Newsroom  Press releases  2003

6) Vietnam honors ICRISAT Director General (October 2003)

The Government of Vietnam honored Dr William Dar, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) with the For the sake of Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam Award at a function organized at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at Hanoi, Vietnam, on 3 October.

Dr Pham Hong Giang, Vice Minister, Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, Government of Vietnam, presented the Award to Dr Dar. Senior officials from the Ministry and the Vietnam Agricultural Research Institute were present at the function.

Accepting the Award, Dr Dar said that ICRISAT is committed to work for the betterment of the poor farmers in the dryland areas of Vietnam. A third of the country's area is rainfed. The integrated participatory watershed management approach being implemented by ICRISAT and partners in Vietnam is appropriate for preserving and nurturing soil, water and the livelihoods of the farmers in these areas.

“In Thanh Ha watershed, I met happy farmers whose incomes have increased two-fold during the last three years,” said Dr Dar. “With our initial gains, it is now time for us to translate them into a broad-based movement for participatory natural resource management throughout Vietnam. We can do this through the consortium approach adopted by our project.”

ICRISAT has a long-standing partnership with Vietnam's national agricultural research system. In Asia, ICRISAT promotes partnerships through a network called the Cereal and Legumes Asia Network (CLAN). Vietnam is an active member of this network since 1989.

The partnership between ICRISAT and Vietnam has yielded significant achievements in the last 15 years. A viable mechanism for exchanging germplasm and breeding material was established. ICRISAT's genebank has provided 3,500 germplasm materials to Vietnam. A significant proportion of legume breeding materials in Vietnam are of ICRISAT origin.

The Vietnam Agricultural Research Institute, the National Plant Protection Institute and the Oil Plant Institute identified several promising groundnut varieties from ICRISAT. Five groundnut varieties released by the Government of Vietnam for cultivation by farmers had their origin from ICRISAT material. The new varieties increased the groundnut productivity by 20% and the cultivated area to 269,000 hectares.

Recognition from the Philippine Bureau of Agricultural Research

Dr Dar also received a Plaque of Recognition from the Philippine Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) at its 16th Anniversary function held today at Quezon City, the Philippines.

The Secretary of Agriculture for the Government of Philippines, Mr Luis Lorenzo, presented the Plaque to Dr Dar as a commendation for his services to BAR as its first Director.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.