The State Government on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) for enhancing agricultural productivity and make the agriculture climate resilient in the State.

ICRISAT Director General William D. Dar and Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner Kaushik Mukerjee signed the MoU. Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti were present. ICRISAT has been providing technical support to the Agriculture Department in implementing Bhoo Chetana programme in the State since 2009.

ICRISAT-led consortium comprising International Water Management Institute, International Livestock Research Institute, International Rice Research Institute, Centre for International Maize and Water Improvement Centre, International Food Policy Research Institute and International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas would establish four pilot sites in the four revenue divisions of the State.

The programme is for four years and successful technologies would be scaled up by departments to benefit farmers.

Mr. Katti said that organic farming has been extended to 71,000 hectares of land in the State and Bhoo Chetana had improved yield.