International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
|Motto||Science with a Human Face|
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international organisation which conducts agricultural research for rural development, headquartered in Patancheru (Hyderabad, Telangana, India) with several regional centers (Bamako (Mali), Nairobi (Kenya)) and research stations (Niamey (Niger), Kano (Nigeria), Lilongwe (Malawi), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)). It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organisations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller Foundations. Its charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP.
ICRISAT is managed by a full-time Director General functioning under the overall guidance of an international Governing Board. The current Director General is Dr. David Bergvinson. The current chair of the Board is Prof Chandra Madramootoo.
- 1 The Agro-Eco Region: The Semi-Arid Tropics
- 2 Research strategy
- 3 Mandate crops
- 4 Research themes and Gene Bank
- 5 Innovations and Impact of ICRISAT Crop Improvement Research
- 6 Information Products and Services
- 7 DBT-ICRISAT Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops
- 8 ICRISAT Scientists
- 9 See also
- 10 References
The Agro-Eco Region: The Semi-Arid Tropics
The semi-arid tropics (SAT) region is characterised by highly variable, low-to-medium rainfall and poor soils, further characterised by lack of irrigation. In general, the historical average annual rainfall in the SAT is below 700 mm. In agricultural policy terms, this region is considered to be a less favored area (LFA).
ICRISAT adopts Integrated genetic and natural resources management as its overarching research strategy. The aim is to combine tested methods of crop commodity research with well established practices in research in natural resources management. The original goal was to use crop improvement research as the basis to improve food availability in drought-prone areas of the tropics. In the last ten years, ICRISAT research, especially in India, China, the Philippines and Vietnam, has tended to emphasise creation and sustenance of rural livelihoods in addition to releasing crop varieties that yield better.
ICRISAT performs crop improvement research, using conventional as well as methods derived from biotechnology, on the following crops: Chickpea, Pigeonpea, Groundnut Pearl millet Sorghum Finger Millet, and Small millets.
Research themes and Gene Bank
ICRISAT conducts its research under four themes: Agro-ecosystems development, Harnessing plant biotechnology and bioinformatics, Crop improvement and management, and Institutions, Markets, policy and Impacts
The ICRISAT Genebank serves as a repository for the collection of germplasm of the six mandate crops – sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut; and five small millets – foxtail millet, little millet, kodo millet, proso millet and barnyard millet. The collection has over 119,700 germplasm accessions assembled from 144 countries. Several landraces now conserved in the ICRISAT genebank have disappeared from their natural habitats in Africa and Asia.
Innovations and Impact of ICRISAT Crop Improvement Research
Most of ICRISAT’s crop improvement research is directed at LFAs, At an aggregate level, there is evidence from India that crop improvement research is having favorable productivity and poverty impacts in many LFAs.
Based on an econometric analysis of time-series data for three different types of agricultural areas (irrigated,high-potential rainfed, and low-potential rainfed), non-ICRISAT experts found more favorable marginal returns (measured as Indian rupees of agricultural production per additional hectare planted to modern varieties) for crop improvement research in low-potential rainfed areas than in either high-potential rainfed areas or irrigated areas. Moreover, additional crop research investment in low potential rainfed areas lifts more people out of poverty than in the other two types of areas.
They found that ICRISAT-improved chickpea varieties have been widely adopted in a poor tribal area in Gujarat, India, with favorable impacts on yields, unit production costs, and net returns per hectare. ICRISAT’s package of improved groundnut varieties grown in combination with improved agronomy practices is another example of a commodity- improvement program that has paid off handsomely in an LFA – in this case the semi-arid tropical areas of Central India.
Two major science-based breakthroughs attributed to crop improvement research at ICRISAT relate to Pearl Millet and Pigeonpea. A team of researchers at ICRISAT have released the first-ever, public sector-bred marker-assisted hybrid pearl millet, HHB 67. This was released in India in 2006. It is assessed to have superior agronomic performance and improved tolerance to terminal drought. The first-ever release of a hybrid pigeonpea by ICRISAT researchers has been reported in 2008
Information Products and Services
ICRISAT formally adopted an Open Access policy for its research publications in 2009. It is among a small number of agricultural research organisations to do so. As of June 2010, about 3000 publications are available.
DBT-ICRISAT Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is collaborated with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, to establish a DBT-ICRISAT Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops (PTTC) at ICRISAT’s global headquarters at Patancheru, near Hyderabad in India.
According to the Director General of ICRISAT, David Bergvinson, the PTTC will strengthen transgenic research for crop improvement by providing a platform, building synergies among institutions. ICRISAT will continue to harness transgenic research to solve problems that cannot be solved through conventional breeding.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.|
- "Sci-Tech / Agriculture : ICRISAT chief for cultivation of GM crops". The Hindu. 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- Special Correspondent (2012-04-17). "Today's Paper / NATIONAL : ICRISAT board member retires". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- "Sci-Tech / Agriculture : ICRISAT, ICAR jointly to fight climate change". The Hindu. 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- Special Correspondent (2012-06-07). "NATIONAL / KARNATAKA : Government signs MoU with ICRISAT". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- Chickpea Crop
- Pigeonpea Crop
- Groundnut/Peanut Crop
- Pearlmillet Crop
- Sorghum Crop
- Smallmillet/Finger millet Crop]
- "BGI, ICRISAT join hands on genomics research". Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- Special Correspondent (2012-05-10). "NATIONAL / ANDHRA PRADESH : ICRISAT to help revive Nigeria's groundnut industry". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- HHB67 hybrid of Pearl Millet
- Erik Stokstad (2007-04-13). "The Plant Breeder and the Pea". Sciencemag.org. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- "Sci-Tech / Agriculture : ICRISAT offers training on sweet sorghum enterprise". The Hindu. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2012-09-12.