15) ICRISAT and AMIC-India collaborate to communicate biotechnology (4 August 2004)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre of India (AMIC-INDIA) to collaborate in conducting a series of media workshops on reporting biotechnology in India and other Asian countries.

Mr Vijay Menon, Chairman of AMIC-India, and Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, signed the MOA at a function organized at the India International Centre, New Delhi, today.

According to Dr Dar, the MOA is a significant milestone for ICRISAT. It will help the Institute link its scientific excellence to the media communication strength of AMIC-India. "Through this partnership we hope to link to specialist media practitioners in Asia."

Mr Menon said that the MOA gives AMIC-India to strengthen its understanding on agri-biotechnology. "The challenge for both our institutions is to communicate the challenges and opportunities that agri-biotechnology offers."

Through this agreement, ICRISAT and AMIC-INDIA will collaborate to communicate to Asian journalists on the latest developments, issues and concerns in agri-biotechnology. ICRISAT, with its core strength in scientific research, will provide technical expertise in science. AMIC-INDIA will share its media network and expertise in science reporting and journalism. The two institutions will also identify and contact funding agencies to support this initiative.
Although this MOA is between ICRISAT and AMIC-INDIA, it is hoped that it will be the building block for future collaboration between ICRISAT and AMIC headquarters in Singapore for other related projects.

Together, ICRISAT and AMIC-India will:

  1. Organize and conduct seminar-workshops on science reporting/journalism through face-to-face and on-line programs, which will result in the publication of monographs with inputs from participants and resource persons. The three-day media seminar-workshop on biotechnology at ICRISAT-India on October 2004 will kick off this capacity-building initiative.
  2. Organize and conduct media dialogues in key cities in India and other Asian countries.
  3. Prepare, organize, promote and provide logistics for the seminar-workshops and media dialogues.
  4. Seek support for the joint program from various sources.

ICRISAT is one of 15 Centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Institute works to improve the farming systems of the semi-arid tropics (SAT) areas of the developing world through integrated genetic and natural resource management strategies, including conservation of germplasm and crop improvement of five crops: sorghum, pearl millet, groundnut, chickpea, and pigeonpea, that are particularly important to the diets and livelihoods of the poor.

ICRISAT believes that one of the most important channels by which it can share the benefits of its research activities is through communication and collaboration with practitioners from print, electronic and web-based media.

AMIC-India is the Indian office of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) of Singapore, the premier communication organization for the development and promotion of media and communication in the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1971 with the support of the Government of Singapore and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, AMIC is dedicated to communication development in the Asia Pacific. AMIC is actively engaged in communication documentation, research, training, publishing and media development.

For more information, contact S Gopikrishna Warrier at w(dot)gopikrishna(at)cgiar(dot)org.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.