Pigeonpea plants in one of the gradient tunnels at the Centre of Excellence on Climate Change Research for Plant Protection in ICRISAT, Patancheru. Photo: ICRISAT

ICRISAT’s Medium-Term Plan 2021-23 all set to operationalize the Strategic Plan

Pigeonpea plants in one of the gradient tunnels at the Centre of Excellence on Climate Change Research for Plant Protection in ICRISAT, Patancheru. Photo: ICRISAT

Pigeonpea plants in one of the gradient tunnels at the Centre of Excellence on Climate Change Research for Plant Protection in ICRISAT, Patancheru. Photo: ICRISAT

As a premier institution for dryland agricultural research for development, ICRISAT is uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of smallholder farmers in the global drylands. With a new Strategic Plan 2021-2025, under the leadership of Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT launches a rolling three-year Medium-Term Plan 2021-23 to operationalize the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan

In 2021, as the COVID pandemic continues to challenge the world, we reiterate our commitment to our stakeholders – most importantly, the smallholder farmers of the global drylands. As we give shape to our plan for the future, the five-year Strategic Plan 2021-2025 provides a new impetus and direction to ICRISAT’s research-for-development work.

“As we chart our course towards the future, this MTP 2021-23 will serve as a blueprint that guides us through known as well as unknown terrain and help us continue towards achieving our overall mission and fulfilling our vision of supporting smallholder farmers across the global drylands, as we have done for the past five decades, and will continue to do in the future” said Dr Hughes.

The three-year rolling Medium-Term Plan (MTP) 2021-23 is a clear, concise map to implement the Strategic Plan.

Impact pathway for ICRISAT’s MTP 2021-23.

Impact pathway for ICRISAT’s MTP 2021-23.

Outcomes and impacts

One of the key features of the MTP is that it outlines key activities, outputs and expected outcomes during the next three years from the newly restructured Global Research Programs On: Accelerated Crop Improvement; Resilient Farm and Food Systems; and Enabling Systems Transformation.

Over the next three years, working across regions of Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central Africa (WCA), the interconnected activities of these research programs are expected to bring significant impacts, both socioeconomic – changing consumer behaviors, expanding markets and value chains, and creating jobs by connecting food systems to agribusiness; as well as institutional – creating enabling environments and policies for technology adoption and nutrition-sensitive value chain development, among other things.

Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

ICRISAT’s work on its mandate crops, the highly nutritious and climate-resilient millets, sorghum and legumes, contributes significantly towards the UN SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger). Moreover, our efforts in the direction of developing, disseminating and implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions and technologies go towards meeting SDG 13 (Climate Action).

Our crosscutting activities also support the SDG 5.b – Enhancing the use of information and communication technologies to help empower women; and SDG 17.6 – Boosting regional and international partnerships for better access to science, technology and innovation.

Sharing information and creating opportunities

Additionally, the MTP defines ways and means of disseminating International Public Goods – intellectual assets created as a result of our research activities – as widely and promptly as possible through its Open Access Repository and other means.

It also links to the institutional financial plan and the extensive network of partners that collaborate on various initiatives with ICRISAT. With rapidly changing global scenarios, we aim to develop and nurture an agile, durable and reliable network of partners who can support our efforts towards better livelihoods for dryland farmers.

To move from a static to a dynamic corporate model, the MTP outlines a transformational approach to corporate functions to support delivery of more meaningful impacts to our stakeholders. An attitudinal change forms the basis of this approach; for instance, from a focus on mere publications to exhibiting thought leaderships, and from separately siloed teams to a well-integrated and interconnected services and products.

The key pillars that support the delivery of quality research include effective external and internal Communications, supportive Human Resources, effective legal support with shrewd risk management.  ICRISAT’s agile Finance team, coupled with forward-looking Institutional Services (and Procurement, Supply and Disposal Services, and Information Services), will provide strong support for ICRISAT to deliver excellence.

Over 2 billion people call the drylands of the world their home; a population that is burgeoning and dealing with various challenges in food production, hit especially hard by crises such as pandemics, climate change, water scarcity and conflicts. Under this scenario, it becomes imperative to support smallholder farmers in these regions who rely on rainfed agriculture and allied occupations for a living, as they grapple with decreasing productivity, water scarcity, poverty and malnutrition.

Click here for the Strategic Plan web page

1 Response

  1. Bob Redden

    The new ICRISAT medium term plan is well focussed, and flexible, to respond to the various dryland challenges across subSaharan Africa, and South Asia. New opportunities for deeper partnerships are on offer especially for genomics and exploitation of landraces from extreme ecologies and crop wild relatives, to seek resilience to climate change stresses for improved yield and adaptation to seasonal variability. Decentralisation of research to address local targets is important.
    best wishes
    Bob Redden

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