On ICRISAT’s 45th anniversary, we take you on a journey of milestones that shaped the science we do today.

ICRISAT in the beginning

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ICRISAT at its beginning
Caption: Construction of the main drain.
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ICRISAT takes shape

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Steps taken to set up a single research institute for semi-arid crops
Caption: The Foundation stone laid by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Others present were MS Swaminathan, Fred Bentley, AP Chief Minister J Vengal Rao and Ralph Cummings.
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1970s Attention on aflatoxin

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Pioneering science to help overcome the problem of aflatoxin in crops
Caption: Aflatoxin-infected groundnut.
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1972 ICRISAT gets a logo

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A security officer designs the first logo
Caption: ICRISAT’s first visual identity.
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1975 Village Level Studies

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Understanding socio-economic and other constraints to agricultural development
Caption: Village investigators gathering information from villagers.
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1976 A Watershed moment

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ICRISAT has always believed in environmentally friendly construction
Caption: A masonry check dam at Kothapally watershed, Telangana state, India.
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1979 Genebanks

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Genebanks set up in Asia and Africa as insure against future seed loss
Caption: The genebank was started with a short-term storage facility.
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1979 First farmers' day

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Bringing together farmers and scientists to find solutions
Caption: ICRISAT throws its gates open on the first Farmer’s Day.
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1979 First marker-assisted pearl millet

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A downy mildew resistant pearl millet hybrid
Caption: ICRISAT scientist C T Hash (in hat) with scientists, identifying an off-type plant in a field of HHB 67 –Improved.
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1983 Queen Elizabeth II visits ICRISAT

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The British queen gives her royal seal of approval for ICRISAT
Caption: Director General Leslie D Swindale welcomes Queen Elizabeth II.
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1983 First ICRISAT varieties released

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Sorghum and pearl millet varieties released for farmers in Sudan
Caption: Gebisa Ejeta with sorghum variety Hageen Dura.
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1989 Short-duration chickpea

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A wilt and heat resistant Kabuli variety for Asia and Africa
Caption: ICCV 2: The climate-smart variety for tropical environments.
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1991 World’s first hybrid pigeonpea released

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The world’s first hybrid of a pulse crop was a high yielding pigeonpea plant
Caption: ICRISAT scientist KB Saxena (extreme left) worked with partners to develop ICPH 8.
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1994 Microdosing starts in Niger

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Boosts productivity and increases drought and heat tolerance of crops
Caption: Microdoses of inorganic fertilizer for macro benefits.
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1994 Sowing seeds of hope

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Providing seeds during times of extreme crisis such as wars and earthquakes
Caption: Relief material being distributed in Latur, Maharashtra, following a massive earthquake.
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1996 First CGIAR King Baudouin Award

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Proud moment as first CGIAR center to win the award consecutively
Caption: The award conferred on ICRISAT for pearl millet improvement.
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1996 Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug visits ICRISAT

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Nobel winner endorses work done by ICRISAT scientists
Caption: Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug on a tour of the ICRISAT campus.
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1999 Start of core and mini core germplasm collection

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Enhancing the use of germplasm in breeding programs globally
Caption: The ICRISAT genebank.
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2000 Hybrid Parents Research Consortium

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An innovative partnership for greater collaboration in agriculture
Caption: Seed company officials check out seeds of interest.
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2000's Boost to infrastructure

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Adding cutting edge technologies and facilities
Caption: President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam inaugurating the greenhouse containment facility of the PTTC.
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2004 Guinea race hybrids for West Africa

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Unlocking the genetic potential of the dominant sorghum variety
Caption: Sorghum breeders from Mali and Burkina Faso collaborating in the development of Guinea race hybrids
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2006 First CGIAR science award

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Awards for the genebank and for outstanding partnership
Caption: ICRISAT’s genebank was one of the recipients of the Partnership award.
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2006 ICRISAT adopts IGNRM research strategy

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Adopted to maximize the synergies of agricultural research
Caption: Promoting greater synergy between biotechnology, plant breeding, agronomy, agroecosystems and social sciences.
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2007 Ramadjita Tabo shares Nobel Peace Prize

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Recognition for increasing awareness about man-made climate change
Caption: Ramadjita Tabo with his Nobel Peace Prize.
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2007 Pro-poor BioPower strategy devised

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Harnessing the power of sweet sorghum to make bio-fuel
Caption: AR Palaniswamy of Rusni Distilleries displaying ethanol extracted from sweet sorghum.
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2008 World’s first commercial pigeonpea hybrid

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Successfully bred after years of intense research
Caption: ICPH 2671, the world's first cytoplasmic male sterility-based pigeonpea hybrid.
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2009 Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops

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Launched to help process and evaluate crops from the lab to the land
Caption: The hub of pipeline solutions to develop transgenic products.
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2010 New Inclusive Market Oriented Strategy for 2020

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Aimed at halving global poverty, hunger and malnutrition
Caption: The way to transit from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture.
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2010 ICRISAT joins Molecular Breeding Platform

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To revolutionize crop breeding and meet the challenges of food security
Caption: Revolutionizing crop breeding to meet food security challenges.
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2011 Corporate Social Responsibility activities begin

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Working closely with private partners to improve livelihoods of farmers
Caption: Partnering with PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd in promoting watershed management interventions.
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2011 ICRISAT-led global team cracks pigeonpea genome

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Helps identify unique traits, like drought tolerance, in pigeonpea
Caption: 48,680 pigeonpea genes identified
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2012 Pigeonpea breeders develop a new CMS system

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A new cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility system for sustainability
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2012 Providing knowhow to set up India's first private sector seed bank

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A public private partnership to set up a seed bank
Caption: Preserving seed is key to crop diversity.
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2012 First marker-assisted sorghum varieties released in sub-Saharan Africa

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Makes Striga resistant varieties of sorghum available to cultivate
Caption: One of the Striga-resistant varieties in the field.
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2012 Promoting women entrepreneurship

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Women entrepreneurs get a boost from agribusiness incubator
Caption: ALEAP President Mrs Rama Devi and KK Sharma exchange the MoA as Governor of Andhra Pradesh Honorable ESL Narasimhan looks on.
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2013 Bill Gates visits ICRISAT

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Recognizes the ability of ICRISAT’S research to help millions of farmers
Caption: Mr Bill Gates at ICRISAT’s lysimeter facility for phenotyping. Others in the photo, L-R: Drs Prem Warrior, David Hoisington, William Dar, and Vincent Vadez.
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2013 High-iron biofortified pearl millet released in India

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Dhanashakti is first biofortified crop to reach farmers’ fields
Caption: High-Iron pearl millet variety ICTP 8203Fe
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2013 ICRISAT Ambassadors of Goodwill launched

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To enlist the support of personalities to champion ICRISAT’s mission
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2013 Genome sequence of 90 chickpea lines decoded

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Leads to increased yield and enhanced traits in chickpea
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2013 Two ICRISAT-led CGIAR Research Programs launched

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As part of efforts to help reduce world hunger, malnutrition and poverty
Caption: At the launch of the ICRISAT-led CGIAR Research Programs on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals
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2014 New significant investments in Africa

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US$ 5 million to improve facilities and scientific skills
Caption: New investments to open up opportunities for collaborative research
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2014 First Agribusiness incubator in West Africa

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The West African Agri-Business Resource Incubator (WAARI) was inaugurated
Caption: Agribusiness products at the stalls set up by women cooperative groups.
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2014 First peanut genome sequenced

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To aid in breeding more productive and resilient varieties
Caption: Groundnuts/peanuts are an important crop both commercially and nutritionally.
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2015 Finger millet now a mandate crop

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Formally becomes ICRISAT’S sixth mandate crop
Caption: A smart food that is critical to nutrition in women and babies.
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2015 Digital Agriculture initiatives launch

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ICT-based technology to improve productivity of farmers
Caption: Dr David Bergvinson exchanging the MoU with Mr Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Telangana State. Also seen are Mr KT Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology & Panchayat Raj, Mr C Parthasarathi, Secretary and Agri Production Commissioner and others.
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2016 First genome code of cultivated peanut cracked

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Aimed at accelerating gene discovery and improved cultivars
Caption: A breakthrough that promises accelerated gene discovery and development of improved peanut ( groundnut) cultivars
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2016 Popularizing millets through product development

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To breakdown the perception of millets as food for the poor
Caption: Dr Bergvinson demonstrating millet products to Mr Byre Gowda. Also seen is Dr Wani.
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2016 First Machine-harvestable chickpea variety released

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To help address labor shortage and drudgery for women workers
Caption: A combine harvester harvesting NBeG 47, the first machine harvestable variety released in Andhra Pradesh.
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2016 Smart Food initiative

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Legumes and cereals are ‘good for you, good for the planet and good for farmers’
Caption: Smart foods are good for you, the planet and the smallholder farmer.
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2016 A new sowing application for farmers

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Successfully minimizes loss of crops and increase yields
Caption: Timely information is critical to sowing for smallholder farmers.
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2016 Working in synchrony with the SDGs

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Integrating ICRISAT’S research to achieve the SDGs by 2030
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2017 Innovation hub for agri-tech entrepreneurs

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Innovative digital technology in the service of smallholder farmers.
Caption: PS Reddy, Telangana Agriculture Minister and KT Rama Rao, Telangana IT Minister inaugurating the ihub.
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2017 Pigeonpea genome re-sequenced

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Breakthrough pigeonpea genome re-sequencing will lead to superior varieties.
Caption: ICRISAT scientists inspect pigeonpea accessions for agronomically important traits and disease resistance.
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2017 Two new machine-harvestable chickpea varieties released

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To foster demand-driven innovation
Caption: Demonstration on machine harvesting of chickpea variety Phule Vikram at a farmer’s field in Maharashtra.
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2017 Plant disease and pest diagnostic app released

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For early recognition and tailor-made treatment plans to overcome crop damage.
Caption: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launches Plantix app at Vijayawada.
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Pearl Millet Genome Sequence

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Clue to pearl millet's heat tolerance may help fight climate chaos
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Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method (LAMP)

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LAMP: A visual, fast and low-cost diagnostic device to fight a deadly, emerging disease
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My wish for the drylands

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