32) ICRISAT and World Bank to collaborate on new strategy (22 January 2004)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the World Bank will collaborate to implement the Bank's new agriculture and rural development strategy, designed to meet the goal of poverty alleviation through agricultural growth.

ICRISAT is hosting the meeting of the Bank's sector directors and managers for agriculture, rural development and environment from its headquarters in Washington DC and country program managers from eight countries in Asia and Africa.

Dyno Keatinge, Deputy Director General of ICRISAT, speaking on behalf of Director General William Dar, said that the meeting provided the opportunity for senior officials from the World Bank and ICRISAT to discuss priorities and strategies to achieve the common objective. There was a strengthened understanding of each other's work, which will go a long way in developing synergy in each other's efforts.

The World Bank's new strategy for agriculture and rural development is designed to work towards the larger goal of poverty reduction in the world. Agriculture and rural development plays a significant role since in many developing countries agriculture is the principal source of rural economic growth and agricultural growth is the cornerstone of rural poverty reduction.

To promote agricultural growth there is need for investments and other interventions that support agriculture directly and indirectly. These include investments in research, extension, irrigation, rural transportation, energy and communications, as well as interventions that improve the policy and institutional environment within which agricultural producers, traders and processors operate.

World Bank is among the top donors to ICRISAT.

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