Partnerships, especially to further the adoption of scientific advancements that benefit the marginal farmer, was the recurring theme at the 73rd Governing Board meeting of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (IIcrisat) held recently in Hyderabad and New Delhi. Appropriate partnerships with the private industry were high on the agenda which included partnering with companies for their corporate social responsibility.
Highlighting the importance of partnerships, Dr. Chandra Madramootoo of Icrisat Governing Board said, “With a focus on strong partnerships and research for development, Icrisat is dedicated to elevate rural communities out of poverty, while improving their health”.
This was reiterated by Ms. K. Padmavati Annapurna, Director of the Mathesis Engineering Pvt. Ltd. (Food Products Division) during her presentation to the board at Icrisat headquarters.
“Our mission has been to provide food products in ready-to-eat and ready-to-make formats, using traditional and nutritious grains towards promoting health and nutrition. We have immensely benefitted from association with the Icrisat Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP), towards developing and commercialising the sorghum and millet based gluten-free “Smart Breakfast product”. “We look forward to the development of markets for new food products from the local crops, thus elevating the standard of living and well-being of rural communities,” added Ms. Padmavati.
Ms. Parvati Krishnan, programme manager, Coca-Cola Foundation, India, noted, “We are very fortunate to work with Icrisat on watershed improvement projects in Parasai and Chataarpurn villages of Uttar Pradesh. It allowed the Foundation to bring modern soil and water conservation technologies and agronomic research findings to thousands of men, women and children in impoverished villages in India.
Highlighting the water scarcity issues, Ms. Meenakshi Sharma, Vice- President, Sustainability and Communications, SAB Miller, India said, “At SAB Miller, we are very excited about the outcomes of the project we are undertaking with Icrisat. Water scarcity is becoming a hugely limiting factor for food and fodder security. In this context, safe reuse of bio-refinery wastewater in agriculture assumes great significance”.
“Icrisat is committed to put in more efforts to engage strategically in areas where it can benefit the marginal farmer,” said Icrisat Director General Dr. David Bergvinson.
Icrisat Governing Board plans to elevate rural communities out of poverty with focus on strong partnership and research for development