India and ICARDA: strategic partnership set to expand

February 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Encouragement from the Indian government. Left to right: H.E. Harish Rawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture; Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General; Mr Henri Carsalade, Chair of ICARDA’s Board of Trustees

H.E. Harish Rawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, government of India, has promised support for expanding partnerships between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and ICARDA. At a meeting with an ICAR-ICARDA delegation, the Minister said this partnership could help improve food security and rural livelihoods not only in India but in many developing countries. Participants at the meeting, held in New Delhi on 16 February, included Dr S Ayyappan, ICAR Director General; Dr SK Datta, ICAR Deputy Director General, Crop Sciences; Mr Henri Carsalade, Chair of ICARDA’s Board of Trustees; Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General; and Dr Ashutosh Sarker, Coordinator of ICARDA’s regional program for South Asia and China. The Minister was provided an overview of ongoing projects as well as future plans for collaborative research on rainfed agriculture – including the possible establishment of a joint research center on legume crops.

ICAR-ICARDA collaboration has expanded rapidly in the past few years, and now includes crop improvement (several cereal and legume crops), natural resource management, small ruminants, socio-economics and other areas. They involve ICAR institutions, the National Rainfed Area Authority and a number of Indian universities. These initiatives have been encouraged by H.E. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India, who visited ICARDA headquarters last year.

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