In recognition of Dr William Dar’s 15 years of service and vision of inclusive market oriented development to serve smallholder farmers in semi-arid tropics, the ICRISAT-Agriculture Innovation Platform (AIP) building was named as the ‘William D Dar Agribusiness Centre’.
While explaining the rationale behind ICRISAT’s Inclusive Market Oriented Development (IMOD) strategy, Dr Dar emphasized that ‘science with a human face’ was a constant reminder of the strategy and that our science must have a purpose. He further explained the main aspects of IMOD – inclusiveness, innovation, resilience and market effectiveness.
“Inclusive development is not just including farmers in creating solutions but including other actors in the value chain. Increasing productivity, driven by demand and instituting competitiveness for them will only come from innovations,” said Dr Dar.
World resources are finite and with growing population, “There is need to increase food production by 7-8% and in this relation, the third aspect of IMOD is building resiliency of farming communities. It is a must. Market effectiveness is another important aspect. We need to have a global perspective and understand that innovation and technologies we create must be marketable, also in the future,” said Dr Dar.
“Early on, Dr Dar recognized, that it is more than just productivity, we need to bring prosperity and to do that we need to connect farmers to markets. The AIP has been a very powerful catalyst and vehicle to achieve that vision. It is wonderful to see that motto has scaled up to national program here in India and also our partnership with farmers, has reached eight different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and it continues to evolve and adapt to different countries to meet their needs and context,” said Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT.
Dr William Dar served as Director General, ICRISAT from 2000 to 2014. Currently, he is the President of InangLupa Movement Inc., which pursues collective and cohesive action towards poverty alleviation, food and nutrition security, and economic prosperity.