Hyderabad, India (09 March, 2018): A high-level ministerial delegation from Ethiopia is in Telangana on a mission to find solutions for water management and nutrition security. The visit was jointly hosted by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Telangana Ministry of Irrigation. The delegation also visited two tanks (at Narsapur and Ramchandrapur) part of Telangana’s Mission Kakatiya project which aims to rejuvenate over 46,000 ancient rainwater reservoirs or tanks all over the state.
“Agriculture is the main driver of Ethiopia’s economy, with over 80% of Ethiopians engaged in agriculture. Our focus right now is to transform our agriculture and make Ethiopia ‘nutrition secure’,” said His Excellency Eyasu Abraha Alle, Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Federal Republic of Ethiopia. “ICRISAT’s mandate crops are Smart Food that are Good for You, Good for the Farmer, Good for the Planet, and are important for solving food security problems, especially in the drylands.”
Explaining that 66% of arable land in Ethiopia lies untapped by irrigation, he said, “We are here to learn the best practices of rainwater conservation, irrigation technologies and climate-smart agriculture from you so that we can go back home and implement them for bringing resilience to our agriculture.”
On 8 March 2018, Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT showcased the success stories of ICRISAT’s research in India and sub-Saharan Africa, including Telangana and Ethiopia.
HE Minister Alle lauded ICRISAT’s years of experience in drought management and drought-tolerant crops and said, “Coming to ICRISAT and learning from you is a dream that we have had for years. We hope to collaborate fruitfully over the coming years for the betterment of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia.”
The delegates will also visit ICRISAT’s Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP) to learn about a market-oriented approach to agriculture; Mulkanoor Cooperative Society, a microfinance and digital agriculture venture; and the ICAR-NAARM institute.
The delegates from Ethiopia included: Dr. Diriba Gelete Chali (Deputy Director General and Acting Director General, Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute); Mr. Esayas Lemma Hayi (Director, Crop Production Directorate, MoANR); Dr. Tilahun Amede (ICRISAT Country Representative) and others.