India-ICARDA partnerships grow strongerJanuary 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
H.E. Pratibha Patil, President of India, during her visit to ICARDA headquarters in November 2010, suggested there were opportunities to expand India-ICARDA research partnerships. As a follow-up to her visit, a meeting, was held at ICARDA’s New Delhi office on 8 January, to identify specific areas of collaboration. The aim was to build on partner synergies to deliver benefits to farmers not only in India but across South Asia.
The meeting was attended by some of India’s top research administrators: Dr J.S. Samra, Chief Executive Officer, National Rainfed Area Authority; Mr Rajesh Ranjan, Director, International Cooperation, Department of Agricultural Research and Extension; and Dr A.K. Singh and Dr S.K. Datta, Deputy Directors General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. ICARDA was represented by Dr Mahmoud Solh, Director General, and several senior scientists. The meeting highlighted the potential for increasing productivity in rainfed areas, which account for 60% of India’s cropped area and support half the total rural workforce. ICARDA, with its expertise in integrated dryland production systems, could play a strong supporting role in these efforts. A joint team is now working on a concept note for a comprehensive bilateral research collaboration, to be presented to national policy makers.
Dr Solh also attended the Indian Science Congress (a highly prestigious event, inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India) as an invited speaker. He presented two papers on production systems in dry areas and the use of molecular approaches in crop improvement.