Progressing towards the SDGs

Board members visit demo plots of ICRISAT mandate crops. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

Board members visit demo plots of ICRISAT mandate crops. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

At the recently concluded biannual meeting of ICRISAT Governing Board goals and strategies were set to guide the organization towards achieving its vision. Integrating our research with corporate goals and targets and tracking progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were the highlights of the discussion.

Country strategies, developed in close collaboration with national partners, are at the core of ICRISAT’s strategy. The next important stage will be integrating our research, partnerships and fundraising in line with the country strategies. Bottom-up target setting based on the country strategies will be the next critical step.

The Board fully supported the innovative market-driven approach taken by ICRISAT and partners in developing the proposal for the CGIAR Research Program Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC). The Board believes we need to progress beyond traditional breeding and engage more extensively with the whole value chain and integrating a demand-driven approach. This is important to ensure the poor, especially in the drylands who depend on these naturally resilient and highly nutritious crops, are served.

A full day was devoted to discussing the scientific work being undertaken and the Board members were excited by the scientific innovations presented. This was presented under our new structure of 3 regional programs and 2 global programs (Genetic Gains and Innovation Systems for the Drylands).

The Board approved filing for a patent for “Method for obtaining crop plants with cytoplasmic male sterility for hybrid crop production”. It was also seen as important to develop a strategy for patenting future innovations.

New innovative approaches for resource mobilization were discussed. The policy for guiding who we engage with and how through CSR initiatives was also reviewed and accepted. ICRISAT’s approach to its own CSR was also presented and discussed and will be taken forward.

The annual staff survey results were reviewed in detail by the Board. Developing career progression for scientists is a key area for management to take forward.

The Board meeting ended with a Farmers’ Day. This was a highlight as the Board members engaged with over 2,000 farmers from seven Indian states. The farmers presented what technologies and support they need to double their income.

ICRISAT’s work on Sustainable Development Goals.

View Dr David Bergvinson talks on ICRISAT’s role in contribution to Sustainable Development Goals.

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