18) ICRISAT MoU with Nandan Biomatrix strengthens public-private partnership (24 March 2005)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nandan Biomatrix Ltd. The MoU envisages collaboration on wasteland development through the raising of bio-fuel plantations, R&D for development of superior varieties and improved agronomic practices. The collaboration will also encompass R&D on medicinal plants for deriving nutraceuticals.

The Director General of ICRISAT, Dr William D Dar, and the Managing Director of Nandan Biomatrix Ltd, Mr V Bhaskar Rao, signed the MoU.

According to Dr William Dar, through the MoU with Nandan Biomatrix, the Institute will strengthen its partnership with this private sector company for scaling up its natural resource management technologies.

Nandan Biomatrix is a Rs 25 crore company engaged in a gamut of agri-biotech activities like direct and contract farming of various herbs, aromatic plants and bio-fuel plants since a decade. It is also the first company to set up Horti Processing Park, in association with the Andhra Pradesh Government to process horticultural produce for greater value addition and integrate the supply chain.

Nandan Biomatrix has also tied up with Synergy Foundation (UK) and are proposing to incorporate a joint venture Company to bring together wasteland owners, landless poor and green investors in a unique and synergistic way to provide assured livelihood for the rural poor in a profitable and sustainable way.

The Agri-Science Park at ICRISAT (ASP) will host this project. Apart from providing expertise and technical backstopping services, ICRISAT will also extend infrastructure support through its state-of-the-art labs and propagation and farm facilities.

The ASP is a “hub” for public-private partnerships to enhance the development and commercialization of science-generated technologies and knowledge through market mechanisms. The goal of the ASP is to help achieve ICRISAT's mandate to “develop agriculture in the SAT” and thereby reduce poverty and hunger, as well as protect the environment.

The ASP consists of an Agri-Biotech Park (ABP), an Agri-Business Incubator (ABI), Private Sector Hybrid Parents and Bio-pesticide Consortia, and the SAT Eco-Venture (agro-ecotourism).

For further information, contact V Raghavendra Prasad at p(dot)raghavendra(at)cgiar(dot)org.

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