30) ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar honored with Life Time Achievement Award at the
Hyderabad, Telangana, India (29 September 2014) In recognition of his relentless efforts to improve the livelihoods of poor smallholder farmers in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. William Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), was conferred the prestigious Agriculture Leadership Award 2014 (Life Time Achievements) at the 7th Agriculture Leadership Summit, held in New Delhi on 27 September, 2014.
Under the Chairmanship of Prof. MS Swaminathan, the Father of India’s Green Revolution, the National Organising Committee of the Agriculture Leadership Awards 2014, conferred the honor on Dr Dar for his exceptional service to society through science with a human face. His pioneering work in dryland agriculture spanning over four decades towards empowering farm and farmers through agriculture research, extension, technology development, partnerships and international cooperation, positively impacted the lives of large number of farmers in India and beyond.
“The survival of one billion people – the weakest and most vulnerable on the planet, the forgotten poor – will depend upon us finding answers to hunger, poverty and malnutrition. I humbly dedicate this Life Time Achievement Award to the smallholder farmers of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” Dr Dar said after receiving the award.
Dr Dar, an accomplished researcher, science leader and administrator, now joins an illustrious list of past recipients of the award that includes Dr. Verghese Kurien, the Father of India’s White Revolution; Dr. R S Paroda, the former Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR); Dr. RB Singh, Chancellor of the Central Agriculture University; Dr. Prem Lal Gautam, Chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority; and Dr. Amrita Patel, Chair, National Dairy Development Board.
Dr Dar’s dynamic and visionary leadership of ICRISAT, fostered science with a human face, and, with a global network of partners, the Institute is advancing inclusive market-oriented development for the smallholder farmers of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa. ICRISAT’s research agenda is now more focused, decentralized and regionally targeted; projects are more sharply formulated and implemented solving smallholder farmers concerns, major crop and system issues and opportunities. Dr Dar’s transformational leadership has shaped ICRISAT into a forward looking institution.
“Our shared vision for smallholder farmers is: Empowered, Resilient, Productive and Prosperous,” Dr Dar said.
In April 2010, ICRISAT led by Dr Dar won the CGIAR’s Science Award for Outstanding Partnership together with the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), for improving the lives of women and children in West Africa. In 2008, it had won for the fifth time, the King Baudouin Award, the most prestigious in the CGIAR, along with eight other centers.
In his illustrious career, Dr. Dar has received numerous awards and honors, including the Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) Special Award for Biotechnology and Life Sciences sector 2014, the Excellence in Agricultural Leadership Award by the Association of Agricultural Technology in Southeast Asia (AATSEA), Thailand in November 2013, and the prestigious MS Swaminathan Award for Leadership in Agriculture in June 2013.
Prior to donning his well acclaimed role of Director General of ICRISAT in 2000, Dr Dar held many prestigious positions including that of the Presidential Advisor on Food Security and Rural Development of the President of Philippines; Secretary of the Philippine Department of Agriculture; Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD); Director of the Bureau of Agriculture Research (BAR) of the Department of Agriculture; and Vice President for R&D and Professor at the Benguet State University, Philippines.
The Agriculture Leadership Awards were started in 2008 to recognize the leadership roles played by individuals and institutions, which are positively impacting the lives of farmers and rural masses. The Awards are presented in the areas of Policy, Research, Extension, Farming, Industry, Environment, Innovations, Entrepreneurship, CSR, Development, Life Time Achievements and State Leaderships.
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