Corporate Social Responsibility

ICRISAT works closely with a variety of companies and foundations to help achieve their CSR objectives.
This ranges from rural development and women empowerment to becoming water and carbon neutral.



Improving climate resilience of tribal farmers in Thane District, Maharashtra, India through integrated watershed management action site: Jawhar, Maharashtra
CSR partner: JSW Foundation
Duration: 1 Sep 2014 – 31 Aug 2019

Improved livelihoods through integrated water resources management in community watershed in Medak
CSR partner: Asian Paints Ltd
Other partners: District Water Management Agency, Government of Telangana; Watershed Committee; READ NGO
Duration: 1 Sep 2014 – 31 Aug 2019

Spent malt based business model for improving livelihoods of women in watersheds
CSR partner: SABMiller India Ltd
Other partners: District Water Management Agency, Government of Telangana; Watershed Committee, READ NGO
Duration: 2014 – 2016

Ensuring groundwater sustainability through integrated watershed management interventions
CSR partner: SABMiller India Ltd
Other partners: District Water Management Agency, Government of Telangana; Watershed Committee; READ NGO
Duration: 2014 – 2015

Improving rural livelihoods through farmer-centric integrated watershed management in Karnataka
CSR partner: PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd
Other partners: Department of Agriculture; Watershed committee; SBMMMAS- NGO
Duration: 1 Mar 2014 – 28 Feb 2019

Improving rural livelihoods through farmer-centric integrated watershed management in Andhra Pradesh.
CSR partner: PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd
Other partners: Department of Agriculture; Watershed committee; RSDS- NGO
Duration: 1 Mar 2014 – 28 Feb 2019

Farmer-centric integrated watershed management for improving rural livelihoods in Telangana
CSR partner: Rural Electrification Corporation Limited
Other partners: Department of Agriculture; District Water Management Agency; Watershed committee; BAIF-NGO
Duration: 29 May 2014 – 29 May 2019

Improving rural livelihoods in benchmark through integrated watershed management in Bellary district in Karnataka
CSR partner: JSW Foundation
Other partners: Department of Agriculture (DoA), Government of Karnataka; Watershed Development Department (WDD), Government of Karnataka; Karnataka State Department of Agriculture (KSDA); University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Raichur; Farmer Association
Duration: 1 Apr 2013 – 31 Mar 2018

Integrated water resource development in Kolar district through watershed interventions
CSR partner: The Coca-Cola Foundation
Other partners: District administration; Department of Agriculture, Kolar; Department of Watershed Development, Kolar; Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK); Kolar Markandeya Samgra Jala Nirvahane Watershed Committee, farmers; MYRADA, Kolar
Duration: 2012 – 2015

Watershed project — Bhujal (water sustainability project in 3 villages of Babina block, Jhansi District, Jhansi, Madhya Pradesh
CSR partner: Coca-Cola India Foundation
Duration: 1 May 2011 – 30 Apr 2016


Insights from partners


Firstly I think the enthusiasm of the villagers to take on the initiatives around community development was really nice to see. And their involvement in partnering with ICRISAT and Asian Paints to undertake some of the development was very encouraging.

They find a lot of positivity in the work they have been doing and they really feel interested even in looking for other opportunities and not just the ones provided through this community development. They really seem to have developed confidence in themselves

What we realize is that it is not only about the science behind the water conservation but it is working with the whole community and creating a holistic and integrated environment of development

Aashish Kshetry
Vice President – Supply Chain
Asian Paints

One very crucial thing that would ensure [sustainability] is the right partners and we have found that in ICRISAT because they have the right combination of bringing scientific expertise and also their understanding of the communities. …

The programs have acted as bridge building activities for us and they have really helped us in neutralizing those flash points which can really be detrimental to a healthy working environment for us and other members of the community.

Meenakshi Sharma
VP of Sustainability
SAB Miller India


Big Ideas for CSR

Following are just some of the Big Ideas for contributing to CSR for sustainable development.

Click the 14 options for a one-page impact pathway

Why focusing on these 4 areas is important:

Environmental sustainability
Nothing will operate without the sustainable use of water, soils, land and energy

This is the basis for any industry to survive – water, soils, land and energy. Whether it is natural resources for industrial use or community use – it is critical for any sustainability. This is not about conservation but about sustainable use. Environmental sustainability is critical to work within communities – building a positive reputation.

Market development
Innovations will lead to major developments and revolutions

Some of the key areas that can revolutionize the profitability of agriculture are Information and Communication Technology, on-farm mechanization and genomics.

Social development
Agricultural success is necessary for rural communities to be able to afford health and education and for the country’s food security – agriculture is the basis of all this

The success of agriculture is critical for the survival of all rural communities (half the population), and to feed the whole population. Empowering women will make the largest difference to the whole family and avoid the most dramatic of human abuses. Engaging youth is critical for the long-term viability of agriculture. Malnutrition in rural areas needs to be tackled at the source – agriculture and rural communities.

Scientific advancement
Markets are core to economic growth

Working the whole agricultural value chain is needed for profitable viable success.This not only enables farmers to have access to required inputs but also brings their products to market in an efficient and effective way. Building entrepreneurial skills and agribusiness are key part of developing value chains. Untapped opportunities exist for the value chain of Smart Foods.


We are excited to have been recognized for the CSR work we have partnered on. The awards include:

Asia CSR leadership awards - for the organization with the best environmental friendly project

ICRISAT received this award in Dubai, in October 2015 for efforts to rejuvenate  degraded resources. The scale-up efforts were supported by various private corporate partners (Tata Trust (SRTT & SDTT), SAB-Miller, Coca-Cola India Foundation, JSW foundation, Asian Paints, Rural Electrification, etc.) and various national and international development agencies (Indian Ministry of Rural Development, the World Bank through the Sujala Watershed Program in Karnataka, the Department for International Development through the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Program).

The Asian Leadership Awards recognizes remarkable business leaders and organizations in Asia for their continuing commitment to excellence, developing best practices and innovative strategies.

The award

The work improved water resources availability (surface and groundwater), increased use efficiency that consequently strengthened various ecosystem services.

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asian csr

Special mention- CSR Good Practice (Case Study) Recognition

ICRISAT received the IICA-NGOBOX Good Practice Recognition Special Mention award. The case study ‘ICRISAT – SABMiller @ Medak’ is focused on improved livelihoods through community water resources management in community watersheds. Read case study

This was awarded at the India CSR Summit 2015, Bengaluru, October 2015. The IICA-NGOBOX Good Practice Recognition 2015 Awards is an initiative of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs in collaboration with NGOBOX which offered a platform for Indian corporate houses and NGOs to showcase how development concerns have been met with social commitment.

The award

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ngp box

Gold standard award finalist for public private partnership for the establishment of the ICRISAT Development Center

This was awarded by Public Affairs Asia.

This award recognizes excellence in any project involving both the public and private sectors in the Asia Pacific. It is awarded to a partnership as a group in recognition of the public affairs and communications engagement, execution and outcomes connected to their PPP program.

Award listing

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Krishi Sanman Award to Dr Suhas P Wani for contributions to Indian agriculture

Awarded by ABP Majha (Marathi News channel), January 2015

Dr Suhas P Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center, was awarded the Krishi Sanman Award for his contributions to Indian agriculture.

The award was presented to Dr Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center, in Pune, India, by Mr Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, and Mr E Khadse, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra.


Abhinav – Innovative Practices in IWMP award

Awarded by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, February 2015

ICRISAT received the Abhinav Puraskar (Innovative Award) in Integrated Watershed Management. Recognizing the watershed projects’ impacts, the Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, awarded ICRISAT the Abhinav Puraskar (Innovative Award) in Integrated Watershed Management at a ceremony held in New Delhi. The award was received by Dr Suhas P Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center on behalf of ICRISAT.

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ABP News-CSR leadership award under COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

ABP News-CSR leadership award – Best project under COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT category

ICRISAT was presented the ABP News – CSR ABP-award-1LEADERSHIP AWARD for the Best Community Development Project, during the World CSR Congress, held at Taj Lands End, Mumbai on 17th February, 2016.

The award under the community development category was conferred on the “Parasai-Sindh Watershed Project,” implemented with the support of Coca-Cola India Foundation, India. The Coca-Cola India Foundation for Rural Water Infrastructure and the ICRISAT-led consortium, which had participants from the National Research Centre for Agro-forestry (NRCAF), farmers and the Government of Uttar Pradesh, identified the micro-watershed, Parasai-Sindh in Babina block of Jhansi district, as a pilot site for improving water use efficiency, groundwater recharge and strengthening ecosystem services through the community watershed management program.

Media links:

ABP News-CSR leadership award – Under the category ACCOUNTING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

ICRISAT was presented the ABP News – CSR LEADERSHIP AWARD under the category, Accounting for Climate Change during the World CSR Congress, held at Taj Lands End, Mumbai on 17th February, 2016.

The award recognized ICRISAT’s efforts to promote climate-smart agricultural practices, and the development of a pool of climate-smart agricultural practices shared with the agricultural community through participatory and partnership research approaches.

The integrated watershed management model adopted by ICRISAT is a holistic approach for improving resource use efficiency and enhancing livelihoods through proper land and water management, integrated nutrient management, adoption of improved cultivars, rainwater harvesting, integrated pest and disease management, and capacity development of stakeholders within the community.

ICRISAT develops solutions to help communities cope with dryland stresses and adapt to climate change by understanding the impact of dryland stresses on smallholder agriculture; undertaking crop simulation models; helping develop value chains for crops that are better adapted to the harsh and variable climate of the drylands; better farm management (e.g., soil revitalization, water conservation, and crop and livestock diversity); and providing climate modeling and decision-making tools.

Media links:


World CSR Congress- 50 Most Impactful Leaders in Water & Water Management

Dr Suhas P Wani, Research program Director-Asia and Director, ICRISAT Development Center, has been honored as one of “50 Most Impactful Leaders in Water & Water Management” at the world CSR congress held on 17th February, 2016 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.

The 50 Most Impactful Leaders in Water & Water Management is a recognition to those leaders who are missionaries and passionate about Water Management and whose works in Water Management have contributed to Social change.

With 35 years of service in ICRISAT, Dr. Wani was one of the early pioneers in watershed management in India. Outside of India, Dr Wani has helped thousands of farmers across several Asian countries including China, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Media links:

Best Livelihoods Initiative Award

ICRISAT received this award at the India CSR Summit 2016, held on 27 September 2016 at Mumbai, for a different approach to watershed management that has proven successful and represents a “paradigm shift” in the implementation of watershed programs in India. The initiative was a consortium led by ICRISAT and supported by the Corporate Social Responsibility program of JSW Group — a part of the O.P. Jindal Group. Other implementing partners included the NGO Pragati Rural Development Society, University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad, Government of Karnataka (GoK), Department of Agriculture (DA, GoK), and the Watershed Development Department (GoK) and the District Watershed Development office (DA, GoK).

Our capabilities

Multidisciplinary high-class science

From natural resource management, genetics, bioinformatics and phenotyping to economics and social sciences.

On the ground in Africa and Asia

With offices in Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Ethiopia,  Zimbabwe and India.

Strong networks

As we work in partnership at all levels – local, national, regional and international.

Participatory methods

Have been developed and are used as part of our work, involving the farmers through to the government and private industry where change is needed.

Recognized as independent

As an international non-profit organization that has worked in Africa and Asia for over 40 years, our scientific credibility and non-partisan approach are well recognized.



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