18) ICRISAT Director General meets President Abdul Kalam (9 July 2004)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) strengthened relationship with His Excellency the President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam when a team led by ICRISAT Director General William Dar called on the President recently.

The ICRISAT team, comprising Dr Dar, Dr SP Wani (Principal Scientist, Watersheds) and Mr Arun Pal (Officer Incharge, Delhi office), met the President abd briefed him about the developments at the Institute since the time of Dr Kalam's visit in December 2002.

Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said that the Institute is privileged that the First Citizen of the host country has taken an active interest in knowing about ICRISAT's contribution to improving agricultural productivity in the semi-arid regions of India.

In an unprecedented move, Dr Kalam invited Dr Dar to be part of the Presidential Delegation when he visits Tanzania in the near future. Accepting the invitation, Dr Dar said that it was an honor for an international agricultural research institute like ICRISAT to be part of the Presidential Delegation.

President Kalam showed interest in knowing about ICRISAT's projects in Tanzania. He felt that ICRISAT could play a significant role in strengthening India's collaboration with the African countries.

The President appreciated ICRISAT's work in the area of integrated watershed management and bio-diesel plantations as well as value addition at the farm level, including the Institute's work in the Indo-Gangetic Plains planting chickpea and pigeonpea in the rice/wheat fallows.

Dr Dar presented President Kalam a copy of ICRISAT's policy brief on Dryland Agriculture - A Strategy for India. The President tasted and was impressed with ICRISAT's large confectionary variety groundnut, which he thought was suitable for export from India.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.