Partnerships, especially to further the adoption of scientific advancements that benefit the smallholder farmers, were the recurring theme at the 73rd Governing Board meeting of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Appropriate partnerships with the private industry were on the agenda which included partnering with companies for their Corporate Social Responsibility.
Highlighting the importance of partnerships, Dr Chandra Madramootoo, ICRISAT Governing Board Chair 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 K Padmavati Annapurna, Director of the Mathesis Engineering (Food Products Division) during her presentation to ICRISAT Governing 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 benefited from association with the ICRISAT Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP), towards developing and commercialising the sorghum and millet based gluten free Smart Breakfast product”, she said.
“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’’ Padmavati added.
In the Governing Board meeting, Parvati Krishnan, Programme Manager, Coca-Cola Foundation, India said, “We are very fortunate to work with ICRISAT on watershed improvement projects in Parasai and Chataarpurn villages of Uttar Pradesh. It has 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 problem of water scarcity in India, Meenakshi Sharma, Vice President, Sustainability and Communications, SAB Miller, India said, “We are 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 waste-water in agriculture assumes great significance".
Addressing the gathering, Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT said, “ICRISAT is committed to put in more efforts to engage strategically in areas where it can benefit the smallholder farmer.”