07 April 2023, Hyderabad: Greetings to the CGIAR community.
I plan to update you regularly, through video and written blogs, to share progress on advancing my strategic priorities, the outcomes of key meetings with important stakeholders (CGIAR teams, as well as public and private sector actors) and to highlight cross-Center collaboration and the very real benefits of One CGIAR in action.
In February 2023, I went to India for a range of reasons:
- To join ICRISAT’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Hyderabad, where I gave a plenary speech on “The role of international agricultural research in dryland agrifood systems transformation” and met with ICRISAT management and Board;
- To share my vision and present my credentials as Board Chair with officials from the Indian Government and partner organizations, among them His Excellency Narender Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare; His Excellency Himanshu Pathak, DG of ICAR, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research; Prof. Ramesh Chand, CIMMYT Board Member and Member of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog); Mr. Ram Kaundinya, Director General of the Federation of Seed Industry of India; and Raj Paroda, Chairman of TAAS, the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences.
- To meet with our most valued resource: the many One CGIAR staff members in South Asia; and
- To take part in the World Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi, where I spoke at a session for global leaders on “Nature based solutions for addressing climate vulnerability and ensuring food security.”
It was an extremely productive trip with many important take-aways, including how we can further develop the already constructive relationship between One CGIAR and the Indian Government. Staff were keen to share challenges and opportunities they face on the ground as well as perspectives on the way forward for the region.
A very memorable occasion was the combined meeting we had with the ICRISAT Board, the One CGIAR Center Board Chairs, and System Board members. We shared experiences around the implementation of the IFA, or Integration Framework Agreement, and how we got to where we are now, with the IFA approved by the Boards of all One CGIAR Centers.
One of my key priorities is to “Deepen the relationship with host countries and our key partners,” and that’s what I was working towards in India.
Moving on to a great example of impactful teamwork among the family of CGIAR Centers, I’d like to highlight the CGIAR Initiative on Gender Equality, for which researchers at ILRI, IFPRI, IRRI and IITA among others are collaborating to counter the effects of restrictive gender norms and support women in agri-food systems to acquire, use and benefit from improved technologies, boosting women farmers’ resilience to climate change.
This Initiative primarily targets the key impact area of Gender Equality, Youth & Social Inclusion. It identifies combinations of technical, social and institutional innovations such as seed or livestock technologies, combined with production and marketing advice, as well as community meetings designed to promote women’s involvement in marketing.
Like so many of the Initiatives in CGIAR’s research portfolio, this Initiative illustrates the importance and the power of One CGIAR’s scientists’ cross-disciplinary work, and I was delighted to meet with IFPRI colleagues contributing to this Initiative.
Cooperation and partnership, not competition and territoriality, should be our watchwords going forward.
Together, let’s make 2023 the year of science and delivery for CGIAR!
That wraps up this edition of my blog.
Be well and see you next month.
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