Jacqueline Hughes, Director General

ICRISAT is proud to be celebrating its golden jubilee in 2022 and with it fifty years of scientific research. Our advances in agricultural and social science continue to transform dryland communities across Asia and Africa by reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition, and environmental degradation.

Since 1972, ICRISAT has worked tirelessly on behalf of the 2.1 billion people who call the drylands home. These are regions that exhibit some of the harshest and most unforgiving conditions and lowest human development outcomes to be found anywhere on the planet.

And while the world continues to grapple with climate change, geopolitical shifts and pandemics, there sadly remains one constant that incrementally increases with each new shock – hunger. Tragically women and children are most affected. In answer to these challenges, ICRISAT has delivered landmark varietal releases of crops across Asia and Africa vital to food security in order to register sustainable impacts in improving dryland agri-food systems and make farming more profitable.

The awarding of the Africa Food Prize 2021 to ICRISAT is but one of several valued accolades that validates our approach to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and with it a brighter future for dryland communities.

Our success has been one defined by partnerships – people, organisations and nations of goodwill working in unison for a common goal. We thank our partners, funders and supporters, whose unwavering confidence in us, have spurred this journey spanning five decades. As we look to the next 50 years, we take this special occasion to invite you to partner with us through some of the opportunities below.

Dr Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes
Director General, ICRISAT

Get Involved

International conference on “Innovations to Transform Drylands”, 21 – 23 February 2023

The conference aims to bring global experts from research, academia, industry, policymakers and NGOs to brainstorm the way forward and coalesce new and innovative approaches and scientific innovations to address the challenges faced in the drylands.

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ICRISAT is holding an international conference “Innovations to Transform Drylands” from the 21-23 February 2023 at its headquarters in Hyderabad, India. The conference will bring together global experts from research, academia, industry, policymakers and NGOs to coalesce new and innovative approaches and scientific innovation to capitalize on the opportunities while addressing the challenges inherent in the drylands.

Why the Drylands?

Drylands cover about 41% of the earth’s land surface and are inhabited by more than 2 billion people who rank among the poorest of the poor globally. Poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, frequent drought, and environmental degradation are widespread features of the drylands and adversely impact those who live there. About 60% of the total arable land in South Asia is classified as dryland, while the corresponding figure for sub-Saharan Africa is around 70%.

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the challenges inherent in these regions and has disrupted global efforts to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which envisions addressing food and agriculture security, livelihoods and the management of natural resources among other SDGs. This urgent situation calls for sustainable efforts to transform dryland agriculture and with it the livelihoods of millions through new frameworks of cooperation, partnerships and innovations.

This year ICRISAT is celebrating its golden jubilee. For fifty years ICRISAT has been a global leader in agricultural science which has positively impacted millions of people who call the drylands home.

Our 50th anniversary was inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, and other dignitaries in early February 2022. ICRISAT with its five decades of scientific legacy and impact is well positioned to significantly deliver tomorrow’s solutions, today. We invite you to join us on our journey for the next fifty years.

Contact

Victor Afari-Sefa (Conference Secretariat)
International Conference on Innovations to Transform Drylands
ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad,
Telangana, India, 502324
Email : icrisatic50@cgiar.org

contribute

Agripark 2023

ICRISAT will also be staging Agripark 2023 – a one-day globally reaching exhibition to showcase innovations in dryland agriculture. ICRISAT invites applications from interested exhibitors working in dryland agri-food systems from seed companies, processing companies, NGOs, food producers, farm machinery manufacturers, research organizations, agritech companies and associated organisation to not only be a part of this exciting exhibition but to showcase your brand to the world!

For more information on this opportunity, please contact the Director of Communications Ramon Peachey on R.Peachey@cgiar.org

Drylands Experience Centre

Contributions are invited to join ICRISAT in co-designing and co-creating a new Drylands Experience Centre to modernize ICRISAT’s Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT) venture in line with new innovations.  The Centre which receives thousands of domestic and international visitors from the Government, the public, private, academic and NGO sector will be a leading opportunity to showcase your brand to influencers and decision makers in the global agricultural arena.

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Some of the exhibit areas will include:

  • Next generation ‘dryland smart village’ models
  • Dryland agricultural technology and innovation displays
  • Crop prototypes
  • Climate modelling and scenarios
  • Touchscreen and digital displays including graphics, animations, 3D models etc

For more information on this opportunity, please contact the Director of Communications Ramon Peachey on R.Peachey@cgiar.org

 

 

# Any other donation amount is welcome.

In celebration and recognition of our 50 years of work in the drylands since 1972, ICRISAT is seeking to raise $50 for the 50 years of impact that we along with our partners and donors have made to the lives of the poorest of the poor.

We call it $50 for 50 but we know it to be so much more – as in 2022 with the global challenges upon us all, every dollar will go to work in combatting hunger and malnutrition, especially for women and children.

As a global knowledge leader that has delivered several agricultural world firsts, our success has and continues to be undergirded by your generosity.

As a valued ICRISAT supporter we invite you to donate $50 to celebrate 50 years of impact (or any amount which will be gratefully received and acknowledged).

Your donation will help us continue to deliver the scientific advances that are reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation. Should you opt in, your name or organisation’s name will be added to the 50th anniversary page of a new ICRISAT website to showcase your support.

Every dollar of your donation will go towards ICRISAT’s work in delivering those scientific advances that continue to transform dryland farming communities across Asia and Africa.

ICRISAT in the beginning

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ICRISAT at its beginning
Caption: Construction of the main drain.
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ICRISAT takes shape

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Steps taken to set up a single research institute for semi-arid crops
Caption: The Foundation stone laid by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Others present were MS Swaminathan, Fred Bentley, AP Chief Minister J Vengal Rao and Ralph Cummings.
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1970s Attention on aflatoxin

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Pioneering science to help overcome the problem of aflatoxin in crops
Caption: Aflatoxin-infected groundnut.
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1972 ICRISAT gets a logo

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A security officer designs the first logo
Caption: ICRISAT’s first visual identity.
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1975 Village Level Studies

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Understanding socio-economic and other constraints to agricultural development
Caption: Village investigators gathering information from villagers.
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1976 A Watershed moment

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ICRISAT has always believed in environmentally friendly construction
Caption: A masonry check dam at Kothapally watershed, Telangana state, India.
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1979 First farmers' day

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Bringing together farmers and scientists to find solutions
Caption: ICRISAT throws its gates open on the first Farmer’s Day.
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1979 Genebanks

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Genebanks set up in Asia and Africa as insure against future seed loss
Caption: The genebank was started with a short-term storage facility.
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1979 First marker-assisted pearl millet

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A downy mildew resistant pearl millet hybrid
Caption: ICRISAT scientist C T Hash (in hat) with scientists, identifying an off-type plant in a field of HHB 67 –Improved.
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1983 First ICRISAT varieties released

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Sorghum and pearl millet varieties released for farmers in Sudan
Caption: Gebisa Ejeta with sorghum variety Hageen Dura.
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1983 Queen Elizabeth II visits ICRISAT

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The British queen gives her royal seal of approval for ICRISAT
Caption: Director General Leslie D Swindale welcomes Queen Elizabeth II.
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1989 Short-duration chickpea

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A wilt and heat resistant Kabuli variety for Asia and Africa
Caption: ICCV 2: The climate-smart variety for tropical environments.
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1991 World’s first hybrid pigeonpea released

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The world’s first hybrid of a pulse crop was a high yielding pigeonpea plant
Caption: ICRISAT scientist KB Saxena (extreme left) worked with partners to develop ICPH 8.
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1994 Microdosing starts in Niger

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Boosts productivity and increases drought and heat tolerance of crops
Caption: Microdoses of inorganic fertilizer for macro benefits.
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1994 Sowing seeds of hope

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Providing seeds during times of extreme crisis such as wars and earthquakes
Caption: Relief material being distributed in Latur, Maharashtra, following a massive earthquake.
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1996 First CGIAR King Baudouin Award

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Proud moment as first CGIAR center to win the award consecutively
Caption: The award conferred on ICRISAT for pearl millet improvement.
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1996 Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug visits ICRISAT

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Nobel winner endorses work done by ICRISAT scientists
Caption: Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug on a tour of the ICRISAT campus.
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1999 Start of core and mini core germplasm collection

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Enhancing the use of germplasm in breeding programs globally
Caption: The ICRISAT genebank.
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2000 Hybrid Parents Research Consortium

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An innovative partnership for greater collaboration in agriculture
Caption: Seed company officials check out seeds of interest.
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2000's Boost to infrastructure

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Adding cutting edge technologies and facilities
Caption: President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam inaugurating the greenhouse containment facility of the PTTC.
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2004 Guinea race hybrids for West Africa

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Unlocking the genetic potential of the dominant sorghum variety
Caption: Sorghum breeders from Mali and Burkina Faso collaborating in the development of Guinea race hybrids
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2006 First CGIAR science award

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Awards for the genebank and for outstanding partnership
Caption: ICRISAT’s genebank was one of the recipients of the Partnership award.
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2006 ICRISAT adopts IGNRM research strategy

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Adopted to maximize the synergies of agricultural research
Caption: Promoting greater synergy between biotechnology, plant breeding, agronomy, agroecosystems and social sciences.
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2007 Ramadjita Tabo shares Nobel Peace Prize

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Recognition for increasing awareness about man-made climate change
Caption: Ramadjita Tabo with his Nobel Peace Prize.
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2007 Pro-poor BioPower strategy devised

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Harnessing the power of sweet sorghum to make bio-fuel
Caption: AR Palaniswamy of Rusni Distilleries displaying ethanol extracted from sweet sorghum.
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2008 World’s first commercial pigeonpea hybrid

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Successfully bred after years of intense research
Caption: ICPH 2671, the world's first cytoplasmic male sterility-based pigeonpea hybrid.
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2009 Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops

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Launched to help process and evaluate crops from the lab to the land
Caption: The hub of pipeline solutions to develop transgenic products.
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2010 New Inclusive Market Oriented Strategy for 2020

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Aimed at halving global poverty, hunger and malnutrition
Caption: The way to transit from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture.
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2010 ICRISAT joins Molecular Breeding Platform

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To revolutionize crop breeding and meet the challenges of food security
Caption: Revolutionizing crop breeding to meet food security challenges.
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2011 Corporate Social Responsibility activities begin

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Working closely with private partners to improve livelihoods of farmers
Caption: Partnering with PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd in promoting watershed management interventions.
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2011 ICRISAT-led global team cracks pigeonpea genome

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Helps identify unique traits, like drought tolerance, in pigeonpea
Caption: 48,680 pigeonpea genes identified
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2012 First marker-assisted sorghum varieties released in sub-Saharan Africa

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Makes Striga resistant varieties of sorghum available to cultivate
Caption: One of the Striga-resistant varieties in the field.
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2012 Promoting women entrepreneurship

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Women entrepreneurs get a boost from agribusiness incubator
Caption: ALEAP President Mrs Rama Devi and KK Sharma exchange the MoA as Governor of Andhra Pradesh Honorable ESL Narasimhan looks on.
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2012 Pigeonpea breeders develop a new CMS system

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A new cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility system for sustainability
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2012 Providing knowhow to set up India's first private sector seed bank

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A public private partnership to set up a seed bank
Caption: Preserving seed is key to crop diversity.
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2013 Bill Gates visits ICRISAT

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Recognizes the ability of ICRISAT’S research to help millions of farmers
Caption: Mr Bill Gates at ICRISAT’s lysimeter facility for phenotyping. Others in the photo, L-R: Drs Prem Warrior, David Hoisington, William Dar, and Vincent Vadez.
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2013 High-iron biofortified pearl millet released in India

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Dhanashakti is first biofortified crop to reach farmers’ fields
Caption: High-Iron pearl millet variety ICTP 8203Fe
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2013 ICRISAT Ambassadors of Goodwill launched

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To enlist the support of personalities to champion ICRISAT’s mission
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2013 Two ICRISAT-led CGIAR Research Programs launched

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As part of efforts to help reduce world hunger, malnutrition and poverty
Caption: At the launch of the ICRISAT-led CGIAR Research Programs on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals
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2013 Genome sequence of 90 chickpea lines decoded

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Leads to increased yield and enhanced traits in chickpea
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2014 New significant investments in Africa

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US$ 5 million to improve facilities and scientific skills
Caption: New investments to open up opportunities for collaborative research
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2014 First Agribusiness incubator in West Africa

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The West African Agri-Business Resource Incubator (WAARI) was inaugurated
Caption: Agribusiness products at the stalls set up by women cooperative groups.
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2014 First peanut genome sequenced

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To aid in breeding more productive and resilient varieties
Caption: Groundnuts/peanuts are an important crop both commercially and nutritionally.
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2015 Finger millet now a mandate crop

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Formally becomes ICRISAT’S sixth mandate crop
Caption: A smart food that is critical to nutrition in women and babies.
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2015 Digital Agriculture initiatives launch

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ICT-based technology to improve productivity of farmers
Caption: Dr David Bergvinson exchanging the MoU with Mr Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Telangana State. Also seen are Mr KT Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology & Panchayat Raj, Mr C Parthasarathi, Secretary and Agri Production Commissioner and others.
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2016 Popularizing millets through product development

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To breakdown the perception of millets as food for the poor
Caption: Dr Bergvinson demonstrating millet products to Mr Byre Gowda. Also seen is Dr Wani.
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2016 First genome code of cultivated peanut cracked

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Aimed at accelerating gene discovery and improved cultivars
Caption: A breakthrough that promises accelerated gene discovery and development of improved peanut ( groundnut) cultivars
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2016 First Machine-harvestable chickpea variety released

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To help address labor shortage and drudgery for women workers
Caption: A combine harvester harvesting NBeG 47, the first machine harvestable variety released in Andhra Pradesh.
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2016 A new sowing application for farmers

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Successfully minimizes loss of crops and increase yields
Caption: Timely information is critical to sowing for smallholder farmers.
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2016 Smart Food initiative

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Legumes and cereals are ‘good for you, good for the planet and good for farmers’
Caption: Smart foods are good for you, the planet and the smallholder farmer.
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2016 Working in synchrony with the SDGs

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Integrating ICRISAT’S research to achieve the SDGs by 2030
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2017 Innovation hub for agri-tech entrepreneurs

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Innovative digital technology in the service of smallholder farmers.
Caption: PS Reddy, Telangana Agriculture Minister and KT Rama Rao, Telangana IT Minister inaugurating the ihub.
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2017 Pigeonpea genome re-sequenced

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Breakthrough pigeonpea genome re-sequencing will lead to superior varieties.
Caption: ICRISAT scientists inspect pigeonpea accessions for agronomically important traits and disease resistance.
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2017 Two new machine-harvestable chickpea varieties released

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To foster demand-driven innovation
Caption: Demonstration on machine harvesting of chickpea variety Phule Vikram at a farmer’s field in Maharashtra.
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2017 Plant disease and pest diagnostic app released

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For early recognition and tailor-made treatment plans to overcome crop damage.
Caption: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launches Plantix app at Vijayawada.
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Pearl Millet Genome Sequence

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Clue to pearl millet's heat tolerance may help fight climate chaos
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Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method (LAMP)

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LAMP: A visual, fast and low-cost diagnostic device to fight a deadly, emerging disease
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ICRISAT’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Inauguration of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of ICRISAT by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi

Past Event

ICRISAT 50th Anniversary Celebrations and Round table on Partnerships and Funding for Sustainable Agriculture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ICRISAT’s 50 year anniversary celebrations on 5th February 2022.

As part of this year-long celebration, ICRISAT has organized a roundtable discussion on 28th Mar 2022 at  ICRISAT HQ in Hyderabad, India (1 pm IST – 2:15 pm IST)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a pioneering, international scientific research for development organization, specializing in improving dryland farming and agri-food systems.  The Institute was established in 1972, by a consortium led by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundation and with the support from the Government of India.  ICRISAT works with global partners to develop innovative science-backed solutions to overcoming hunger, malnutrition, poverty and environmental degradation on behalf of the 2.1 billion people who reside in the drylands of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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