28) Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Seeks ICRISAT's Help

Following on the momentum built by the call of the State of Andhra Pradesh for ICRISAT's help in spreading new technologies to manage the drought, the Director General met the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, the honorable Chandrababu Naidu, together with our Board member and former State Chief Secretary Mr V Anandarau on Tuesday 16 May. Drs Wani, Winslow, Mr Parthasarathy, and Mr Bisht joined the DG. The Chief Minister, globally recognized for his pro-development policies (which attracted US President Bill Clinton to make a special stopover in Hyderabad on his recent visit to India), emphasized his interest in strengthening ties with ICRISAT.

"I want to use your services in a big way for total transformation of the entire State", he told Dr Dar and the ICRISAT delegation. "We need you to help develop a future for us. Watersheds, water harvesting, IPM, productivity increases, training... we are interested in all aspects." The Chief Minister, known for his use of information technology to keep a constant finger on the pulse of activity at offices across the state, suggested immediate means of operationalizing the collaboration. "Lets monitor our progress year by year using a scientific approach, measuring changes in water tables, pesticide usage, and other milestones. We are thinking to constitute an advisory council so ICRISAT can give our state agencies targets, give expertise, and establish a tempo of progress," he said. He offered state facilities for use as pilot programs, for example to develop a demonstration watershed for each of the State's 23 districts. Dr Dar invited the Chief Minister to be ICRISAT's Chief Guest at India-ICRISAT Day being planned during 12-14 October (final date to be determined), just before World Food Day (16 October). The CM's response? "Certainly I will come. Even before then!"

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.