10) ICRISAT launches Strategy 2010 (13 September 2004 )

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has launched Strategy 2010 to strengthen research and research delivery to improve agricultural production and livelihoods in the dryland areas of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The strategy was approved by the Governing Board of ICRISAT, which met at Niamey in Niger, West Africa, between 7 and 9 September. Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said that the new strategy will help realize ICRISATs vision to 2010, which is the continued improvement of the well being of the poor of the SAT through agricultural research for impact. “ICRISATs research will make major food and feed crops more productive, nutritious and affordable to the poor,” Dr Dar said. “Further, it will diversify utilization options for staple food crops; develop tools and techniques to manage risk and more sustainably utilize the natural resource base; and identify ways to strengthen delivery systems and diversify income sources for the population.” ICRISATs work will focus on the four global impact areas:

  1. Generating profits and managing risk: Reducing poverty by improving and diversifying crop-livestock-tree systems and enhancing income-generating opportunities from trade and commercialization.
  2. Nourishing families and agro-enterprises: Improving food and nutritional security and human and livestock health through increased agricultural productivity, gender-sensitive interventions and enhanced food/feed quality.
  3. Enhancing livelihood and ecosystem resilience: Mitigating effects of acute and chronic crises from drought, degraded environments, desertification, conflict and pests to facilitate long-term recovery and empowerment of rural farm families.
  4. Building partner power: Empowering partners through appropriate skills that include the ability to prioritize for impact, implement programs, predict trends and make informed decisions.

These impact areas will be pursued through four global research themes:

  1. Markets and impacts to inform and provide strategic direction and prioritization of research issues. It also responds to market chain analyses and on more effective impact generation. Farm families in the semi-arid tropics face a wide range of social and economic constraints, so we maintain constant communication with them to understand their needs and seek solutions.
  2. Harnessing biotechnology for the poor to augment and enhance gains from plant breeding by applying biotechnology, and by developing accurate and cost-effective tools to diagnose pathogens and toxins.
  3. Crop improvement, management and utilization for food security and health to improve and sustain crop productivity, farm income, food security and protect the environment of the semi-arid tropics. We develop improved and diversified cultivars, eco-friendly and cost-effective pest management practices, and aim to commercialize alternative uses of our crops.
  4. Agro-ecosystems aims to improve rural livelihoods and increase food security through sustainable integrated natural resource management. Water is always in short supply in the semi-arid tropics, so we place special importance on watershed management and increasing farmers incomes through more intensive cropping.

ICRISAT will continue its activities as a world-class agricultural research center designed to meet the specialized needs of the farmers in the SAT. ICRISATs vision is to develop into a World Dry Tropics Center, with a strong focus on integrated genetic and natural resources management in sub-Saharan Africa, and biotechnology and crop improvement in Asia. The strategic focus is to maintain world-class scientific excellence in agricultural research. It recognizes the need for greater thematic integration and diversification of partnerships as a core principle. Strengthening functional linkage between research, extension, farmers and markets will enhance the impact of the research.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.