Dr William Dollente Dar, Secretary of Agriculture, Republic of the Philippines has visited the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India to explore cooperation to diversify the nation’s food systems.
Dr Dar who served as ICRISAT Director General from 2000-2015, said the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines was eager to explore areas for increased collaboration with ICRISAT given its specialist knowledge in agri-food systems.
During his visit to ICRISAT, Dr Dar was briefed on the latest scientific innovations being developed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the drylands of Asia and Africa.
Dr Dar expressed his confidence in the work of ICRISAT and said the Department was looking forward to partnering with the Institute to tap into the vast potential of new crops that could diversify food systems in the Philippines while opening new economic opportunities.
“Considering the impacts of climate change and the need for resilient and sustainable crops, we are looking forward to diversification in our food systems. ICRISAT is a very relevant institute to help us achieve this and by extension our sustainable development goals”
“We are pursuing a partnership with ICRISAT for the introduction of new varieties of sorghum with a focus on food and feed for livestock and poultry along with groundnut and pigeonpea as an alternate source of protein,” said Dr Dar.
Dr Arvind Kumar, ICRISAT Deputy Director General – Research, paid tribute to Dr Dar’s 15 years of service and legacy as a former ICRISAT Director General. Dr Kumar acknowledged his illustrious contribution to the institute with the development of the Agribusiness Innovation Platform (AIP), Centre of Excellence in Genomics and System Biology (CEGSB), and the Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops(PTTC) being among the many initiatives undertaken during Dr Dar’s tenure.
Dr William D Dar’s message for ICRISAT. Watch here: