4) Bringing the Green Revolution to the Dry Central Regions of India: The Power of ICAR-ICRISAT Partnership (November 2000)

"The collaboration between India and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is helping to extend steadily the Green Revolution to the poor of the dry central regions of the country who had been bypassed the first time," said Dr. William D. Dar, ICRISAT Director General, during the India-ICRISAT Day Celebration at Patancheru on 15 November 2000.

The India-ICRISAT Day was organized to commemorate the Institute's contribution to Indian agriculture and review cooperation between ICRISAT and India, particularly the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and ICRISAT.

Referring to this long and fruitful partnership, Shri Nitish Kumar, Honorable Agriculture Minister, Government of India, stated in his message for the India-ICRISAT Day, "It is heartening to know that the varieties and hybrids developed jointly by ICAR, Agricultural Universities of India, and ICRISAT are grown in large areas not only in India but in other countries as well."

Shri Vadde Shobhanadreeswara Rao, Honorable Minister for Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, who was the Chief Guest for the event, urged ICRISAT and ICAR to bring an awareness among farmers about new technologies. "The need of the hour is to transfer these technologies to farmers of the dry areas who depend on rainfed agriculture," he said.

ICRISAT was created in 1972 to address the challenges of agriculture in the dry areas of Asia and Africa and since India has the largest expanse of dry areas in its Deccan plateau and has also a strong national research capacity, it was chosen as the ideal location for the Institute's headquarters. "We feel privileged that ICRISAT is located in the heartland of India," Shri Nitish Kumar stated in his message.

Highlighting the benefits of this collaborative research to India and other developing countries, Dr. R. S. Paroda, Director General, ICAR, said, "The development of the world's first pigeonpea hybrid is a result of this partnership. The shortening of the maturity period for pigeonpea from 300 days to 120 days has helped us change the cropping system in the wheat belt of India. We now have pigeonpea-wheat rotation in this area, which was unheard of before." Dr Paroda explained that the addition of legume crop into the cereal monocrop system would make the cropping system more sustainable. "We can then look forward to an ever-Green Revolution in India."

Shri Bhaskar Barua, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Shri P.V. Rao, Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Mangala Rai, ICAR Deputy Director General (Crops), Dr Jill Lenne, ICRISAT Deputy Director General as well as representatives from the donor community attended the function.

Dr. J. G. Ryan, Former ICRISAT Director General, Dr. Y.L. Nene, Former ICRISAT Deputy Director General, Dr. M. V. Rao, Special Director General, ICAR (Retd) and Ex-Vice-Chancellor, ANGRAU, Hyderabad were some of the eminent speakers at the function.

Removing the Root Cause of Hunger in the Semi-Arid Tropics

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.