35) US Under Secretary Lauds ICRISAT's

"I'm very pleased to see the linkages that you at ICRISAT are developing between science, health, nutrition, and trade." So said Dr I. Miley Gonzalez (right in the picture), Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), who visited the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on Saturday 25 March 2000. At the Institute's Patancheru campus, Dr Gonzalez, who is part of President Clinton's entourage to South Asia, received a comprehensive overview of ICRISAT's research by the Institute's Director General, Dr William D Dar, and senior scientists and administrators. Introducing Dr Gonzalez to ICRISAT's research, Dr Dar emphasized that the Institute was involved in doing "Science with a Human Face".

Dr Gonzalez agreed, saying, "Research must benefit the consumer as much as it does the producer, and I can see that happening here", he said, referring to ICRISAT's research on the ergot disease in sorghum, and aflatoxin contamination of groundnut.

After the field visit, Dr Gonzalez was shown around ICRISAT's Genebank. With 113 500 accessions assembled from 130 countries, the ICRISAT genebank serves as a world repository for the germplasm of the five ICRISAT mandate crops: sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, and six small millets.

Thereafter, the Under Secretary visited ICRISAT's biotechnology and genomics labs, where he was introduced to the Institute's research using these cutting-edge tools.

In the brief Press Conference that followed, Dr Gonzalez touched upon and fielded questions on a wide range of matters, from USDA's research agendas to possible areas of agricultural collaboration between USA and its partners world wide.


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