Mr Juan Miguel Luz, President, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, guests and dear friends, I thank the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction for giving me this opportunity to speak on “ Making technology pay off for rural enterprises: Managing the human resource requirements for enterprise development in rural areas’. This presentation will be illustrating how the Institute I head, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, goes about empowering the rural poor with its wide array of technologies that facilitate rural enterprises.
But before that ,let me brief you on ICRISAT’s mandate. ICRISAT envisions the improved well-being of the poor of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Its mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food and nutritional security and protect the environment of the semi-arid tropics by helping empower the poor through science with a human face. This it does through research on five mandate crops dear to the poor of the SAT.
Headquartered in Patancheru in Andhra Pradesh state of India, ICRISAT carries out its research from its regional hubs in Nairobi in Eastern and Southern Africa and Niamey in West and Central Africa and four other centers located in Mali, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. ICRISAT adopts a research for development strategy with Integrated genetic and natural resource management (IGNRM) as its guiding principle. Its research is focused on key livelihood and income opportunities and is fuelled by the core principles of equity, multidisciplinarity, sustainability and community participation.
ICRISAT’s research centers around four themes, namely, Crop improvement and management, Biotechnology, Agro-ecosystems development and Institutions, markets, policies and impacts.
The Agri-Science Park is the means by which ICRISAT commercializes technology to help farmers in the Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT) through partnerships with the private and public sectors. The Agri-Science Park brings together the expertise available at ICRISAT, the State Government and renowned private sector companies. It comprises of the Agri-Business Incubator, Ag-Biotech Innovation Center, Hybrid Parent Research Consortium and the SAT Eco-venture.
Set up in Dec 2002 with Support of NSTEDB-DST, Government of India, ABI facilitates the creation of competitive Agri-business enterprise through technology development and commercialization. Entrepreneurs are supported with agri-technology, consultancy, networking with management experts, venture capital funding, marketing experts and physical infrastructure.
ABI is a pioneering concept to promote enterprise development in agriculture. At present, it has 10 clients, and as shown in the slide; 3 have graduated, 5 are ongoing incubatees and there are 2 new clients. The following slides briefly describe ICRISAT’t ties with each incubatee.
The farmer benefits in terms of deriving more income from cultivation of sweet sorghum; sale of stalks to distilleries and the sale of grain and stalks for food and feed use. Moreover, it is more profitable than even grain sorghum in India.