38) ICRISAT Gives a Warm Welcome to Ian Johnson, World Bank Vice President and CGIAR Chair (February        2001)

Befitting his portfolio as the World Bank Vice President for  Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, Mr. Ian Johnson began his visit to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on 10 February with the planting of a tree on the ICRISAT Campus.

ICRISAT is one of the 16 Future Harvest Centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which is led by Mr Johnson. CGIAR is the world's largest agricultural research network, dedicated to improving food crops, reducing hunger, and promoting the sound management of natural resources throughout the developing world.

After welcoming warmly Mr. Johnson as well as Dr. B. Padmanabham, World Bank representative from New Delhi who was accompanying him, ICRISAT Director General Dr. William D. Dar and senior ICRISAT staff, gave a comprehensive overview of ICRISAT's partnership-based research and development thrusts, which focus on the Institute's corporate motto, 'Science with a Human Face'.

An elaborate program has been organized for Mr. Johnson's 2-day visit to ICRISAT, including laboratory and field tours.
As part of the laboratory visit, he was shown the new Applied Genomics Laboratory, genetic transformation work, the genebank, and the current research activities on aflatoxins and on the groundnut virus disease that had recently caused terrible losses in Andhra Pradesh.

In the field visit, ICRISAT researchers presented the exciting results of their partnership-based work on the important staples of the poor of the semi-arid tropics (SAT) and on the management of soil and water resources, through the integrated watershed approach.

The visit was also a unique opportunity for Mr Johnson to see collaborative work between ICRISAT and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), another CGIAR Institute, on the improvement of ruminant nutritional quality of SAT crop residues.

To see ICRISAT's collaborative work with national programs, nongovernmental organizations, and farmers' associations,
Mr Johnson is visiting the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) and the community watershed at Kothapally, where ICRISAT is conducting on-farm research based on the integrated watershed management approach in participation with farmers.


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