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Book: Challenges and Strategies of Dryland Agriculture
Published by: Crop Science Society of America and American Society of Agronomy

 

This chapter in CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES OF DRYLAND AGRICULTURE

  1.  p. 35-46
    CSSA Special Publication 32.
    Challenges and Strategies of Dryland Agriculture

    Srinivas C. Rao and John Ryan (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-611-3

     

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doi:10.2135/cssaspecpub32.c4

A Grey to Green Revolution in the Semi-Arid Tropics of Asia and Africa

  1. William D. Dar,
  2. Eric M. McGaw and
  3. D.V.R. Reddy
  1. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, India
    Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Abstract

The mission of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is to conduct agricultural research to help the poorest of the poor in the semiarid tropics, one of the harshest agro-ecoregions in the world. Nearly one sixth of the world's population lives in the semi-arid regions of 48 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Risks are pervasive and greater here than in any other important food production system. Although the Green Revolution was a great achievement, it was unable to solve the problems of food insecurity for hundreds of millions of poor people. ICRISAT's main strategy is to adapt productive systems to the natural variability of the environment, rather than the other way around. We seek to empower farmers to use available farm resources to develop their own capacities and become self-reliant. ICRISAT has begun a program of global consultations with an array of partners, including the private sector, on the new priorities for agricultural research. A result of this consultative process is that ICRISAT has revised its regional research strategies. In an important departure from the past, the primary development strategy is not crop- or technology-based, but starts with the identification of real opportunities for smallholder farmers. It then seeks to develop those opportunities into tangible benefits at the farm level by pursuing science for development, the creation of new partnerships, and by linking farmers to markets.

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