22) ICRISAT scientist invited to advise Unilever on sustainable agriculture ( 15 February 2005)

The global corporate giant Unilever has invited Dr S P Wani, Principal Scientist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to join the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board (SAAB). Dr Wani is the leader of the watersheds development program under the Global Theme on Agro-ecosystems at ICRISAT.

According to Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, Unilever's invitation to Dr Wani to join the SAAB is the acknowledgment of the global impact of the Institute's watershed research. The natural resources management techniques perfected by ICRISAT can help Unilever promote sustainable agriculture in the countries where it works.

Unilever had constituted the SAAB in 2000 to advise on its Sustainable Agricultural Initiative and suggest ways to link this initiative with other sustainable development programs related to conservation of biodiversity, water management, and fisheries and rural development. The initiative aims at development of market mechanisms for more sustainable supply-chain practices.

The SAAB is mandated to provide independent advice and strengthen policy making within Unilever to improve the environmental impact of primary production, safeguard social infrastructure and stakeholder well being. SAAB membership consists of individuals from research institutes in the voluntary sector and academia.

Dr Wani said that the invitation to be a member of SAAB is an honor for the watershed development work being implemented by the ICRISAT team in India, China, Vietnam and Thailand. It is an opportunity to share ICRISAT's experiences and learn from the other members.

For further information, contact Dr S P Wani at s(dot)wani(at)cgiar(dot)org.

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