From discovery to delivery – the 45-year journey to improve nutrition

ICRISAT Annual Report 2017 focuses on R&D for nutrition across the agriculture value chain

A picture, they say, is worth a 1000 words. When Ms Elizabeth Kanyote and her adorable 17-month-old daughter beam at you from rural Kenya, it is worth, in fact, 45 years. That picture stands for millions of smallholder farm families across Africa and Asia who have the chance of a better life thanks to 45 years of research.

‘Delivering nutrition to the drylands’ is a bird’s-eye view of ICRISAT’s work on every aspect of research and development along the agricultural value chain.  The report combines data and descriptive short notes, touching on the various aspects of how it impacted nutrition, lives and livelihoods over the decades.

ICRISAT’s nutrition-focused R4D work has been unique in that it includes:

  • Using modern breeding technology to grow nutritious, climate-resilient crops (94 improved varieties of pigeonpea released from ICRISAT-origin material)
  • Effecting behavior change to promote diet diversity (Awareness campaigns about importance of diet diversity reached over 40,000 households in Kenya)
  • Influencing policies to encourage demand of nutritious grain legumes and cereals to benefit farmers (As part of several projects to encourage science-policy dialog)

ICRISAT’s contribution is summarized in a ‘Nutrition Timeline’ while stories intersperse the scientific and the social contribution made across the world. Highlights of the past year are presented in a succinct, ‘at-a-glance’ format to quickly convey the core impacts.

If we are to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2.2) of Zero Hunger by 2030, all hands need to be on the efforts to improve nutrition around the world. The dryland regions are even more vulnerable to malnutrition due to harsh climates and unfavorable conditions.

ICRISAT has been working for better nutrition from several different perspectives. From imparting soil/water management technologies and developing high-yielding, nutritious crops, to promoting lifestyle changes for better health and helping grow markets for nutritive foods, the multi-dimensional activities converge to provide nutrition to the drylands.

The report in its print version has compact data visualization while the e-version opens up to the large volume of research and stories behind the work across regions, providing detailed reading and information. It also helps share the human face and impact to people across Asia and Africa.

With this report, ICRISAT reinforces its dedication to providing simple, accessible solutions to reinforce the belief that all people have a right to nutritious food and better livelihoods.

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