11) Asian Development Bank and ICRISAT launch initiative to strengthen partnerships for agricultural development (1 September 2004)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have launched an initiative to strengthen partnerships for more effective planning, research and development in agriculture in South Asia.

The initiative was launched at a three-day regional workshop in New Delhi beginning today, in which senior representatives from donor and international organizations, national governments and national agricultural research institutions and civil society organizations from South Asian countries are participating.

Mr Fred Roche, ADB Director for Agriculture in South Asia, underscored the importance of building up partnerships to enhance the growth and development of agriculture in South Asia.

Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said that the initiative would strengthen existing partnerships and alliances, and make them more effective for the growth and development of agriculture in South Asia.

“The global Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide a shared vision of a much improved world by 2015; where extreme poverty is cut in half, child mortality is greatly reduced, gender disparities in primary and secondary education are eliminated; women are more empowered; and health and environment indicators improve,” Dr Dar said. “This is possible only within a global partnership for development.”

The initiative aims at finding institutional innovation processes that effectively link research with the national and regional development process. This will involve developing an agricultural research agenda that is demand-driven and also seeks to find solutions for problems. Through partnerships, the gaps in the process of stimulating development through agricultural growth can be identified and steps taken to plug them.

ADB and ICRISAT are working to strengthen the effectiveness and impact of ADB-funded agriculture and rural development projects in South Asia. For instance in India, ICRISAT is helping ADB to increase the effectiveness of its water conservation projects, by suggesting policy, strategy, project and institutional interventions.

The long-standing partnership between ICRISAT and ADB has resulted in significant impact in Asia. Some examples are:

  • ADB's support helped the growth of the Cereals and Legumes Asia Network for the improvement of crop production and productivity of Asian farmers. ICRISAT is an active member of the network.
  • Rapid crop improvement through biotechnology tools such as genetic marker-aided variety selection.
  • ADB funds have supported the spread of natural resources management through watershed development projects in India, China, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • The state-of-the-art applied genomics facility at ICRISAT headquarters at Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, has its roots through an ADB-funded project.

For more information, contact Dr CLL Gowda at c(dot)gowda(at)cgiar(dot)org.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.