Sustainable, productive and impactful – that is what I would want ICRISAT’s work to be over the next years and to be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the semi-arid tropics by 2030. It is going to be a tough challenge but I think we can contribute in a big way towards achieving them. Leadership, vision and commitment are vital. In order to succeed, we need a good strategy to allow ICRISAT to position itself in this changing world with One CGIAR and the COVID-19 taking precedence over other issues.
I have been looking through the Annual Report 2019 and I am sure you are all proud of the Research for Development impacts in there – reaching millions of farmers, millions of hectares, new varieties, numerous countries, thousands of tons of certified seed and production of millions of tons of grain. The impacts in genomics, watersheds, agronomy, digital agriculture, genebank, nutrition and food systems are impressive. Breeding is a huge part of our work and we need to build and improve the current rate of modernization. We need to bring in all those modern tools out there in all areas – mechanization, digitalization and data management. ICRISAT is doing a wonderful job and we need to keep building on that. As we move into the future, our key drivers would be productivity, teamwork, partnerships, excellence, resources and opportunities. Our world is never going to be the same again with two imperatives that shape our future work environment. These are new situations; nonetheless they are great opportunities to bring about change. We need to be adaptable and we need to have resilience in this new normal that we are going to encounter as we move forwards.
A world without hunger is what ICRISAT envisions. With an ever-increasing population, the year 2019 saw us pursue this vision with greater vigor. Mainstreaming nutrition and modernizing the breeding program were top priorities even as we roped in the best of genomic and digital technologies to increase efficiencies and deliver improved farmer-preferred varieties in half the time. Landscape restoration adopting a holistic approach that spans the entire agriculture value chain has shown great impact in improving food security, incomes and climate resilience of farmers. Our partnerships with governments, the public and private sectors, NGOs, NARS and CGIAR partners have helped reap the impacts showcased in this report.
Dr Kiran K Sharma
Deputy Director General-Research, ICRISAT
* Figures sourced from MEASURE
In 2019, we worked with over 163 partners from 27 countries to contribute to 16 SDGs
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