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Promoting the understanding and appreciation of agricultural research and the vital role it plays in human advancement

07
Nov

Digital disruption in agriculture

Agriculture in India contributes to about 17% of GDP but employs nearly 55% of the population. There are about 140 m Small Holder Farmers (SHF) in India practicing subsistence farming with limited participation in markets beyond the local level. About...
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04
Oct

Fall Armyworm: Nipping a problem in the bud

India has to effectively deal with this new insect that can devastate maize and a host of other crops. This pest has been seen in the Americas since several decades.   The occurrence of a new insect pest, Fall Armyworm...
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26
Sep

Plant-based meat – the future of protein

How many of you have heard about plant-based meat? Does it sound strange, maybe yummy 😊 or not sure what? As panel expert for a first-of-its-kind summit on “The future of protein: The new food revolution” co-hosted by The Good...
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26
Jul

A thriving community of women seed producers

It started with just three women farmers who were part of a pilot from Pagou village, Burkina Faso, who were trained on improved groundnut seed production in 2015. The three women brought in 180 new members to three multi-stakeholder platforms...
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06
Jul

Who are those people we call farmers?

Agricultural interventions should match household aspirations Just about six percent of rural households in Kenya, aspire for their children to become farmers. This is highlighted through a recent study that interviewed 624 rural households from Embu and Kitui in eastern...
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26
Jun

Preserving legacy grains: The Persa Jonna story

In Sidam Tulsiram’s village in Telangana state, India, no festivity or ritual is complete without the traditionally revered jowar (sorghum) grains. Whether it is a wedding, a groundbreaking or the sowing of the first crop of the year in the...
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08
Jun

Defining India’s Agtech Buzz

  Use of digital technology for creating hyperlocal solutions and value-added services for agriculture is no longer just a blip on the radar of startups. It is an area that is fast gaining traction with tech companies, digital entrepreneurs and startups...
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29
May

Climate-proofing Indian agriculture

Climate change has perhaps posed the most extreme challenges that agriculture in India and across the world has to deal with today and in the future. There is now scientific consensus that the world is getting warmer due to climate change and such increasing weather variability and worsening extremes will impact the agriculture sector more and more adversely.
26
Apr

A ‘trash’ course on Ag Plastics

The last time I attended a talk on trash was at the ICRISAT headquarters based in India, where a group had come together to work towards making the campus plastic-free. While I did know of the many dangers of polythene...
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28
Feb

Looking beyond the big staples

Improving nutrition through diet diversification and better food systems is key to good health and for this, we need to look beyond the big staples, says Dr Prabhu Pingali in this video blog. “Defining pathways to link agriculture and nutrition...
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14
Feb

Resilience over profitability: Could agricultural research deliver on both?

A new study that looked at the recent research strategy vis-à-vis 45-years of research done by ICRISAT shows that distinct objectives of resilience and profitability have emerged. Sometimes technologies evolve in the labs or on farmers fields and what is good for developing resilience of smallholder farmers turns out to be effective in enhancing profitability or vice versa. Thus highlighting the intent to conduct research with clear focus and to have an open mind at the same time.
04
Jul

Like our crops, we have grown

Mid-way through a meeting between local farmers and close to 30 national and provincial level participants attending a three-day country strategy development workshop with ICRISAT in Zimbabwe, someone asks the golden question: “Is this irrigation scheme making money for farmers?”...
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25
Apr

IP at ICRISAT: In tune with an evolving innovation landscape

How is ICRISAT adapting to the IP legal framework given present day realities and innovations in agriculture. Find out on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day today. ICRISAT works towards reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the...
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07
Apr

Combating Aflatoxin for a healthy world

What you see may not be what you get: The case of peanut butter   Ever wondered what processes the mouth-watering peanut butter you scoop out of a bottle has gone through before landing on your plate? Who judged if...
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24
Mar

When cities come closer to villages

“Villages and urban towns are coming closer. Better roads, infrastructure and connectivity, improvement in transport facilities and greater market integration are helping in easily linking villages with urban towns and cities. Mobile phones, television and internet have now become important...
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20
Oct

Listening to people and getting a response is like physics

Mrs Salamatu Garba is the Executive Director of Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), an NGO in Nigeria that coordinates the activities of smallholder farmers to help them practice sustainable agriculture. Agathe Diama in a freewheeling conversation spoke to her about...
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13
Oct

Crop simulation models: predicting the future of pulses

This post was featured in IYP2016.org. From the past to the present, pulses benefit agricultural systems Pulse crops have always been playing a beneficial and central role in crop rotations. Even the Romans and ancient Chinese already knew the benefit...
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09
Aug

Climate-smart crops for Myanmar’s dry regions

A research study in Myanmar seeks to identify crops with the lowest risk options for intensifying dryland cropping systems. Myanmar (formerly Burma) is one country where vast tracts of rice fields span as far as the eyes can see. The abundance...
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08
Aug

Reverse engineering innovation for impact

I recently spent a week talking to scientists at ICRISAT about innovation and how ICRISAT and the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organization (CSIRO) could form an alliance to understand how we can get better at it. I saw a...
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20
Jun

Identifying climate-smart sorghum lines for Mali

I am a PhD student from the Universite des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako, Mali, working on the integration of crop modelling and crop screening methods to better identify drought-tolerant traits in Malian sorghum genotypes. This will...
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20
Jun

On gender and plant breeding

This blog post is one of several in which we aim to tell the story of how plant breeding research and variety development makes a difference to the lives of the rural poor, especially women.  Whilst a majority of the...
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06
Jun

Our crops and croplands feed livestock

Can Africa’s growing demand for red meat be met by better utilizing cropland resources and the available feed/forage technologies produced in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the dry Semi-Arid Tropics? The answer came to me when I recently undertook an...
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26
Apr

Sinking your teeth into sorghum rotis

Evaluating organoleptic qualities of varieties Crop value is determined not just by grain produced per hectare but also by its nutritional content. Improving the nutrient density of staple crops can play a role in stamping out malnourishment that endangers the...
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26
Apr

‘YOU’th are the future of agricultural development

Recently, I had an opportunity to join over 500 delegates at the Third Global Conference of Agricultural Research and Development (GCARD3) in Johannesburg, South Africa.  I was one of 75 youth delegates and social reporters, who had come together from different...
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26
Apr

What do we mean by ‘women’s crops’?

“Women’s crops” is a familiar feature in writing about smallholder agriculture in Africa south of the Sahara. Although not always easy to define, they generally refer to crops grown by women for home consumption rather than for sale. The growth...
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26
Apr

STARS-One heralds the überization of world agriculture

This post is from the blog maintained by The STARS project In October 2015, the mayor of Sukumba (Koningue commune, Mali) awarded 50 certificates to farmers who led collaborative fertility trials with ICRISAT[1], AMEDD[2], IER[3], MANOBI[4], UCL[5], UdS[6], WUR[7], and...
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