3)AP Governor endorses project for integrated agricultural development of Medak district (7 October 2005)

The Governor of Andhra Pradesh, His Excellency Sushilkumar Shinde, today endorses a project entitled Integrated agricultural development in Medak district, to be implemented jointly by the Medak district administration, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and with participation of other partner institutions. The function was held at ICRISAT's headquarters at Patancheru, near Hyderabad.

The project aims to develop market-oriented and science-based agriculture in semi-arid parts of Medak district in Andhra Pradesh state of India. ICRISAT and its partners will provide their technical expertise and partner with the district administration and others to improve agricultural productivity and incomes of farmers in Medak. This will be through improved land and water management practices; cultivation of improved crop varieties; the use of information and communication technology to make information accessible to the farmers; establishment of improved post-harvest technologies and market linkages; and imparting training to extension officials.

Speaking at the ICRISAT function, HE Sushilkumar Shinde said that rapid growth of integrated agriculture is essential not only to achieve self-reliance at national level but also for household food security. The integrated agricultural development project being formulated today will bring together the expertise of ICRISAT and partner institutions such as the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University and State Government institutions, through a consortium approach.

Dr William D Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said that the collaborative project with the district administration provides an opportunity to use the international public goods developed by ICRISAT for the farmers of Medak. “The project is of significant importance to ICRISAT since the Institute is headquartered in Medak district, and we think and act both globally and locally.”

Mr B Venkatesham, Collector of Medak, explained the vision of the district administration to evolve a strategy for reducing poverty of the farmers in the district by empowering them to improve agricultural productivity and their livelihoods. Medak being a drought-prone district, the emphasis is on reducing the risk on agriculture through improved natural resource management, improved cropping choices, and better market linkages.

The Governor also was shown around the projects and laboratories of ICRISAT and said that this world-class institute has relevance in Andhra Pradesh and the other dryland areas of India. You are to be commended for your quality products and services.

Later in the day, a team of experts from ICRISAT, national research institutes and the Andhra Pradesh Government deliberated on the action plan for the project.

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

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