5) ICRISAT and EMRC join hands to boost agri-business in Africa

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Brussels-based EMRC have decided to facilitate more Africa-India missions to encourage B2B dialogue with Indian enterprise, to unleash the potential of African agriculture.

The memorandum of understanding signed by ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar and Idit Miller, Vice President and Managing Director of the Brussels-based EMRC (earlier known as European Marketing Research Center) on 4 March 2010 at Hyderabad has opened new avenues for collaboration between entrepreneurs of Africa and India.

The MOU also facilitates an arrangement between the two organizations to continue such focused business missions to India from Africa on a consistent basis and ICRISAT to share its immense knowledge on the dry land agriculture in two of Africa’s most prominent annual forums organized by EMRC – Africa Agri-Business Forum and Africa Finance and Investment Forum. And also explore joint collaborative projects in Africa.

Wishing the collaboration with EMRC to result in the betterment of livelihoods of smallholder farmers of Africa, Dr Dar said “As aspiring economies, India and Africa share a lot in common; they are rich in natural resources, have a similar demography and a large domestic market. This provides a natural synergy for building partnerships. Incessant efforts are made at government as well as private sector level, for a comprehensive engagement to march together as partners in progress. Today, especially when the global economic environment is in turmoil, the importance of South-South cooperation becomes extremely relevant.”

“When many parts of the world struggle against shortage of food, Africa is the place where production of food is easily feasible, but it requires better equipment and the right technology. With India's experience in the production of agricultural equipment and in the creation of innovative ways to explore agricultural land, India is the ideal place to organize our agricultural Economic Mission,” said Idit Miller, EMRC Vice President and Managing Director. “It is only when the right partnerships occur that they persist,” she continued.

The first Economic Mission Africa-India organized by EMRC in partnership with ICRISAT and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) from 28 February to 5 March, is the first step in this direction. The 36-member strong, inaugural, Africa-India mission from 12 countries included Mrs Candida Maria Guilherma Narciso, honorable Governor of Lunda Sul province of Angola, academicians, top executives and technical directors of private firms, economists and a journalist.

The Economic Mission Africa-India is focusing on agricultural equipment & research, soil and water conservation and management, biofuels, post harvest management, knowledge parks and seed value chain. Striving to drive financing for agricultural and agro-based projects to Africa, the Africa-India Economic Mission stressed on personalized business-to-business meetings. The business meetings, organized in collaboration with the CII, are a suitable means to develop the agricultural industry by providing opportunities for loans. Also featuring site visits and discussions with Indian heads of companies, the Economic Mission aims to encourage transfer of technology and know-how, as well as business collaboration and joint ventures between Africa and India.




The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a nonprofit, non-political organization that does innovative agricultural research and capacity building for sustainable development with a wide array of partners across the globe. ICRISAT's mission is to help empower 600 million poor people to overcome hunger, poverty and a degraded environment in the dry tropics through better agriculture. ICRISAT belongs to the Alliance of Centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

About EMRC

EMRC is an autonomous non-profit International Association established in 1992 by Belgian Royal Decree. Its headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium, the international crossroads in the heart of Europe. EMRC is composed of a network of entrepreneurs, financiers, consultants and officials coming from 100 countries spanned over the world. EMRC believes in global partnerships and practical business solutions for development. EMRC’s services focus on international business networking with an emphasis on synergy between developed countries and developing markets.

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