03 March 2023, New Delhi: Mr. Bill Gates visited the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) campus in New Delhi on Wednesday. The visit was planned to see the technologies developed by the institute and look for opportunities to fund projects through Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focusing on addressing malnutrition globally. This was the first visit of Mr. Gates to the IARI campus in New Delhi.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is working to address malnutrition globally. The foundation is exploring technologies in agriculture that can be implemented globally and address key issues related to malnutrition.
He visited a special project on Conservation Agriculture (CA) farming system developed by IARI in wheat. The institute has maintained plants for the last 10 years through 100% conservation agriculture with a wheat and maize cropping system. Conservation agriculture causes less pollution, reduces the cost of fertigation, improves soil health, and aids in redeveloping the microbiome profile of the soil. All these advantages were shared by Dr. A.K Singh, Director, IARI during the field visit of the project. Mr. Gates also visited the program for developing climate-resilient chickpea varieties which is drought tolerant.
Mentioning on Twitter about his visit, Mr. Gates said, “It was great to visit the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and learn about the advanced technologies being used to develop climate-smart crops in India. I am thrilled to see India make progress on innovations that can help farmers globally.”
Dr. Singh said, “Mr. Gates was highly impressed with the advantages of conservation agriculture and the technologies developed by IARI. One of the key work areas of his foundation is addressing malnutrition globally by doing sustainable agriculture and developing sustainable food systems. He also mentioned that his investment must come to the national programs seeing the strength of research. The institute is doing a pilot project with the foundation on digitization of plant breeding, improving genetic game using genomic selection and human resource development in the field of new science like genome editing, also developing varieties resistant to bacterial blight.”
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