Research in ICRISAT is unique and multi-disciplinary and it delivers so much to so many vulnerable people who live in a very fragile environment. Resilient nutrition is extremely important for dryland communities and moving from 2018 and beyond, I am delighted that ICRISAT is putting an increased emphasis on nutritional research.
Over 45 years, ICRISAT has worked closely with national partners along value chains of its nutritious and climate-smart mandate crops - sorghum, pearl and finger millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut - to ensure our science improves the lives of farmers and nutrition for all consumers. Special appreciation to our partners and funders and to the many farmers who contributed to the design, development and delivery of demand-driven innovation for the drylands during 2017.
Year 2017 marked the 45th anniversary of ICRISAT. In keeping with our belief statement that all people have a right to nutritious food and a better livelihood, our annual report highlights a timeline on how our research has contributed to nutrition in the drylands over 45 years. Nutrition has been incorporated at every stage of the agricultural R4D value chain with real life examples and related statistics.
Year 2017 saw ICRISAT surge ahead in various areas of its work.
We’ve had biotechnology breakthroughs in developing near-aflatoxin immune groundnut; cracked the pearl millet genome; worked towards cost-effective and faster genomic technologies to decipher and harness crop traits to address malnutrition and bolster resilience to climate change; developed cost-effective diagnostic kits for plant disease; made advances in synergizing crop-modeling, satellite and digital technology; and scaled up our holistic approach that encompasses agri-food systems. The year ended on a high note with the announcement of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals, that has brought together various partners, both public and private, to work towards the cause of smallholder farmers in the drylands of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
The 2017 Research Highlights capture all of our work and also bring to the fore our engagement with governments and how our work aligns with country policies. In Asia, we have actively worked with and supported the Government of India in its ‘Doubling Farmers’ Income’ program. In West and Central Africa, the emphasis has been on accelerating agricultural gains and improving food security – the release of Africa’s first biofortified sorghum varieties deserve mention. In Eastern and Southern Africa, our work focused on improving climate resilience of farmers, improving seed systems and bringing about awareness on diet diversity.
Our work has benefited many countries. The ICRISAT genebank, this year, has sent a consignment of its new germplasm materials to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Seed samples of germplasm accessions and breeding lines were exported/distributed to more than 19 countries spanning all the continents. A total of 23 new varieties were released in six countries and 14,261 tons of seed of ICRISAT mandate crops were shared with National Agricultural Research Systems, farmer groups and NGOs.
Dr Peter Carberry, Deputy Director General-Research, ICRISAT
Pearl millet genome decoded and sequenced
Near aflatoxin immune groundnut developed
12,514 seed samples distributed in 19 countries
2, 117 Unique germplasm accessions essembled from regional genebanks
23 Varieties released in
Ihub:agri-tech incubator launched in early 2017) 9 start-ups incubated
Plantix (plant disease/deficiency diagnostic app) 1,400,000 downloads by farmers across 4 indian statesRead More
14,261 tons of seed of ICRIST mandate crops shared with farmer groups, NARS and NGOs
Breeder: 104 tons
Foundation: 1,033 tons
Certified: 7,153 tons
Quality declared: 5,971 tons
Integrating nutrition across the agricultural R4D value chain: This graphic represents ICRISAT's holistic approach – working from land and water management all the way through to agribusiness and market development. Here are examples of how we have integrated nutrition at each stage.
179 mothers of malnourished children under two in rural Malawi were trained in diet diversity, hygiene and food safety. They were also trained to record the anthropometric data of their babies
21 days later, incidence of diarrhoea almost entirely disappeared, impact on wasting showed progressive improvements.
Soil health testing and use of treated wastewater
300 locations in Asia & Africa under watershed development projects follow soil health protocols
20,000 liters of wastewater is regenerated everday by a processing unit set up in Kothapally, Telangana, India. Untreated wastewater, often used by farmers, comes with serious health risks
1 high-iron pearl millet cultivar released in India (2013)
2 high-iron sorghum cultivars released in Nigeria (2017)
4 high-iron, high-zinc pearl millet biofortified cultivars released (2017)
Bioavailability studies were conducted on biofortified pearl millet variety ICTP 8203 Fe.
Increase in dietary diversity in a year, recorded in a Kenyan project
ICRISAT mandate crops were used in this projectMs Elizabeth Kanyote feeds her 17-month old daughter Seth a cup of sprouted pearl millet porridge in her home in Karuguaru village, Tharaka Nithi county, Kenya.
5 billion people at risk of aflatoxin exposure
On-farm management techniques helped reduce contamination by:
70-84% in Mali (2003-2005)
62-94% in Anantapur, India (2013-2015)Groundnut varieties and books on aflatoxin control on display during a field day in Mali.
Volunteer students trained on processing sorghum
trained through a project in Nigeria. The grain used was the harvest from their school farms. The trainings instilled the idea of seeing farming as a business rather than an activity for subsistence living.Students of the Government Secondary School, Rano, operating the hammer mill.
Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD)
Agribusiness & Innovation Platform (AIP) has supported startups
186* in Africa
87 in India (as of 2017)
ICRISAT trained six South African interns. This resulted in the Gog’Lilly brand of confectionery peanuts and peanut butter making it to the market in 18 months.
*As part of the UniBRAIN project in partnership with Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa from 2012-16Gog’Lilly team: (L-R) Ms Pretty Aphane, Ms Mbali Zondo and Mr Page Baloyi.
Smart Food initiative
Launched in 2013, it aims to popularize millets and legumes and build food systems where the food is good for you (highly nutritious), good for the planet and good for the smallholder farmer.
Reality TV show 800,000 viewers per episode
Hosted by the Kenya Television Network to raise awareness on sorghum, millets and legumes.Ms Gladys Mugambi (right), Head of Nutrition, Ministry of Health, Kenya, congratulating Ms Esther Atieno for winning the Smart Food cooking show contest.
The Smart Food initiative was selected as one of the winning innovations for 2017 by LAUNCH Food which is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
A 13-episode Smart Food reality TV show was hosted by the Kenya Television Network, to raise awareness on sorghum, millets and legumes.
201 Papers in ISI/Thomson Reuters listed journals
38 Book chapters
8 Books and journal volumes
99 Papers in other peer reviewed journals
53 Conference proceedings
5 Socioeconomics discussion paper series
Nigel Wells Kerby,Britain, Chair, ICRISAT GB (From May 2017)
Chandra A Madramootoo,Canada, Chair, ICRISAT GB (Till Aprill 2017)
Trilochan MohapatraIndia, Vice Chair ICRISAT GB
David BergvinsonCanada, Director General, ICRISAT
Rachel K ChikwambaSouth Africa
Paul C AndersonUSA
Paco SeremeBurkina Faso
SP SinghIndia (From Jan 2017)
A prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics
To reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics
Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD)
Many thanks to our funders, smallholder farmers, national governments, international bodies, the national agricultural research system, advanced research institutes, universities and the private sector that we have collaborated with to accomplish this work.