Capability Statement 2023

Welcome to interactive presentation, created with Publuu. Enjoy the reading!



ICRISAT and 50 Years of Impact

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022



Dr Prabhu Pingali

Chair, ICRISAT Governing Board

Dr Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes

Director General, ICRISAT

ICRISAT is proud to be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, which was inaugurated in early

February by the Hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. The Institute’s illustrious

history has been one defined by scientific research and partnerships which have delivered

numerous world firsts in reforming dryland agri-food systems. These breakthroughs are among

the most tangible impacts of all development interventions in overcoming poverty, hunger,

malnutrition and environmental degradation for many of the 2.1 billion who call the drylands

of Asia, Africa and beyond home. The awarding of the Africa Food Prize 2021 to ICRISAT is

a testament to our impacts and contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals. The

challenges facing the drylands are inextricably linked so our focus lies not only within the domain

of agricultural science, technology and innovation but the social, institutional and structural

requirements of smallholder dryland farming. Our work also has a nation building imperative.

From playing a passive role in economic development, the agricultural sector and the rural economy must now have a strong

and dynamic role in the overall economic development strategy of developing nations. As a global knowledge leader, ICRISAT

looks to the next 50 years with confidence that a brighter future can be created for the myriad of dryland communities whom we

serve. We invite you to partner with us on this journey.

ICRISAT’s unique expertise in the management of dryland ecosystems and genetic

improvement of nutritious grain legumes and dryland cereals that tolerate the vagaries

of climate change, make it an essential partner for research and development to achieve

the SDG targets. ICRISAT’s expertise spans traditional concerns such as malnutrition and

rural poverty to emerging concerns such as diet transition and climate resilience. ICRISAT’s

reimagined strategy elevates its work and positions its science, talent, partnerships and

resources in order to maximize impact on the sustainable utilization of dryland ecosystems

and the poor that depend on them. As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary we extend to you a

cordial invitation to join our mission.


Prime Minister of

India, Indira Gandhi

lays ICRISAT’s

foundation stone

at the Patancheru

campus, India





ICRISAT’s world first

sorghum and pearl

millet varieties are

released for farming

in Sudan leading to

improved crop yields



developed the

world’s first


groundnut variety

ICGV 86015



team maps

the pigeonpea

genome - 48,680

pigeonpea genes

are identified


The first Farmer’s Day

is held to showcase

ICRISAT’s impacts in



ICRISAT developed the pearl

millet variety Okashana 1

for large-scale cultivation in

Namibia, contributing to better

food security


ICRISAT developed the

world’s first commercial

pigeonpea hybrid ICPH

2671 released in India

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022


ICRISAT’s mission is to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and

environmental degradation in the dryland tropics.


The first genome

code for cultivated

groundnut is



ICRISAT led the

sequencing of

the pearl millet



ICRISAT receives the

prestigious Africa

Food Prize for its work

in improving and

disseminating legume

varieties for enhanced food

security in sub-Saharan



High-iron biofortified pearl millet

variety Dhanashakti developed

by ICRISAT is released in India to

address micronutrient deficiency


ICRISAT bred first machine-

harvestable chickpea variety

NBeG 47 released in India

reducing manual drudgery


Africa’s first biofortified pearl

millet variety chakti developed

by ICRISAT is released by

the Government of Niger for

commercial cultivation


Prosperous, food-secure and resilient drylands.

Value Proposition

ICRISAT brings scientific, evidence-based solutions to agriculture and food systems in the drylands with

a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The Institute is recognized as a global knowledge leader

and holds 50 years of multi-disciplinary knowledge, experience and expertise in solving some of the most

pressing issues facing the drylands. The Institute has a wide range of global, regional and local networks

and an inclusive partnership approach to developing innovations to deliver at scale.

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022

About us

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

(ICRISAT) is a pioneering, international scientific research for

development organization, specializing in improving dryland farming

and agri-food systems. The Institute was established as an international

organization in 1972, by a Memorandum of Agreement between the

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the

Government of India.

ICRISAT works with global partners to develop innovative science-

backed solutions to overcome hunger, malnutrition, poverty and

environmental degradation, serving the 2.1 billion people who reside

in the drylands of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The Institute is

headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana, India and has regional centers

in Mali and Kenya, with dedicated research stations in Niger, Nigeria,

Malawi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and Senegal.

ICRISAT’s areas of specialization include:

A deep understanding of the issues and challenges inherent in the drylands

which exhibit some of the harshest environments globally. These socio-

physical environments contribute to consistently low human development

outcomes and pose profound challenges to attaining the UN Sustainable

Development Goals.

A focus on the most resilient, climate smart and nutritious legumes and cereal

crops critical to the drylands – chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl

millet, finger millet and small millets.

A collection of one of the broadest diversities of genetic resources of our

speciality crops which are used to enhance the crops with which we work.

Recognized world class research across a wide array of specialities ranging

from genomics, gene editing, modern crop breeding, natural resource

management, seed systems, climate smart agriculture, digital solutions to

informing policy on improved markets and institutions.

A web / value chain approach with vast experience across agricultural

production systems and food value chains.

A strong focus on delivery and innovations at scale.

A profound understanding of the interventions required to attain the UN

Sustainable Development Goals related to our mission.

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022

Our Research Approach

ICRISAT undertakes advanced scientific agricultural research to overcome poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental

degradation to improve the livelihoods and well-being of more than 2.1 billion people who call the drylands home. The

challenges in the drylands are inextricably linked, and thus the Institute adopts a holistic approach to overcoming them. The

Institute has a particular focus on social inclusion and empowering women along the agricultural value chain.

For 50 years, ICRISAT’s expertise has delivered world firsts that continue

to have global impacts on reducing hunger, poverty, malnutrition and

environmental degradation for local communities across Asia and Africa.

Our work is framed by the Sustainable Development Goals with a particular

focus on Goals 1, 2, 5, 13 and 17.

ICRISAT’s research approach includes:

A systems perspective to ensure the

most pressing issues are addressed

A multi-disciplinary approach

to opportunities and to finding

solutions to challenges

A focus on local, regional and

global partnerships across regions

to maximize knowledge sharing,

capacity building and solutions for

our stakeholders

A market-oriented focus to making

farming more profitable

A focus on environmental and

business sustainability models

A commitment to evidence-based


A participatory approach and

integrating training and capacity

building with key stakeholders

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022

Addressing Climate Change

Climate change is arguably one of the greatest challenges facing agricultural production in the

drylands of Africa, Asia and other parts of the world where crop seasons are short and rainfall is

highly variable. ICRISAT works with multiple partners to develop climate resilient dryland crops

through an array of climate-smart technologies.

Overcoming Poverty

We create long-term science-backed solutions to overcoming poverty in the drylands by helping

smallholder farmers transition from subsistence farming to surplus farming and making farming

more profitable.

Championing Gender Equality

ICRISAT recognizes that women make up more than half the work force in smallholder dryland

farming. Gender is a cross cutting theme across all of our work with the aim of empowering women

in social and economic participation and decision making at all levels.


ICRISAT leverages strategic partnerships to capitalize on the natural synergies and expertise

between organizations for greater impact. One of our strengths is the depth and diversity of our

partnerships across the public and private sectors.

Overcoming Hunger and Malnutrition

Central to ICRISAT’s work is overcoming hunger, especially among the most vulnerable. Our

scientific research is designed to increase both nutritional quality and quantity of food available

through increased crop yields.

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022

Research Specialities

As an international knowledge leader in dryland agri-food systems, our scientific expertise and non-partisan approach is

globally recognized as having produced world firsts and resulted in some of the most innovative solutions to overcoming

hunger, poverty, malnutrition and environmental degradation.

ICRISAT’s research impacts span the entire value chain:

Germplasm, pre-breeding,

breeding and seed systems

Enriching cultivated crop gene pool

diversity by utilizing distantly related

germplasm such as exotic landraces

and crop wild accessions.

Introgression of genes/quantitative

trait loci (QTLs) to enhance

productivity, biotic and abiotic stress

tolerances, nutrition and climate


Identifying consumer-preferred and

demand-driven traits to develop

crop product profiles for targeted


Optimizing and deploying novel

breeding methods to develop

superior varieties and adopting speed

breeding technology/rapid generation

advancement technology.

Working with national partners

to release improved varieties and

developing and evaluating more

efficient and cost-effective seed

supply options through better

institutional arrangements.

Genomics, systems biology

and crop informatics

Developing genomic resources, low-

cost genotyping technologies and

decision support tools.

Identifying valuable and novel alleles

and haplotypes with traits for climate

resilience, nutrition, and consumer


Multi-omics approaches to

understanding the mechanisms of

complex traits for crop breeding.

Machine learning to integrate data

from multiple sources to develop

predictive models.

Genome editing and

molecular biology

Genome edited approaches and

gene editing for intractable traits in

ICRISAT’s mandate crops.

Developing protocols for generating

double haploids and other new

breeding tools and technologies.

Crop physiology, crop

protection and modelling

The use of modelling tools

and precise, high-throughput

phenotyping to identify drought

and heat tolerance traits to assist in

breeding for difficult environments

and future climate predictions.

New, innovative and environment-

friendly methods for crop protection,

including the use of non-invasive

techniques for phenotyping and the

application of nanomaterials.

Tracking the emergence of new

diseases and pathogen variability for

existing and emerging diseases.

Enabling modelling tools to assess

cropping system productivity under a

variety of conditions.


System dynamics modelling to

analyze food chain complexity,

mapping and assessing efficiencies

in agricultural value chains/web

and understanding the behavioral

dimensions of the dynamic linkages

between agri-food value chains and


Ex-ante assessments and scenario

development to estimate the

economic and other value of future

and emerging crop traits linked

to market demand for breeding


Studying value chain and food

systems to support biofortification

and the integration of emerging

high value traits (e.g. high-oleic acid

groundnut) through demand creation

and value chain development.

Studying developing markets and

institutions for a more productive

agriculture sector.

Systems-based sustainable

natural resource management

Watershed and community-based

approaches to scaling water

harvesting, land restoration and

livelihood interventions.

Scaling climate-smart agricultural

interventions linked to climate risk


System behaviour predictions and

designing appropriate interventions

to increase crop quantity and quality.

ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022

Digital innovations and


Creating new opportunities to

integrate smallholders into digitally

supported agri-food systems.

Applying information, communication

and digital technologies to bring

innovations to extension systems,

farm management, climate risk

adaptation and markets.

Geospatial and big data

Mapping dryland areas, crops and

cropping systems and developing

spatial products, climate analysis

to predict future responses, land

degradation assessment, yield and

yield loss assessments.

Interdisciplinary research

The challenges inherent in the

drylands are multifaceted and

inextricably linked. In response,

ICRISAT adopts a systemwide

approach through its interdisciplinary

research as the most effective way

to tackle complex challenges. Some

areas include climate resilience,

nutrition and natural resource


Crop diversification

ICRISAT’s work on crop diversification

hinges on three objectives: improving

livelihood options for the farmer,

the effective use of scarce water

resources and sustainability.

The ICRISAT developed Sahelian Eco-

Farm is a cropping system in which

trees and/or shrubs are intercropped

with annual crops to combat soil

erosion, low soil fertility, low water

use efficiency, droughts, insufficient

supply of animal feed, low income

and inefficient distribution of labour.

Similarly, the African Market Garden -

a low-pressure drip irrigation system,

combined with a comprehensive

crop husbandry package - generates

income for small producers,

contributes to better nutrition and

helps mitigate the effects of climate


Crop-livestock integration

The institute has an extensive track

record in improving the efficiency of

agronomic and livestock systems for

better resilience. ICRISAT-bred forage

crops, dual purpose crops and multi-

cut varieties offer a means to address

fodder shortages and improve

livelihoods in dryland farming


In collaboration with the International

Livestock Research Institute (ILRI),

ICRISAT has carried out joint research

on livestock fodder derived from

sorghum, pearl millet, legumes and

groundnut. In Africa, ICRISAT works

to promote livestock production

through improved feed, animal health

linkages to market and capacity

development of farmers.


The use of sorghum and pearl millet

as feedstock for commercial biofuel

production presents a market

opportunity for drylands farmers.

ICRISAT, with its partners, has been

working on the development of a

sweet sorghum ethanol value chain.

As a result, sweet sorghum is now

an established biofuel feedstock in

India, China, Philippines and Brazil.

High-biomass pearl millet varieties

also present a huge opportunity as a

biofuel feedstock.


ICRISAT Capability Statement 2022


Sorghum is a genus of about twenty-five species of flowering plants in the grass family that produce edible and

nutritious grains. Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for

animals. One species is grown for grain, while many others are used as fodder plants.

Varieties: 3.0 t/ha; Hybrids: 4.0 t/ha

Normal duration – 100 - 120 days to maturity

Current yield: 0.8 t/ha (varieties) 1.2 t/ha (hybrids)

333 varieties in 46 countries

(Map shows top 22 countries. Figures as of 2021)

Striga resistant

Midge resistant

Drought tolerant

Biofortifi ed (Fe/Zn)

Other traits

• Shoot fl y resistant

• Stem borer resistant

• Grain mold resistant

• Forage

• Biomass/ethanol

India: Seed consortium

1.1 million farmers benefi ted from improved cultivars

Short duration –

<100 days to maturity

Expansion of ICRISAT-origin material

Africa: 17,199.4 tons

Asia: 4,041 tons

21,240.4 tons

Forage sorghum hybrid CSH 24

MF is awarded ‘landmark forage

hybrid’ in India


First ICRISAT variety released for

farming in India (Moti)


ICSV 112 released in India as

CSV 13 and eventually released in

9 countries



Large-scale adoption of high-

yielding hybrid JKSH 22 by the

private sector

First marker-assisted bred sorghum

varieties that are Striga tolerant

released in sub-Saharan Africa


World’s fi rst ethanol from

sweet sorghum (ICSV 25308

and RVICH28) produced from

ICRISAT-bred cultivars


High biomass sorghum

(ICSSH 28) for production of biofuel

High iron and zinc variety

Parbhani Shakti released in India

3 high-yielding varieties (Pilara

3,4 and 5) released in Malawi




World’s fi rst high-iron varieties


released in Africa


First ICRISAT variety released for

farming in Sudan (Hageen Dura)

Short-duration variety

Yield potential (rainfed areas)

Varieties/Hybrids developed

Crop Improvement



Varieties released from

ICRISAT-origin material

Seed Production by ICRISAT (2011-2021)


Countries where the

varieties (including

hybrids) are released

Our speciality crops

For crop improvement, ICRISAT works to develop and enhance resilient, climate-smart and nutritious legume and cereal

crops including chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet and small millets. These crops are

fundamental to food security in the drylands. At the systems level, ICRISAT also works on other important crops such as

soybean, sunflower, sesame, mustard, rapeseed. ICRISAT collaborates with partners on a wide range of cropping systems,

agroforestry and livestock.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32