23) ICRISAT and EMRC International partner for the 2nd Africa-India Economic Mission (2 December 2011)

Hyderabad, India, Brussels, Belgium, 2 December 2011 The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and EMRC International, Brussels are partnering once again for the second edition of the Africa-India Economic Mission to be held in Hyderabad, India from 11-16 December 2011.

With the aim of bringing under a single platform African and Indian decision makers, experts and business community, the Africa-India Economic Mission will facilitate access to India’s leading institutes and foremost agricultural equipment, irrigation and crop corporations, providing a basis for potential business ties, with a focus on public-private partnerships.

“More and more people want to go right to the source of innovation and gain insider access to what is happening in India. This 5-day mission where agricultural experts and business people will have the opportunity to talk business and discuss problems and solutions pertaining to agricultural development, is highly significant. Exchanging know-how will be critical,” explains Samuel Pulido, Project Manager at EMRC International.

The 5-day mission will feature visits to and technical meetings at India’s world-renowned agricultural research institutes, companies linked to equipment and machinery, water conservation and management, bio-fuels, seeds and fresh produce management. Participants will be exposed to India’s exceptional and groundbreaking agricultural and business know-how.

India’s agricultural landscape is as varied as that of Africa. Like Africa, a significant   proportion of India falls under the semi-arid climate, which is characterized by highly variable and low rainfall and soils with low productivity, which calls for watershed management and grain innovation. The semi-arid or dryland tropics cover 6.5 million square km of land in 55 countries, inhabited by over 2 billion people, of which 644 million are the poorest of the poor. Much needs to be done to ensure that people in these regions do not go hungry and are able to develop their land to achieve economic growth in order to move forward from subsistence to commercial farming.

According to ICRISAT’s Director General William D Dar, “South-South cooperation is going to play a key role in the development of agriculture and agribusiness in the coming days. There is a wealth of learning and exchange repository with India, which can benefit Africa in a big way, especially when the Government of India has announced financial and technical support to African countries. Being a global agricultural research center, I am glad that we have taken this step a year back to facilitate the knowledge sharing process in partnership with EMRC.  It is with great pride that we welcome our African counterparts in taking part in and benefit from the Economic Mission Africa-India.

ICRISAT is an international agricultural research-for-development institute that conducts research on sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut – crops that support the livelihoods of the poor in the semi-arid tropics encompassing 48 countries. The Institute has its headquarters in Patancheru, India, and two regional hubs -- in Nairobi for Eastern and Southern Africa and in Bamako, Mali for West and Central Africa.

During the mission, participants will learn about the Agri-Business and Innovation Platform (AIP), an ICRISAT initiative to enhance its public-private partnerships as a model for fostering agribusinesses in order to bring Research for Development (R4D) innovations to the market for faster and wide-scale impact. AIP provides prototype innovations, knowledge and expertise, training, and co-location with researchers; while the entrepreneurs fine-tune the prototypes and take them to the market, while bearing the risks and reaping the rewards involved.

“There is know-how and there are technologies out there to ensure real agricultural development. What is important is that people can access and exchange techniques and partner together. This will be the key to growth and will ensure that communities, countries and the African continent prosper sustainably,” says Idit Miller, Vice President of EMRC International. “This is what this mission is about: exchange and partnerships.”

To register for the Africa-India Economic Mission please visit www.emrc.be

For more information on the programme, please contact:

Samuel Pulido,
EMRC Senior Programme Manager
Tel.: +32.2626.1514
Email: sp@emrc.be
Brussels, Belgium

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