Research Overview

The drylands are home to over 2.1 billion people, with 90% residing in low- and middle-income countries. Within this population, 50% are resource-poor and smallholder farmers living in poverty.

ICRISAT focuses its efforts on the drylands of Asia and Africa, where complex farming systems present challenges related to hunger, poverty, food insecurity, climate change, water scarcity, malnutrition, land degradation, and gender inequality.

Unfortunately, the absence of appropriate technologies and risk management strategies leaves those in the drylands highly vulnerable.

To address these pressing issues, ICRISAT's global research portfolio aligns with the unique circumstances of West & Central Africa, Eastern & Southern Africa, and Asia. The institute aims to support the transition to sustainable and nutritious food systems that prioritize farmer sustainability, consumer health, and environmental sustainability. By prioritizing innovation through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, ICRISAT seeks to increase crop productivity, enhance the production of nutritious crops, and integrate science into practical solutions.

ICRISAT's research programs are organized into three global research domains: Accelerated Crop Improvement, Resilient Farm and Food Systems, and Enabling Systems Transformation. Each program contributes to ICRISAT's vision of prosperous, food-secure, and resilient drylands.

 The Accelerated Crop Improvement program genetically enhances crops to maximize their multifunctional benefits in complex and fragile regions and works to make new varieties and hybrids available to farmers

 The Resilient Farm and Food Systems program combines ecological components to bolster the resilience of rural systems, employing plant sciences, agronomy, and technology development.

 The Enabling Systems Transformation program focuses on comprehensive food system improvements by addressing upstream and downstream elements.

These programs leverage basic research in collaboration with advanced institutes, national agricultural organisations and the private sector, translating knowledge and discoveries into innovative products and technologies that respond to local adaptive needs

By fostering partnerships and scaling for impact, ICRISAT ensures the widespread adoption of improved practices, technologies, and market policies, ultimately creating an enabling environment for lasting change.

Through these efforts, ICRISAT's research contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including poverty eradication, zero hunger, gender equality, climate action, and partnerships for sustainable development in the drylands.

Research Programs