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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hyderabad-headquartered International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and an Ethiopian institute will jointly work towards new approaches in the field of agricultural research and development in the drylands of the African country.
Decisions on investments and new approaches were taken in a series of strategy meetings between ICRISAT and Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), held at Addis Ababa yesterday, ICRISAT said in a statement issued here.
Priority international investments were launched during the meeting of ICRISAT Governing Board and key areas of work were identified, it said.
The four areas with greatest opportunities were — intensification of legumes for better health of humans and environment, expanding cereal production by promoting industrial potential of sorghum and other millets, scaling up of watershed management for more intensive agriculture, and new approaches to help farmers manage climate variability.
“The identified opportunities can only be tackled through partnership at all levels on the value chain and by making sure each step on this vertical chain has what it needs, to act,” Dr Fentahun Mengistu, EIAR Director General, was quoted as saying.
ICRISAT Governing Board Chair, Dr Chandra Madramootoo said, “Ethiopia is a priority country for ICRISAT due to the government’s focus on food and nutrition security and recognition of the important role agriculture can play in the country’s development.
The Government’s approach to partnership to capitalise on the opportunities will be key to success, he added.
The four areas call for demand driven agriculture, and taking the demands of farmers and the market into account.
This is important in order to prioritise research investments and capitalise on markets in Ethiopia and for export, the statement said.