27 April at the Hotel Taj Banjara, Hyderabad concluded with a promise of better, healthier and safer convenience food for the consumers through R&D and more market opportunities and enhanced entrepreneurship within the food industry.

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Market focus needed for food security in the tropical drylands

Tackling the complexity of challenges in the tropical drylands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, Dr William Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), spoke at the Crawford Fund State Parliamentary Conference held in Parliament House, Brisbane on 6 April.

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ICRISAT Governing Board launches platform for South-South collaboration and approves its medium-term plan

Launching the “ICRISAT South-South Initiative” (IS-SI) to boost India-Africa partnerships on agricultural research-for-development, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has further elevated its role as a bridge, broker and catalyst in the global fight against poverty and hunger.

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Top body for international agricultural research approves new global strategy

The Board of the Consortium of Centers supported by the newly reorganized Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) met this week in India at the headquarters of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Patancheru near Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

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New crop varieties for a changing climate

As climate change becomes more felt all over the world, the United Nations is currently holding a climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, which encompasses the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP16) and the sixth Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP6).

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Asia-Pacific has world’s highest number of threatened species

The Asia-Pacific region covers nearly 30% of the earth’s land area and contains some of the world’s greatest biological, cultural and economic diversity. Unfortunately, the earth’s biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate, with the Asia-Pacific region recording the world’s highest number of threatened species.

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ICRISAT offers training on sweet sorghum enterprise

The NutriPlus Knowledge Center, a research platform within the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)’s Agri Science Park supported by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, is offering an entrepreneur development workshop on Establishing and managing a commercial Sweet Sorghum Syrup enterprise for Food Applications from September 27 to October 1, 2010 at ICRISAT in Patancheru, near Hyderabad.

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Earth Day 2010: ICRISAT for protecting Mother Earth

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) joins more than one billion people in 190 countries across the globe in celebrating “Earth Day 2010” on April 22. Four decades after the first Earth Day, our world is facing more crises than ever before. Climate change is one of the greater challenges of our times. In the center of this crises are the 670 million poorest of the poor people that ICRISAT has a mandate to serve.

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ICRISAT and AVRDC receive CGIAR’s Outstanding Partnership Award

The world's agricultural researchers bestowed two international research institutes headquartered in India and Taiwan the prestigious “Science Award for Outstanding Partnership” for improving the lives of countless women and children in West Africa. Scientists at the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) developed techniques for growing vegetables in the deserts of West Africa.

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Inaugural Africa-India Economic Mission to visit ICRISAT

The first ever Africa-India Economic Mission on Agro-Industry to Hyderabad aims to foster partnerships between Africa and India in agricultural research, soil and water conservation and management, biofuels, fresh produce management, knowledge parks, seed value chain and equipment.

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New global initiative launched to harness biotechnology

The Molecular Breeding Platform (MBP) a one-stop shop for information, analytical tools and related services to design and efficiently conduct molecular-assisted breeding experiments aims to increase breeding efficiency in developing countries.

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Crop Science Society of America honors head of ICRISAT genebank

Dr Hari D Upadhyaya who plays a key role in preserving the germplasm at the genebank in the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), vows to save the variety of life in 2010- the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity.

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Technical and policy options for the drylands

To restore the eroding confidence of dryland farmers, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and its strategic partners offer research and policy options.

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ICRISAT launches a pioneering network to promote agri-business incubators in India

The International Crops Research Institute of the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has been entrusted with “handholding and mentoring” of 10 Business Planning and Development (BPD) units by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

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Food security in the drylands in peril

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations declared that global food insecurity has worsened and continues to seriously threaten humanity. With food prices remaining stubbornly high in developing countries, the number of people suffering from hunger has grown relentlessly in recent years.

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Bracing for a ‘perfect storm’ that looms large over the poor

The world must brace itself for a brewing ‘perfect storm’ – a confluence of crises brought about by climate change, desertification, high energy demand and an exploding population. This wakeup call comes from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) which has a repository of crop varieties that could successfully grow in a warmer world.

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HOPE to boost sorghum and millet production in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has launched a new project that aims to increase food security for smallholder farmers in dryland areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

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ICRISAT signs Copenhagen Communiqué on climate change

The Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Dr William Dar, has signed the Copenhagen Communiqué on climate change joining a host of leading global institutions endorsing the initiative. Other signatories include the Adidas Group, Cable & Wireless plc, Cathay Pacific Airways, HSBC, Procter & Gamble and Swiss Re, amongst over 350 companies of all sizes and background.

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ICRISAT bares strategy for farmers when monsoons get delayed

The possibility of lower crop production or even crop failure and higher food prices when monsoon rains get delayed can be averted. This is made possible through a four-pronged science-based strategy developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

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ICRISAT develops climate change ready varieties

When the world gets warmer with climate change, the dryland tracts will become even drier making it more difficult for the farmers to grow crops in this region.

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ICRISAT Director General gets a third term in office

The Governing Board of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has appointed Director General, Dr William D Dar, for a third five-year term in office. Dr Dar will continue as the Director General of ICRISAT from January 2010 to December 2014.

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Climate change adaptation innovations bring hope to dryland farmers

Modeling studies undertaken by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on the potential impact of climate change on dryland crops show that the drop in yields can be minimized through the use of adapted and improved crop varieties plus soil and water management innovations.

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Unraveling of the sorghum genome will help improve dryland crops

The announcement of the unraveling of the genome of sorghum, one of the mandate crops of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), will strengthen the Institute’s research for the improvement of sorghum and other food crops.

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Science innovations help dryland farmers deal with food and financial crisis

The global food crisis followed by the current financial crisis has inflicted further hardships to poor farmers of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. However, scientific innovations developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) are empowering these farmers to cope with the crisis.

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ICRISAT’s Agri-Business Incubator awarded as best in Asia-Pacific

The Agri-Business Incubator at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ABI-ICRISAT) won the prestigious AABI (Asian Association of Business Incubation) Award for the year 2008.

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ICRISAT creates impacts in Africa

Farmers in eastern and southern Africa (ESA) were growing pigeonpea that gave low yields, took very long to mature, were susceptible to wilt and often suffered from terminal drought stress.

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ICRISAT to re-establish center in Nigeria

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will soon re-establish its center in Nigeria. This intent was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN).

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Australian Foreign Minister visits ICRISAT headquarters

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honorable Stephen Smith, visited the global headquarters of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at Patancheru, near Hyderabad today (10 September).

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Bias against drylands will affect food security

Correcting the policy bias against dryland agriculture can help solve the current global food crisis and enhance the livelihoods of poor farmers. This was revealed in a policy paper on dryland agriculture issued by Dr William Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

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Crop breeders on verge of beating Africa’s most noxious weed use cutting edge science technique

Nairobi, Kenya – Agricultural researchers have successfully identified and transferred genes that confer resistance to Africa’s most deadly weed (Striga) using the novel marker assisted selection technique successfully for the first time in the history of crop breeding in Africa.

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Science leads to adaptation with climate change

As the world celebrates Environment Day, science is continuously mobilized to help mitigate the threats caused by global warming and climate change.

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Cutting edge science helps the poor overcome soaring food prices

The poorest of the poor, especially those in the drylands, are hardest hit by soaring food prices. Even as the urban poor are the most vulnerable, the rural poor also suffer since most of them are net buyers of food.

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Sweet sorghum: A new smart biofuel crop that ensures food security

In these days of soaring food prices worldwide, imagine a crop that provides food, livestock feed and biofuel. It grows in dry conditions, tolerates heat, salt and waterlogging, and provides steady income for poor farmers.

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ICRISAT’s germplasm to strengthen the collection at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) joined the group of international organizations that will deposit seeds of germplasm of mandate crops at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, to be inaugurated on 26 February.

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Development of smart crops for biofuels ensures food and environmental security

While the global debate rages on whether the biofuel revolution is causing imbalances in food security systems and increasing the emissions of greenhouse gases, the ‘smart’ biofuel crops developed, utilized and promoted by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) ensure energy and environmental security.

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Praj Industries joins ICRISAT’s sweet sorghum ethanol consortium

Praj Industries joined hands with ICRISAT by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to become a member of the institute's Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Research Consortium (SSERC) on 10 December. Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, and Mr Shashank Inamdar, CEO & Managing Director of Praj Industries, signed the MOA at Hyderabad.

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Global Trust funds ICRISAT’s Genebank

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has entered into an agreement with the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT), to ensure the long-term availability of funds for the conservation, characterization and distribution of germplasm (seeds) in the ICRISAT's Genebank for the benefit of agriculture and food security for mankind.

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IFAD supports biofuels research-for-development project led by ICRISAT

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of the United Nations has committed US dollar 1.5 million funding for a three-year biofuels research-for-development project led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

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Dealing with climate change with cutting-edge agricultural research

Climate change is expected to affect developing countries more adversely in the initial decades. For the international agricultural scientists working to improve agricultural productivity in these developing countries, climate change adds a new dimension to their research. They are seeking answers on how to climate-proof their mandate crops.

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Tata Chemicals joins ICRISAT’s sweet sorghum ethanol consortium

The Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL), a leading company in the Tata group of industries joined hands with ICRISAT by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for entering the Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Research Consortium (SSERC) on 17 November 2007. Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, and Mr Homi R Khusrokhan, Managing Director of TCL, signed the MOA at Hyderabad.

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ICRISAT research records high impact in India

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has the strongest partnership with the Government of India, and it is a partnership that has been growing even stronger in the recent years.

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ICRISAT strengthens collaboration with Ethiopia

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has a longstanding partnership and collaboration with Ethiopia to improve the productivity of agriculture and sustainability of livelihoods in the drier and drought-prone areas.

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Climate change and desertification put one billion poor people at risk

There are one billion poor people in the world who are vulnerable to climate change, desertification, land degradation, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity and shortage of fossil fuels. India alone accounts for 25.93% of this population and China 16.66%.

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New low-cost technology counters widespread Aflatoxin food poisoning, increases agricultural exports

LILIONGWE, MALAWI (26 July 2007)—African farmers and agriculture enterprises now have a fast and inexpensive way to detect and manage a costly, naturally occurring and potentially deadly poison (aflatoxin) that infects their crops via a common fungus that makes them unfit for consumption or export.

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Ethanol from sweet sorghum does not compromise food security

The pioneering project to produce ethanol from sweet sorghum , being implemented jointly by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Rusni Distilleries , has achieved a significant milestone with the first batch of ethanol flowing out of the distillery at Mohammed Shapur village in Andhra Pradesh, India.

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ICRISAT promotes pro-poor biofuels initiative

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is linking the poor and marginal farmers of the drylands of the developing countries with the global biofuels revolution without compromising on food security. ICRISAT's innovative research on ethanol for biofuel from sweet sorghum and biodiesel from pongamia and jatrophacrops, is not only ensuring energy, livelihood and food security to the dryland farmers, but also reducing the use of fossil fuel, which in turn can help in mitigating climate change.

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ISBA 2007 – The national conference on technology incubators being held at ICRISAT

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) along with ICICI Knowledge Park and the University of Hyderabad are organizing the first annual conference of the Indian STEP and Business Incubator Association (ISBA 2007) at its Patancheru headquarters from 25 to 27 February. STEP is Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Parks.

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ICRISAT sorghum for ethanol now a sweet reality

The project to convert the juice from the sweet sorghum stalk into bio-ethanol, which was initiated by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Rusni Distillery, was inaugurated recently.

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Global initiatives to combat drought and desertification

For more than 35 years, the Alliance of Future Harvest Centers of the CGIAR and their partners have been globally mobilizing science to combat drought and desertification. Working towards international public goods, CGIAR scientists and partners have been developing a range of agricultural and institutional innovations that address the multifaceted challenges posed by drought and desertification.

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ICRISAT receives the best technology incubator award

The Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Dr William D Dar, today received the Best Technology Incubator 2005 Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. Dr Dar received the Award for the Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) at ICRISAT, which was adjudged the Best Technology Incubator in the country during 2005.

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Small fertilizer doses yield big impact in sub-Saharan Africa

Less can have more impact if appropriate fertilizer is applied to the crops at the right time, in the right quantity, at the right spot. In sub-Saharan African countries, the fertilizer microdosing technique developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and partners is helping farmers to increase agricultural productivity.

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ICRISAT's Agri-Business Incubator selected as best technology incubator for 2005

The Government of India has selected the Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) for the National Award for the Best Technology Incubator 2005.

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ICRISAT strengthens partnerships with the private sector

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has strengthened its partnerships with the private sector through its recent understanding with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to work together on improved natural resource management for sustainable rural development.

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Indian President hands over ICRISAT seeds to the Philippines

The President of India, His Excellency Professor APJ Abdul Kalam, during his meeting with the President of Philippines, Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on 4 February, symbolically handed over the foundation seeds of improved peanut and sweet sorghum developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

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ICRISAT honors FAO Director General

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) conferred the ‘Distinguished Fellow of ICRISAT' title on Dr Jacques Diouf, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), at a function held at the ICRISAT headquarters at Patancheru on 4 January. Dr Diouf is the first Director General of FAO to visit ICRISAT.

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Project launched to increase the use of sorghum and pearl millet grains for poultry feed

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), along with its partners from various R&D sectors, has launched a collaborative project to enhance the utilization of sorghum and pearl millet grains in the poultry feed industry in India, China and Thailand.

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The Agri-Science Park @ ICRISAT achieves new successes

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has successfully built public-private sector partnerships through the Agri-Science Park @ ICRISAT (ASP). The Park, which is the social marketing initiative of ICRISAT, has achieved successes in all the four of its components: the Agri-Biotech Park, Agri-Business Incubator, Public-Private Sector Research Consortia, and the SAT Eco-venture.

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ICRISAT celebrates bountiful harvest in 2004

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is celebrating the strength of teamwork, partnership and a rededicated future strategy during the 32 nd Annual Day celebrations being held at Patancheru from 13 to 15 December.

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Japanese Ambassador to visit ICRISAT

The Japanese Ambassador to India, His Excellency Yasukuni Enoki, will be Chief Guest at the 32nd Annual Day of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), to be celebrated between 13 and 15 December.

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ICRISATs Agri-Business Incubator attracts clients

The Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has launched its commercial operations with the signing of collaborative agreements with two private-sector clients. A few other projects are in the pipeline.

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ICRISAT develops sweet sorghum for ethanol production

Encouraged by the positive response from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is strengthening its collaboration with partners to promote sweet sorghum varieties, hybrids and technologies to extract alcohol from the crop.

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ICRISAT and Indian germplasm research – A win-win in helping the rural poor

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the national agricultural research system (NARS) of India share an effective and fruitful relationship on germplasm exchange.

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ICRISAT and AMIC-India collaborate to communicate biotechnology

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre of India (AMIC-INDIA) to collaborate in conducting a series of media workshops on reporting biotechnology in India and other Asian countries.

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ICRISAT presents technologies to tackle drought

As many parts of India face the possibility of a rain-deficient year, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is committing its package of technologies - a combination of natural and genetic resource management - to tackle the possible drought situation.

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AP Chief Minister urges ICRISAT to help more farming villages

During his visit to ICRISAT-Patancheru on 3 August, Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy, the Hon. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (AP), urged ICRISAT scientists to develop and encourage farmers of the State to grow crops other than the water-intensive rice and sugarcane. He asked ICRISAT to help realize the goal to solve the twin problems of poverty and unemployment by helping more farming villages in the state.

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International networks bridge relief-development gap

In a recently released study, the Future Harvest Foundation and CARE have shown that through efficient agricultural and natural resource management international agricultural research centers and relief organizations have managed to bridge the gap between development and relief.

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National Workshop to upscale APRLP-ICRISAT project

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is hosting a National Workshop on Drought Strategies. This meeting will develop strategies to up scale the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihood Programme (APRLP)-ICRISAT pilot project to larger areas in the target districts.

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ICRISAT showcases Agri-Science Park at BioAsia 2004

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is looking to build strategic partnerships with the private sector in biotechnology at the BioAsia 2004. The Institute is showcasing its technology commercialization arm, the Agri-Science Park at the Convention.

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ICRISAT signs MOU with Genome Valley for Biotech Park

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Genome Valley-Hyderabad, Government of Andhra Pradesh, to jointly promote an Agri-Biotech Park at the Institute's Patancheru campus.

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Sehgal Foundation gifts further $1 million to ICRISAT

The S.M. Sehgal Foundation, India, today announced a major new endowment of US$1 million for the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The endowment will help ICRISAT to bolster orphan crops research.

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Partnerships for rapid crop improvement

When dealing with crop improvement it helps if technology can hasten the process. And the improved crops can be introduced to the farmers more effectively if the international research institution partners with private seed companies and national agricultural research institutions.

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Big change with small doses

At times big changes require small interventions. The application of small doses of deficient microelements boron and sulphur to the soil in the watersheds being developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has resulted in significant increase in crop productivity.

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Combining technologies to reach the poor

For the last 30 years, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has used a combination of high and appropriate technologies to increase agricultural productivity in the driest and poorest farmlands in Asia and Africa.

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Kothapally spreads the green message

Even though the drought has dried the farmlands of adjoining areas, farmers from Kothapally village in Ranga Reddy district manage to grow a summer crop.

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ICRISAT and MSSRF plan Virtual University on drought

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) have initiated the process for establishing a Semi-Arid Tropics Virtual University (SAT-VU).

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Dealing with drought

Water is vital for agriculture. In the semi-arid tropics, where agriculture is predominantly rainfed and drought a recurring phenomenon, efficient water management practices like effective watersheds are becoming integral government policy.

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Biotechnology initiative for the poor Launched: ICRISAT and DBT join hands

ICRISAT and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, launched today a joint biotechnology initiative to overcome major problems of sorghum and chickpea - important staples of the poor in the dry tropics.

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Eritrea Agriculture Minister visits ICRISAT

His Excellency Mr Arefaine Berha, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture of Eritrea, visit ed the ICRISAT-Patancheru campus on Thursday 28 June 2001. He was accompanied by the Honourable Ambassador of Eritrea to China and India as well as senior agricultural officials from Eritrea.

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ICRISAT donates seeds to quake-affected farmers in Bhuj

To restore critical seed stocks lost when a severe earthquake struck Gujarat in January 2001, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), donated today 500-kg seeds of a high-yielding ICRISAT pearl millet hybrid to farmers in quake-affected villages around Bhuj.

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Sorghum yield nearly doubled in India thanks to ICRISAT-ICAR partnership

"In India, sorghum yield increased from about 0.46 to 0.8 tons per hectare during the last 28 years, helping to release over 4 million hectares, which were previously under sorghum, for growing other crops" said ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar in his address as Guest of Honor at the 31st Annual Group Meeting of the All India Coordinated Sorghum Improvement Project on 5 May 2001 in Hyderabad.

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Sorghum yield nearly doubled in India thanks to ICRISAT-ICAR partnership

"In India, sorghum yield increased from about 0.46 to 0.8 tons per hectare during the last 28 years, helping to release over 4 million hectares, which were previously under sorghum, for growing other crops" said ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar in his address as Guest of Honor at the 31st Annual Group Meeting of the All India Coordinated Sorghum Improvement Project on 5 May 2001 in Hyderabad.

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ICRISAT gets $ 1.2 Million from ADB for genomics research

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged US$ 1.2 million to ICRISAT over a period of 3 years (January 2001 to December 2003) for the research project “Study on Rapid Crop Improvement for Poor Farmers in the Semi-Arid Tropics”.

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ICRISAT strengthens partnerships with the private and public sectors

Traditionally used for food, especially in rural semi-arid tropics, sorghum and pearl millet have a great potential for industrial uses: poultry feed, snacks, or alcoholic beverages. This was one of the themes that were highlighted in the 4-day Field Day events (12-13 September for Pearl Millet and 14-15 September for Sorghum) organized at ICRISAT-Patancheru.

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A role in the life of the poor

From his Danuman West village in the Philippines' Iloco Sur province, little William had to walk two kilometres every day to his elementary school. Since his parents could not afford to educate him further, he did odd jobs to be able to pay for his college fee. He completed his studies, thanks mainly to the scholarships he picked up.

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For a food-secure future

THREE DECADES ago, a major food shortage which experts predicted to lead to catastrophic famines was experienced all over the world. But a group of public and private development agencies networked and averted the danger.

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Kenya seed companies commit to strengthen the country’s sorghum hybrid seed system

In a first of its kind, a sorghum hybrid parents research consortium has been formed in Kenya by the Seed Traders Association of Kenya (STAK) and ICRISAT. The consortium uses a public-private partnership approach to build the seed industry for supply of high performing hybrids to smallholder farmers. ICRISAT was the first international research center under the CGIAR to set up a public-private partnership to develop and improve crop varieties.

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Revitalizing agriculture by improving crop value chains in Nigeria

The Government of Nigeria is focussing on developing commodity value chains across staple crops like sorghum, rice and cassava to ensure sustainable growth in rural income. A major focus of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase 1 (ATASP-1) launched recently will be on training 200,000 rural youth (40% of them are estimated to be females). ICRISAT will partner in this initiative with a focus on improving the sorghum value chain.

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New initiatives to boost export of seeds and sorghum products from Telangana, India

To help smallholder farmers get good returns from agriculture and also help them access quality seeds the government of the Indian state of Telangana will set up a Seed Export Accelerator and a Sorghum Export Development Platform.

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A good Malian farmer produces his or her own seeds

If you have good seeds, you will be ahead of the game”, says Souleman Ballo, a respected elder from Mpessoba, a village located along the road between Segou and Koutiala, in South Mali. A 62- year-old farmer, head of a 25-member household, and president of the local farmer cooperative Jigi Seme, Souleman knows how important good seeds are for the farmer’s wealth. The cooperative, made up of 65 families, produces sorghum and maize, and legumes like cowpea. 

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Commitment to increase investment and presence in Niger

Emphasizing ICRISAT’s commitment to Niger and exploring ways to leverage the potential of digital technologies were the highlights of the visit of  Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, to Niger.

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Views of key Mali partners – IER and USAID

We are comforted with new development in our collaboration for large scaling up of sorghum, millet and groundnut technologies, adapting to the effects of climate change. The challenge now is to transfer those technologies on a larger scale to family farms,” said Dr Bouréma Dembélé, Director General of Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER).

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY SPECIAL Changing the fate of Malian children around a cooking pot

Aminata Sanogo, mother of four children, has sparked a cookery revolution among women in her village, N’golobougou, in South Mali. She cooks her Tô (a traditional porridge and a staple dish in rural Mali) with whole grain sorghum. Normally, a woman will be praised if her sorghum grains are perfectly decorticated after half an hour of incessant pounding with the pestle and mortar to remove the outer seed coat. 

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Breeding climate-smart crops top priority for Indian state of Karnataka

Breeding climate-smart sorghum, finger millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut crops figure high on the agenda of the Government of Karnataka (GoK). Mr Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, GoK, said that Karnataka will soon sign an agreement with ICRISAT and the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, India, to produce non-GM varieties of the above five crops. A consortium would be formed for this purpose and will be funded by GoK.

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Go for sorghum, say climate smart Kenyan farmers

Sorghum assures us of nutritious food for our families as well as cattle; sorghum fetches a better price than maize and gives more yield per acre. Sorghum has changed our lives for the better… say farmers in Wote, eastern Kenya, who have adopted sorghum-legume technologies instead of the traditional maize-bean intercrop. The farmers were addressing a group of journalists who visited their farms recently.

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Sorghum – a favorable alternative to maize in poultry feed in Nigeria

The performance of broiler chicken fed on 100% sorghum as a substitute to maize was highlighted during a field day in Nigeria where farmers, millers, researchers, public servants and decision makers participated. These claims were the results of feed trials on the use of sorghum in feed formulation for broiler birds, proving the suitability of sorghum in poultry feed. The trials were conducted by the Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, through the sorghum value chain of Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), in collaboration with ICRISAT.

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42nd Annual Day Celebrations at ICRISAT West and Central Africa
Team spirit, mutual respect and constructive criticism at the work place are important to further the goals of the organization, said Dr George E Okwach, Project Manager - HOPE project for Sorghum and Millets (Dryland Cereals). He was speaking on behalf of Dr Ramadjita Tabo, Director ICRISAT - West and Central Africa, at ICRISAT-Mali’s annual day celebrations. The annual day celebrations at Sadoré saw the staff of ICRISAT-Niger bond over games and activities that were planned for the day. The celebration started
with a walk followed by an aerobic session. As part of the annual day celebrations, staff at Nigeria enjoyed a day out with their families at Minjibir Resort. Students on industrial training, and  representatives of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture International Livestock Research Institute, and Institute for Agricultural Research - Kano, also participated.
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Reinforcing partnerships for integrated watershed management in Ethiopia
One of the major problems for farmers in Ethiopia’s Woreillu District, some 500 km north of Addis Ababa, is soil erosion and associated land degradation. “Plants here suffer from both nutrient stress and water stress. The top soil in this watershed is gone and production and productivity have declined. Our big question was how can we make sure that seeds and fertilizer stay where they are placed,” says Dr Tilahun Amede, Principal Scientist, ICRISAT-Ethiopia.
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Opportunities abound for market-led impacts in Nigeria
The presence of good infrastructure, motivated national research and extension staff and farmers with strong market orientation are prime factors for opening up opportunities in Nigeria, concluded Dr Anthony Whitbread, Research Program Director, Resilient Dryland Systems, ICRISAT, after a recent visit to Nigeria.
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ICRISAT investments in agricultural research yield high payoffs for the dryland poor
A growing pipeline of science-based agricultural innovations and impacts by ICRISAT is impacting the lives of the dryland poor on a large scale, showing high returns on investment in agricultural research for development (AR4D).
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Philippine President honors William Dar as outstanding overseas Filipino
ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar was honored by the Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III for “his exemplary leadership in successfully extending the frontiers of science and technology to ensure food security for all, and for his staunch advocacy of the important role of professional horticulturists in this endeavor.” Dr Dar received a Pamana ng Pilipino (Legacy) Award.
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ICRISAT Director General retires after 15 years of transformative leadership in agricultural research
At the 42nd ICRISAT Annual Day function held at the headquarters on 12 December, Team ICRISAT bid a grand farewell to the Director General Dr William Dar who has served ICRISAT with distinction over the last 15 years.
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Sorghum hybrid parents’ research consortium: India success story to be replicated in ESA
Following the success of the three Hybrid Parents Research Consortiums (HPRCs) set up by ICRISAT in India namely – sorghum, pearl millet and pigeonpea – a similar success story is now set to be created in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region.
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Innovative machines for better crop-livestock farming
Mobile choppers and grinders for processing fodder were the main attraction at a week-long training program organized by ICRISAT West and Central Africa along with Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University at Kano, Nigeria. These machines, which reduce the drudgery of farmers and facilitate efficient use and storage of crop residue, caught the interest of the participants.
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Farmer organizations help adoption of improved varieties
The ‘Sustaining Farmer-Managed Seed Initiatives for Sorghum and Pearl Millet in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso’ project has demonstrated that seed production and commercialization managed by farmer organizations is possible, and can improve the adoption of improved varieties and thus impact on development. A case study of the McKnight Foundation funded project (Phases 1 and 2) concluded that the project was very relevant because it provided innovative solutions to key problems of the agricultural, food
and seed systems of the region.
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Yilma Kebede reviews HOPE project activities in Mali
It is important to pro-actively anticipate future needs, and begin to address them. But in doing so, we must not forget what is the most urgent and immediate need of the farmer, Dr Yilma Kebede, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said as he interacted with ICRISAT scientists in Mali. Dr Kebede reviewed the activities carried out by scientists from ICRISAT and the Institut d'Economie Rurale (IER), Mali, under the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) of sorghum and millets project.
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Staying relevant: ICRISAT-ESA deliberates on current and future research in a changing world
Finding synergies between scientists and research programs working together under ICRISAT’s Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD) framework and addressing the current and future concerns of smallholder farmers was the focus of a recently held ICRISAT Regional Planning Meeting for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) for 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.
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Fostering partnerships in agricultural research for development
ICRISAT is one of the most important partners that the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/ WECARD) cherishes, said Dr Ernest
Asiedu, Staple Crops Programme Manager, CORAF/WECARD. Dr Asiedu visited the ICRISAT Regional Hub in Samanko, Mali, on 27 October. The visit aimed at exploring synergies and partnership opportunities between both organizations. 
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Changing the perception of millets – strategizing for promoting Smart Foods
Strategies to capitalize on existing networks and initiatives, and brainstorming ‘game changers’ to alter the image of millets was the main focus of discussion at the recently held Smart Foods workshop. The overall aim was to develop approaches to bring more attention to Smart Foods – foods like millets that are highly nutritious as well as being good for the environment and important for overcoming food insecurity.
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Changing the perception of millets – strategizing for promoting Smart Foods
Strategies to capitalize on existing networks and initiatives, and brainstorming ‘game changers’ to alter the image of millets was the main focus of discussion at the recently held Smart Foods workshop. The overall aim was to develop approaches to bring more attention to Smart Foods – foods like millets that are highly nutritious as well as being good for the environment and important for overcoming food insecurity.
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Planning and prioritizing research interventions to meet farmers’ needs
The overall objective of the Regional Planning meeting is to enhance integration and cooperation amongst scientists in order to undertake holistic research to benefit smallholder farmers. It offers an opportunity for interaction among researchers,” said Dr Ramadjita Tabo, ICRISAT Director West and Central Africa (WCA), as he welcomed participants to the ICRISAT Regional Planning Meeting for West and Central Africa for 2015.
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Leveraging the strengths of farmer producer organizations
ICRISAT recently organized a capacity building program for Farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to provide better understanding of the gaps and opportunities for FPOs in agribusiness, best practices on running an FPO, seed  production and effective business plan development initiatives for FPO developers and funding agencies.
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New projects launched in Mopti and Sikasso region of Mali
Furthering its commitment to sub-Saharan Africa, ICRISAT and its partners launched two new projects in Mali recently. The first project ¬– Africa RISING’s (Africa Research in
Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) large-scale diffusion of technologies for sorghum and millet system, and the second, disseminating learning agenda on resilient-smart technologies to improve the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers in the Mopti region.
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Harnessing the power of community radio in Mali
We will create programs and micro-programs in collaboration with technicians and pilot producers of hybrid sorghum seed. We realized that fertilizer can significantly improve yields of our producers and we intend to capitalize on these to better inform our listeners, Youssouf Sanogo of ORTM - Rural Radio summed up the impact of ICRISAT’s 4-day capacity building sessions targeting community radio producers in Sikasso region of Mali.
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Rural women farmers as drivers of progress and change
Engaging with rural women farmers for technology dissemination and value chain development was the focus of the United Nations’ regional “Sharefair for Rural Women’s Technologies” held in Nairobi, Kenya. ICRISAT was represented by Dr Esther Njuguna-Mungai, Scientist – Gender Research, CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes, and two women innovators of the ‘Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement’ (HOPE) Project.
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Working with Asian Paints for their corporate social responsibility
Understanding the need to strengthen ecosystem services through natural resource management in dryland areas, ICRISAT in collaboration with Asian Paints Limited launched a project ‘Improved Livelihoods through Integrated Water Resources Management in Community Watershed in Medak’ at Bhanur village, Telangana, India, on 21 October.
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ICRISAT creates agribusiness opportunities for farmer producer organizations
At a recent Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) Summit, smallholder producers convened at ICRISAT to explore agribusiness opportunities in the areas of technology penetration, improving productivity and access to inputs and services, and increasing incomes for a sustainable agriculture-based livelihood.
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Stakeholders contemplate ways to improve adoption and increase production of dryland cereals
Creating post-harvest value, developing innovative foods to tap the micronutrient-rich nature of the dryland cereal crops – barley, finger millet, pearl millet and sorghum, strengthening seed systems and input markets, and stronger policy interventions are some of the critical accelerators that will help in improving adoption of dryland cereals.
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Showcasing improved agronomic practices in Gambawa, Nigeria
ICRISAT organized a farmer’s field day recently in Gambawa village, Nigeria, a nomadic community area in Gumel to showcase better management practices to ensure soil health, improved postharvest technologies and high-yielding varieties of millet, sorghum, groundnut and cowpea which are showing good results in the region.
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Use of sorghum in bakery and as bio-charcoal
Women farmers in Kano, Nigeria, are being trained on benefiting from technologies for enhancing the sorghum value chain. The training of trainers workshop primarily focused
on the use of sorghum in making bakery products like cakes, biscuits and bread; and producing biocharcoal.
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Building partnerships for science-led agriculture for development
ICRISAT reaffirmed its commitment to work with partners and build new relationships during the visit of a high-level team to Kansas State University (KSU), Manhattan, USA.
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IMOD has gained traction – now to take it to the next level
ICRISAT’s 2020 strategy was based on an Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD) approach. Two years on, ICRISAT commissioned an external review to assess the success of this approach. With feedback from almost 200 stakeholders and over 30 organizations across national agricultural research systems, private sector and development agencies in Africa and Asia, the expert panel identified that IMOD was recognized among partners as a positive and valuable approach and so now is the time to elevate this framework to global implementation and adoption.
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ICRISAT commits new significant investments in Africa
The Governing Board of ICRISAT has decided to boost its research in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by investing US$ 5 million towards upgrading research infrastructure and building scientific skills in the African continent. This investment will be across SSA where ICRISAT has its offices in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Ethiopia.
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Developing a robust, commercially sustainable Sorghum for Multiple Uses (SMU) value chain in Kenya and Tanzania
In partnership with the Africa Harvest Biotechnology International Foundation (Africa Harvest), ICRISAT is working to develop a robust, commercially sustainable sorghum for multiple uses value chain in Kenya and Tanzania.
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Using new genomics tools for sorghum improvement
New genomics tools can address urgent needs for a more drought resilient food supply, increase rates of sorghum improvement to better meet long-term population growth, and
investigate production systems that promote sustainable farming, particularly regarding preservation and/or restoration of soil resources and water quality.
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Sustainable intensification of maize-legume-livestock systems
A team of scientists from ICRISAT, ICRAF, CIMMYT, IITA and national partners are working together for sustainable intensification of maize-legumelivestock farming systems in Tanzania, specifically in Kongwa and Kiteto Districts of Tanzania.
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Science-led approach for agricultural development in Telangana, India
ICRISAT will assist the Government of Telangana, India, to map the soil health of 4 million hectares of agricultural land in the state; issue soil health cards to farmers; and transform the state to be the country’s seed bowl.
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Going back to basics with a diversified and nutritious diet
Naturally highly nutritious and biofortified crops are essential to ensure the nutrition and food security of the people in the developing countries. Elevating nutritional security has been institutionalized in the ICRISAT Development plan. And now in the CGIAR, nutritional security has been elevated to the same level as food security, ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar said while interacting with the HarvestPlus team visiting ICRISAT-India.
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Biofuel initiatives should enhance, not compromise, food and nutritional security of the poor
Tackling the complexity of the food versus energy challenge, Dr Dar stressed that “the right to adequate food for all” should be a priority concern in biofuel development, but the two can be achieved simultaneously. Dr
Dar spoke at the annual Crawford Fund Food Security Conference held in Canberra, Australia, on 26-28 August.
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Sorghum and finger millet varieties showcased at county agri-fairs in Kenya
More and more farmers in Kenya are expressing interest in cultivating sorghum and finger millet varieties. The sorghum hybrid GADAM x IS 8193 was a big crowd-puller at the county agricultural shows organized by ICRISAT in collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and other stakeholders.
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ICRISAT-Kenya staff visit Kiboko Field Station
Staff of ICRISAT-Kenya, led by Dr Moses Siambi, Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, ICRISAT, visited the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
(KARI)-Kiboko Field Station as part of a team building exercise on 14-15 August.
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Strengthening capacity of technicians and breeders
ICRISAT-Kenya in collaboration with national partners organized a training course for technicians and breeders on emasculation techniques, breeding procedures in sorghums and millets, experimental designs, data collection and management.
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Nigeria to promote use of sorghum in poultry feed
Nigeria is exploring the use of sorghum in place of maize in poultry feed. This move will not only make poultry feed cheaper, but also overcome the problem of short supply of maize. The poultry industry in Nigeria needs about 3 million ton of maize as ingredient for feed, but the country produces only 2 million ton.
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Intensifying genome sequencing work for drought proofing crops in Karnataka, India
The Government of Karnataka, India, has requested ICRISAT to lead the coordination of the state government’s initiative on sequencing and molecular breeding of finger millet.
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Sorghum defying heat conditions in Indial
Sorghum is proving its resilience in withstanding extreme temperatures in summer. ICRISAT’s experiments during 2013-2014 identified some promising sorghum lines (B-lines, R-lines and varieties) which flowered normally and showed 100% seed set under temperatures exceeding 400C. The material identified will help ICRISAT develop varieties to help smallholder farmers fight climate change.

 

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Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2014 - Science-led strategies vital for minimizing land degradation in drylands

The Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2014 explored the human connections between poverty, conflict and environmental degradation, with the central theme “Mitigating Risk; Responding to Threat”. A range of stakeholders from grassroots activists to world leaders, big businesses to top scientists contemplated on new strategies for restoring dry and degraded land. ICRISAT was the only CGIAR center to have taken part in the dialogue.

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Seed Consortium strengthens postrainy sorghum seed value chain in Maharashtra, India

An innovative seed consortium developed by ICRISAT and its partners has started yielding results in strengthening the sorghum seed value chain.
For 2014 postrainy season around 300 tons of seed enough for 30,000 ha has been made available as a result of the seed production undertaken in 2013. It is proposed to cover 1,000 ha under seed production during 2014 postrainy season which is more than double the area under seed production in 2013. These results were shared at the First Annual Review and Workplan Meeting of the Seed Consortium held on 16 June at Pune, India.

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Exploring ways to reduce climatic change impact with a multi-modeling approach

At a recent workshop, participants demonstrated the use of integrated assessment of farming systems using a multi-modeling approach to combat the impact of climate change on crop-livestock farming systems in southern Africa. At the feedback meeting of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) held on 17 June at Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, stakeholders also shared results on the projected impact of climate change and different adaptation strategies; and provided feedback on climate and gender sensitive technologies, institutions and policies.

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ICRISAT at the 4th Agricultural Science Week in Niger
ICRISAT took the opportunity to raise awareness on aflatoxin management at the 4th Agricultural Science Week organized by West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research for Development 
(CORAF/WECARD).
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Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria pledges more support and collaborations with ICRISAT
To further strengthen partnerships with ICRISAT, the Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof Baba Yusuf Abubakar, along with his team visited ICRISAT-Nigeria office based in Kano on 10 June.
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Improving access to well-adapted and high-yielding sorghum and finger millet varieties in Tanzania
As part of the collaborative activities between ICRISAT and the Department of Research and Development (DRD) Tanzania, several on-farm activities were planned and executed in central Tanzania for the season 2013-2014.
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More than 42,000 sorghum farmers achieve 39% higher grain yields
The interventions of a private-public partnership backed by science over the last five years, have helped sorghum farmers overcome the challenge of extreme climate variability.
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Understanding critical traits for sorghum improvement
To enable rapid throughput evaluations of critical traits for sorghum improvement, a Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRS) was installed at the Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER) Biotechnology Laboratory in Mali. The NIRS was acquired by ICRISAT under the Dryland Cereals Research Program.
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New ways of doing business identified
Representatives from six African countries, ICRISAT and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 3-5 June for an open dialogue and to share experiences and lessons learnt over the last four years of sorghum and millet research and development under the HOPE (Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement of sorghum and millets) Project.
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Exploring avenues in Nigeria

To strengthen ICRISAT’s work in Nigeria and explore avenues to strengthen partnerships with government agencies and other research organizations, Dr Ramadjita Tabo, ICRISAT Director for West and Central Africa, visited Nigeria from 19-23 May.

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Finger millet and sorghum large-scale farming on the rise in Kenya – story of one farmer going big
Finger millet is on the rebound in Kenya, thanks to the ICRISAT-HOPE project. One recent success can be attributed to the entrepreneurial spirit of Mr Cliff Neylan, a farmer in Kenya who has taken up improved varieties to plant the largest acreage in the country outside of maize or wheat.
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High throughput sequencing and high performance computational facility at ICRISAT to boost genomics for breeding

New high-end facility key in advancing “The 3000 Chickpea Genome Sequencing Initiative”
The Illumina HiSeq 2500 – the world’s most powerful sequencer – promises full utilization of modern genomics tools in breeding and research programs at ICRISAT and in other partner institutes in developing countries of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

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African cereal scientists trained on Breeding Management System

With the aim to continue to assist Africa build their own breeding programs, a Breeding Management System training was conducted covering features of the software from the Integrated Breeding Platform, plant breeding data management, including pedigree information, nursery and trial data management, electronic data capture, and genotyping data and analysis.

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Strengthening sorghum and groundnut value chains in Nigeria

With a target to reach one million farmers in Nigeria this year, ICRISAT along with diverse partners and stakeholders will work towards supporting sorghum and groundnut value chains by enhancing capacity building activities, field demonstrations, on-station and on-farm trials, and strengthening breeder and foundation seed production.

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Sweet sorghum partnership helps improve livelihoods of farmers in China

Success in achieving higher sweet sorghum stalks has enabled increased incomes of farmers through sales to distilleries in the Inner Mongolia region of China, without compromising food and fodder security. This has been achieved through the technical support from ICRISAT which has been helping sweet sorghum smallholder farmers in the area through a partnership project with the Sorghum Research Institute (SRI) of the Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences (LAAS).

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Targeting sorghum and pearl millet variety development to poor soil conditions in West Africa

Through an integrated genetic and natural resource management approach, solutions to improve sorghum and pearl millet production in low phosphorus (P) soil conditions of West Africa were developed by ICRISAT and partners under a 
GIZ/BMZ-supported project.

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Closing yield gaps and improving water productivity workshop held in Ethiopia

An agronomically sound, transparent, reproducible, and publicly accessible yield gap atlas has been developed, initially for five cereal crops (maize, wheat, rice, millet, sorghum) in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, India and Bangladesh. More countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and Australia would join the list soon. The atlas, and all the data and protocols behind it are available at www.yieldgap.org. These are the results of the initial two-year phase (2012-2013) of the project Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas (GYGA).

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Pearl millet variety Hashaki 1 released in Uzbekistan

An open-pollinated pearl millet variety Hashaki 1 was officially released by the State Varietal Commission of Agricultural Crops for cultivation in Uzbekistan. This marks the first ever official release of a pearl millet variety in the country. The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) has been working in collaboration with ICRISAT to introduce breeding materials and germplasm of sorghum and pearl millet for crop diversification under saline field conditions in Western Asia and Northern Africa (WANA), and Central Asia (CA) regions.

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External Review Panel on IMOD implementation at ICRISAT headquarters

The Center Commissioned External Review (CCER) panel on Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD) implementation is now at the ICRISAT headquarters after completing their review in Eastern and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa. The panel comprising of Dr SS Acharya, India; Dr AA Fall, Senegal; and Ms Grace Ngungi (Kenya) will be here until 28 February. 

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Post-rainy sorghum improvement program showcased at field day

Post-rainy sorghum, once considered to be a subsistence crop in the semi-arid tropics of South Asia, is now yielding marketable surpluses of quality grain and fodder which are helping farmers realize higher prices for their products. The current market price of post-rainy sorghum is among the highest in food grains.

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New varieties of groundnut and pearl millet released for the dry savanna regions of Nigeria

The National Variety Release Committee of Nigeria has approved the release of two new groundnut varieties and one of pearl millet developed by ICRISAT and its partners for commercial cultivation in Nigeria.  
Groundnut varieties SAMNUT 25 (ICGX-SM 00020/5/P10) and SAMNUT 26 (ICGX-SM 00018/5/P15/P2) were recommended and released, based on their good performance across the targeted production environments in Nigeria with regards to pod and haulm yields, resistance to the groundnut rosette disease, early crop maturity, high nutritional qualities, and wide acceptability by the local farmers.

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DG William Dar receives FABA award for transformational leadership in agriculture

In recognition of his relentless efforts to improve the livelihoods of poor smallholder farmers in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, Dr William Dar, ICRISAT Director General, was conferred the prestigious Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) Special Award 2014. Dr Dar was chosen by a team of global experts to receive this honor for his notable contributions to science and sustainable agriculture, and his transformational leadership at ICRISAT that turned the institute into a forward-looking global center of excellence. 

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ICRISAT adopts gender transformative approach in agricultural research

Empowering women smallholder farmers to overcome the unique hurdles they face in the semi-arid tropics, and thus securing the future of food production and the economic growth in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, was among the key messages at the ICRISAT Asia Regional Planning Meeting.
The meeting held on 10-12 February at the ICRISAT headquarters, acknowledged the significant contributions made by women smallholder farmers and the transformative role they play in dryland agriculture.

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United States Patent and Trademark Office explores partnership opportunities with ICRISAT

A five-member delegation headed by Dr Kitisri Sukhapinda, Patent Attorney, Office of Policy and External Affairs, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) visited the ICRISAT headquarters on 3 February.  Dr CLL Gowda, Deputy Director General for Research, briefed the delegation of the institute’s research activities. The delegation expressed interest in knowing more about ICRISAT’s Intellectual Property (IP) policy and the manner in which IPR is handled, particularly in collaborations involving private sector partners.

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Incoming Board Chair visits ICRISAT Ethiopia office

To explore opportunities for further strengthening ICRISAT’s programs and activities, incoming Board Chair Dr Chandra A Madramootoo visited the ICRISAT Ethiopia office on 3-4 February. He held extensive consultations with the ICRISAT staff based in the country office and partners from other CGIAR centers and national institutions.

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Mapping out a research agenda for a market-oriented and resilient agriculture in Africa

A sustainable and market-oriented agriculture is the way forward in making smallholder farming in Africa more profitable and resilient, and in feeding its growing population using the limited resources available now and in the future.
Enabling farmers to adapt to changing environment and new opportunities, and making markets work for them were some of the key concerns raised at ICRISAT’s regional planning meetings for West and Central Africa on 22-24 January in Bamako, Mali, and for Eastern and Southern Africa on 27-29 January in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Sharing of results for tracking the successes and failures of crop improvement investments in South Asia
Partners of the Tracking Varietal Change for Future Assessment of the Impact of Crop Genetic Improvement Research in South Asia (TRIVSA), a two-year project supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met in New Delhi on 26-27 August for the project’s final completion workshop.
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Dryland Cereals undertakes sorghum scoping study in Mozambique
A sorghum scoping study was recently conducted in Mozambique primarily to align the strategies of the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals (Dryland Cereals) with the country’s national R&D strategies, towards identifying entry points for collaboration.
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Training held on data collection in multilocation trials in energy sorghum and pearl millet
A training program to strengthen capacity in conducting multilocation trials, specifically on collection of data in biomass sorghum and pearl millet was held for partner organizations of the project on “Indo-US joint clean energy development center – Development of sustainable advanced lignocellulosic biofuel systems” at the ICRISAT headquarters on 16 August.
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Pigeonpea a wonder crop for women farmers in Rajasthan, India
The lives of hundreds of smallholder farmers in the small village of Padasoli in Jaipur district, long affected by frequent droughts and marginal lands, are changing. Women farmers, in particular, are reaping the benefits from improved and sustainable pigeonpea production, with the promise of food and nutrition security and a better quality of life for their families.
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ICRISAT-HOPE’s five-point program transforms lives of poor sorghum farmers in Maharashtra, India
The HOPE project’s five-point package of practices consisting of in-situ moisture conservation, use of improved cultivars, wide row spacing, use of fertilizers at sowing, and insect-pest management, has brought home to about 33,000 farmers the importance of a science-led approach in improving yields in the western Maharashtra region, known as the sorghum bowl of India.
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ICRISAT shares technology up-scaling approach to benefit smallholder farmers in the Philippines
With science-based innovations as the best bet in the fight against poverty and hunger, ICRISAT and the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) commit to a stronger partnership in up-scaling and commercializing cutting-edge innovations to improve the livelihoods of marginalized rainfed communities in the
Philippines.
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ICRISAT-HOPE project interventions boost milk production in Maharashtra, India
Fodder was the highlight of a recent survey of the ICRISAT-led HOPE project sites in the State, where livestock is an integral component of the food, nutrition and income security of smallholder farmers. Postrainy season sorghum stover is the main, and most of the time, the only source of animal feed in drought affected Marathwada and Western Maharashtra
regions of rural Maharashtra State in India.
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Seed Consortium promises sustainable seed system for postrainy sorghum in Maharashtra, India
July 23 was a significant day in the lives of smallholder farmers in Maharashtra. It marked the formation of a Seed Consortium that will develop a sustainable seed system for easy access and availability to farmers of improved sorghum seed for the postrainy season.
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ICRISAT to collaborate with Advanta Ltd
ICRISAT and Advanta Ltd, Hyderabad signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a three-year period that will include cross-visits for teaching; training and research for development; and the development of collaborative research work plans.
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Sustainable intensification of sorghum and legume system (SLI) project reviewed
The project on sustainable intensification of sorghum-legume based systems (SLI) in Eastern and Central Africa aims to enhance productivity and competitiveness by increasing the utilization of sustainable sorghum-legume system technologies and innovations by smallholder farmers. It is backstopped by the Staple Foods Program of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) in partnership with ICRISAT and national partners in Uganda, Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania.
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Dr HC Sharma elected Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Dr Hari C Sharma, Principal Scientist – Entomology, was conferred the Fellowship of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) by its President Dr RB Singh at its Foundation Day and Annual General Body Meeting in New Delhi on 4 June.
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ICRISAT presents its take on biomass at European Biomass Conference in Copenhagen
ICRISAT had the opportunity to present its take on biomass at the 21st European Biomass Conference and exhibition held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 3-7 June. Representing ICRISAT was Dr P Srinivasa Rao, Senior Scientist, sorghum Breeding, Research Program – Dryland Cereals, who delivered a presentation on “Studies on GxE interaction in
tropical sweet sorghum under terminal moisture stress” authored by Sweetfuel project partners.
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Indo-US biofuel project review and planning meeting held
The Indo-US Sustainable Advanced Ligno-cellulosic Biofuel Project’s half-yearly review and planning meeting was held at Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu on 12-13 June, hosted by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU).
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ICRISAT’s 4-point partnership plan for Andhra Pradesh elicits positive response
A new milestone was reached in the 40-year historic and fruitful ties between ICRISAT and Andhra Pradesh on 19 June. Invited to showcase ICRISAT’s contribution to the State and future opportunities, Director General Dr William Dar assured Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy, ministers and legislators of ICRISAT’s wholehearted support to the state’s dryland farmers.
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ICRISAT-HOPE project interventions stymie drought impacts
Interventions under the ICRISAT-led HOPE project helped defy drought and protect the sorghum crop in the project cluster villages. Improved cultivars and crop and drought management practices provided under the project in the last four years have helped over 33,000 sorghum farmers get on an average 40% higher grain yields and 29% higher
fodder yields compared to the local cultivars and practices.
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Producers and extension agents trained on fertilizer microdosing mechanization in Mali
“When scientists at IER saw producers mixing fertilizer with seeds at sowing in order to save on labor, the institute along with partners, the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (NORAGRIC) and GCOZA, developed a special disk and a particularly innovative planter that simultaneously sows a mixture of seeds and fertilizer and allows for mechanization of the fertilizer microdosing technology used in Mali.”
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Bill Gates commends ICRISAT’s work on reducing hunger and poverty
Mr Bill Gates acknowledged the potential of ICRISAT’s works on grain legumes and dryland cereals in helping millions of smallholder farmers in the drylands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa lift themselves out of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Mr Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited the ICRISAT headquarters in Patancheru, Hyderabad on Thursday, 30 May.
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Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister visits ICRISAT to strengthen partnership on agricultural research for development
Elevating the partnership to better achieve impacts and further boost the State’s sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth, an official delegation from the Andhra Pradesh State Government led by Honorable Agriculture Minister Mr Kanna Lakshminarayana visited ICRISAT on 24 May.
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Director General visits Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly
An opportunity to showcase ICRISAT’s work and further explore ways to contribute to Andhra Pradesh’s agricultural productivity was presented when Director General William D. Dar visited the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on 18 May. This was a follow-up to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly members’ recent visit to ICRISAT.
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New prospects explored for sorghum and millets in West Africa
The first workshop of the CGIAR Research Program on DrylandCereals following its recent launch sought to capitalize on partnerships in planning innovations achievable within the next ten years for a major breakthrough in the production of dryland cereals. The meeting was held in Saly, Sénégal on 15-16 May.
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Partner activities planned for Mali 2013 dryland cereal cropping season
Recognizing the crucial role of partnerships particularly in the context of the new ICRISAT-led CGIAR Research Program on DrylandsCereals, about 50 farmers and farmer association representatives, seed producers, agrodealers, NGOs and researchers gathered on 30 April – 2 May at ICRISAT’s Samanko research station to plan for 2013 research and development partner activities in Mali.
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ICAR and ICRISAT boost partnership for food and nutrition security in India
At the Joint ICAR-ICRISAT Projects Review and Planning Meeting held at the ICRISAT headquarters on 10 May, Dr Ayyappan acknowledged ICRISAT’s role in India’s programs and initiatives on watershed management, policy advocacy, and South-South collaboration with countries in sub-Saharan African. He requested ICRISAT scientists to get more involved in various national level committees and to further help in the capacity building of the NARS.
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Director General calls on new Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh
In a recent courtesy visit, Dr William Dar conveyed ICRISAT’s felicitations to Dr Prasanna K Mohanty on his appointment as the new Chief Secretary of the State of Andhra Pradesh and to welcome him as ex-officio member of the ICRISAT Governing Board. During the visit, Dr Dar underscored the excellent relationship between the State and ICRISAT and
looked at opportunities to elevate the collaboration.
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ICRISAT-HOPE project reviews external evaluation report, maps out strategy for extension
The HOPE Project Management Team held its first meeting this year on 22-23 April in Naivasha, Kenya to review the results of the external project evaluation report, review progress towards developing country strategies for sorghum and millets, develop a proposal for a no-cost project extension following the end of phase I in June 2013, and develop a concept note for a 5-year phase II of the project.
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Progress being made on Global Yield Gap Atlas
Yield gap is the difference between actual farm yield and yield potential under growth conditions without limitations to crop growth from water, nutrients, or pests. This was the theme of the international workshop of the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas (GYGA) project held in Cotonou, Benin on 23-24 April. GYGA was initiated by the University of Nebraska and Wageningen University with regional coordination by ICRISAT and AfricaRice.
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New sweet sorghum crusher inaugurated at ICRISAT
A new three-roller efficient sweet sorghum crusher with above 50% juice extraction efficiency was recently installed at the steel yard by ICRISAT’s Sorghum Breeding program.
The crusher was formally launched by Dr Stefania Grando, Research Program Director - Dryland Cereals on 8 May.
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Experiences shared at ICRISAT-HOPE planning workshop in Nigeria
To share and exchange implementation experiences and lessons learnt, the HOPE project led by ICRISAT held a planning meeting on 25 April at ICRISAT Kano, Nigeria.
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Value chain analysis and how to apply the concepts and tool
A five-day training workshop on ValueLinks was held in Nairobi on 8–12 April to provide economists from ICRISAT and partner institutions in Eastern Africa with a shared understanding and a set of concepts for value chain analysis as well as examples of how to apply these concepts and tools.
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Linking women groundnut seed producers to seed markets in Mali
ICRISAT and partners in Mali have, in the last 11 years, successfully built women community-based groundnut seed systems in Wakoro. Individual farmers and women’s
groups have been empowered and trained on seed production and small-scale business skills and marketing, and are now producing good quality certified groundnut seed.
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Need to strengthen India’s forage scenario highlighted at consultation meeting
“While the success of the Green Revolution in India is well known worldwide, that of the White Revolution has not been much told. There is a need to share the experiences and
learning from this sector and strengthen the forage/fodder scenario in the country to enhance livestock productivity,” said Dr Stefania Grando, Program Director - Dryland Cereals, speaking on behalf of Director General William Dar at the Forage Consultation Meeting held on 18 April at the ICRISAT headquarters.
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Genomics of plant genetic resources for global food security
“With the rapid advancement of genomics research, gene sequences should be available hopefully in the next 3-4 years for all plant species of economic importance. But the most important challenge to the scientific community will be to utilize these gene sequences and genome sequence diversity for crop improvement for food security, as well as for conserving biodiversity,” emphasized Dr CLL Gowda, Program Director - Grain Legumes, in the inaugural address he delivered on behalf of Director General William D. Dar at the 3rd International Symposium on Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources (GPGR3).
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Senegal Prime Minister supports new partnerships to improve livelihoods of the poor
“Our agriculture must be able to feed our people, and at the same time provide solutions to the problem of unemployment in our country. Agricultural development and food security is a priority of our government, and we need your support on this more than ever,” said Prime Minister of Senegal, Mr Abdoul Mbaye.
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ISRA, CORAF/WECARD and ICRISAT strengthen ties for food security and poverty reduction in WCA
The power of partnership in advancing food security and poverty reduction was highlighted at the Partnership Day organized by ICRISAT, ISRA and CORAF/WECARD on 8 April in Dakar, Senegal.
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ISRA and ICRISAT forge stronger strategic partnership
“Food security is on top of our government’s priority, and we are addressing this through initiatives to improve the production of millet, sorghum, maize and rainfed rice,” said Dr Macoumba Diouf, Director General of ISRA, during the visit of the ICRISAT Board members and management to its Bambey station near Dakar, Senegal on 6 April.
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ICRISAT participates in Bioenergy and Biorefinery Conference
Developing ecologically sustainable solutions and harnessing renewable sources of energy were the theme of the Bioenergy and Biorefinery Conference South East Asia – Biobased Fuels and Chemicals 2013 held in Singapore on 26-28 March. About 100 researchers from 15 countries participated in the conference organized by the Bio-Energy
Society of Singapore.
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Linking smallholder farmers to sweet sorghum ethanol distillery in China
Speaking at the inaugural program of the annual review and planning meeting of the ICRISAT-CFC-FAO project on “Enhanced Livelihood Opportunities of Smallholder Farmers of Asia: Linking Smallholder Sweet Sorghum Farmers with Bioethanol Industry”, Dr Dar emphasized that “sweet sorghum, as a viable bioethanol source, is in many ways better than
sugarcane and maize because of its shorter growing period, less water requirement, less cost of cultivation, and lower production cost of ethanol at the distillery.”
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ICRISAT-Mali bids farewell to longtime partner
“Bino has been a key player in the partnership between ICRISAT, the Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER) and the Government of Mali in the last 20 years. He will continue to be our friend and our doors remain open for him,” said Dr Farid Waliyar, ICRISAT Director – West and Central Africa. IER Director General Dr Bino Teme was on 18 March honored
with a farewell lunch at the ICRISAT-Mali office.
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Oklahoma State University strengthens partnership with ICRISAT
A five-member delegation from the Oklahoma State University, led by its President, Dr Burns Hargis, visited the ICRISAT headquarters on 13 March. The primary objectives of
the visit were to: explore opportunities for agriculture students of the Oklahoma State University to conduct collaborative research at ICRISAT
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Andhra Pradesh legislators visit ICRISAT, commit policy support for science-based agricultural development
Striving to create a more favorable and progressive policy environment for a science-based agricultural development, over 150 members of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly (MLAs), Members of Legislative Council (MLCs), and other State officials visited ICRISAT on 6 March.
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ICRISAT showcases agricultural technologies at Pusa Agriculture Science Fair
Over 2000 people, mainly farmers, researchers, school children, and media, visited the ICRISAT stall on the first day of the Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela 2013 (Agriculture Science Fair) held on 6-8 March at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) campus in New Delhi.
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Sorghum scientists’ field selection program held
A Sorghum Scientists’ Field Selection Program was organized on 21 February at the ICRISAT headquarters to showcase the depth and variability in postrainy sorghum material bred for various traits and nuances under the sorghum improvement program.
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Postrainy sorghum project dissemination workshop held
The Research Program on Dryland Cereals conducted a dissemination workshop on “Improving postrainy sorghum varieties to meet the growing grain and fodder demand in India,” an ACIAR-funded project, on 19-21 February 2013.
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Knowledge management platform for oilseed crops in the offing
ICRISAT and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur will jointly develop a dedicated knowledge management platform for oilseed crops under the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) on Agropedia with five oilseed crop institutes as voluntary partners. This was decided at a two-day workshop on Development of Digital Knowledge
Repositories organized by the Knowledge Sharing and Innovation (KSI) at ICRISAT-Patancheru on 24-25 January.
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Fodder resources management for genetic enhancement
With the rising scarcity of fodder (both straw/stover) and the need for alternative fodder resources to meet the demand of growing livestock enterprises, ICRISAT, in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has been conducting exploratory research on genetic variability of fodder (dry and green) yield and quality in sorghum, pearl millet, groundnut and pigeonpea to assess the prospects of genetic enhancement for these traits.
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Global research programs on grain legumes and dryland cereals launched
With food insecurity and malnutrition persisting as possibly the greatest challenges facing humanity in the coming decades, two grand research programs to boost food and nutrition and improve livelihoods particularly of the dryland poor were launched at the ICRISAT headquarters in Patancheru on 6 February by the world’s largest international agriculture research coalition.
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Farmers’ field day on sorghum-legumes technology held in Makueni District, Kenya
Charles Wambua was among the 184 farmers (92 of whom were women) from Kikumini, Munde, Wote, Makongo, Kathonzweni, Mwambani, Unoa, Kyamusoi, Mang’auni locations of Makueni District who attended the District Farmers’ Field Day held on John Muia Musya’s farm on 31 January to promote improved climate change-ready sorghum legumes
technologies to improve food and income security.
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Optimizing genetic gains for West African sorghum and millet breeders
A West African regional training workshop on “Optimizing genetic gains for sorghum and millet breeding programs” was conducted for 8 national breeding programs and 4 regional universities representing Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, and Senegal on 14-18 January in Saly, Senegal. Conducted under the HOPE Project, its main objective was to strengthen the capacity of national breeding programs to design breeding strategies that maximize genetic gains for priority traits, especially grain yield.
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ICRISAT ventures into recycling waste water for agricultural use
Following successes with rainwater harvesting and management, ICRISAT’s watershed team is making inroads into recycling industrial and domestic waste water for agricultural use to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor in the semi-arid tropics.
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Celebrating ICRISAT’s role in addressing food security in rural Zimbabwe
“I am proud that ICRISAT is doing great things in my province. It has spearheaded the improvement of sorghum and millet growing through the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which has greatly contributed in alleviating hunger not only in Matabeleland South, but also in Matabeleland North and Masvingo,” said Governor and Resident
Minister Cde Angeline Masuku of Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe. The Governor delivered a keynote address as Guest of Honor at ICRISAT-Bulawayo’s belated celebration of the Institute’s 40th founding anniversary held at the Matopos Research Station last December 2012.
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Olympic medalist commends ICRISAT’s crop germplasm conservation initiatives
“ICRISAT’s plant genetic conservation initiatives illustrate the value and use of biodiversity in the fight against hunger and poverty, and its impact on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in the dryland tropics.” This view was shared by India’s ace badminton player and Olympic bronze medalist Ms Saina Nehwal during her visit to ICRISAT-Patancheru on 30 December 2012. She described the experience of touring the campus, particularly her visit to the Institute’s RS Paroda Genebank, as delightful and an
eye-opener.
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ICRISAT-Nigeria braces up for the 2013 cropping season
In preparation for the 2013 wet season and to implement new and on-going projects in Nigeria, ICRISAT Nigeria organized a series of meetings with partners in April and May to deliberate and finalize work plans identified in the Accra meeting, and to review the 2012 trials and planned 2013 trials.
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Deepening collaborations with the Government of India

Use of digital technology to improve agriculture; opportunities in the state of Bihar; scaling up improved varieties across the country; access to ICRISAT’s facilities and household panel data; and promotion of chickpea in rice fallows were some of the topics of discussion between the Agriculture Minister and other top officials of the Government of India (GoI) and Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT. 

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