2) Japanese Ambassador to visit ICRISAT (6 December 2004)

The Japanese Ambassador to India, His Excellency Yasukuni Enoki, will be Chief Guest at the 32nd Annual Day of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), to be celebrated between 13 and 15 December.

According to Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, the visit by the Ambassador will strengthen the relationship with the Japanese Government, a major supporter of the Institute's research.

As in the previous years, the 2004 Annual Day celebrations will be an occasion to take stock of the past, and focus attention to the future. The theme for this year's Annual Day will be ICRISAT's Vision and Strategy 2010, which focuses on agricultural research for impact to improve the poor and marginal farmers of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

ICRISAT will also award and felicitate outstanding staff members, and also some of the Institute's partners from the national agricultural research systems and the private sector. Dr Mangala Rai, Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (India), will be felicitated with the Best Research Partner for Asia Award. The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) will be felicitated with the Best Research Partner for sub-Saharan Africa Award. Mr BR Barwale, Chairman of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Ltd. (MAHYCO), will be the private-sector partner to be felicitated.

Dr Charles Renard, who was Executive Director of ICRISAT's Asia Center in the mid-1990s, will be special invitee to the event. He was earlier Executive Director of the ICRISAT's West and Central Africa Center. A popular member of ICRISAT's team during his tenure, the Institute will felicitate him by naming the Common Analytical Services Laboratory as the Charles Renard Analytical Laboratory.

The other special invitee is Dr Ta Minh Son, Director General of the Vietnam Agricultural Sciences Institute. ICRISAT works on crop improvement and natural resources management programs in Vietnam. ICRISAT and VASI have developed a strong and unique relationship through collaboration over many years.

Mr Ashok Sharma, Special Correspondent from the Financial Express, New Delhi, will be felicitated with the institute's Millennium Science Award, for his coverage on the international agricultural research institutes under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ICRISAT is one of the 15 research institutes under the CGIAR.
The Doreen Mashler Award for outstanding research partnership will be awarded to the sorghum research partnership team. This team consists of ICRISAT scientists, national agricultural research institutes and private sector partners working on sorghum research in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

For further information, contact Dr CLL Gowda at c(dot)gowda(at)cgiar(dot)org.

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