New Delhi, 31 October, 2011
Dr S Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR, in his remarks as Chief Guest, highlighted the important role of ICAR-ICARDA (International Center for Agriculutural Research in the Dry Areas) partnership in addressing various issues related to dryland farming and farming system research. However, greater collaboration in research activities is desired in view of the impeding challenges, such as climate change, germplasm erosion and aggravating biotic and abiotic stresses, he added. ICAR has made many milestones in collaboration with ICARDA, but many more are to be crossed, he observed. He was speaking on the occasion of ICAR-ICARDA Day being celebrated here today.
Mr Henri Carsalade, Chair, Board of Trustees, ICARDA welcomed dignitaries and participatnts and appreciated the all-out support of the ICAR in varied endeavors of the ICARDA. He recalled the 30-year long partnership with delight and desired to have more intense collaboration with ICAR network for the cause of food security in the region. Mr Henri presented coveted ICARDA-shield to Dr S Ayyappan for support and encouragement to ICARDA programmes in the country.
Dr Mahmoud Solh, Director General, ICARDA expressed sincere gratitude to Government of India and ICAR for active support and collaboration for development of sustainable agriculture in the region.
Representatives from Afghanistan, Bhutan and Nepal presented scenario of agriculture in respective counteries along with challenges which threaten the food security and desired strengthening of collaboration and ties with ICAR and ICARDA.
In the technical programme, pulses research and development will be discussed at length as India and ICARDA are working together for production enhancement of lentil, kabuli channa, grasspea (khesari), faba bean, etc. In India, about 11.65 million hectare is rice-fellow, where only one crop is grown, which is the potential area where production of pulses like lentil, chickpea, pea and grasspea fits to the existing cropping pattern with appropriate varieties and improved production technologies exchange with ICARDA. Presently, ICARDA with its South Asia & China regional programme, New Delhi and NARS collaborators in India has developed some varieties for this area so that at least 2.0 million hectare can be brought under these pulses to increase cropping intensity in this area and production of pulses in the country.
Established in 1977, the ICARDA is one of the 15 centers strategically located all over the world and supported by the Consultative Group on Agricultural Research (CGIAR). With its main research station and offices based in Aleppo, Syria, ICARDA works through a network of partnerships with national, regional and international institutions, universities, NGOs and ministries in the developing world; and with advanced research institutes in industrialized countries.
Dignitaries and experts across the CGIAR system, Board Members of ICARDA, collaborators and senior officials from Government of India are participating in the event.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA)