The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and EMRC International, Brussels are partnering once again for the second edition of the Africa-India Economic Mission to be held in Hyderabad, India from 11-16 December 2011.
With the aim to bring African and Indian decision makers, experts and business people together, the Africa-India Economic Mission will give participants access to India’s leading institutes and foremost agricultural equipment, irrigation and crop corporations, providing a basis for potential business partnerships, with a focus on public-private sector corporation.
“More and more people want to go right to the source of innovation and gain insider access to what is happening in India. This 5-day mission where agricultural experts and business people have an opportunity to talk business, speak frankly about the problems and solutions to improve agricultural development is highly valuable. Exchanging know-how is critical”, explains Samuel Pulido, Project Manager at EMRC International.
During the 5-day mission, visits and technical meetings will take place at India’s world-renowned agricultural research institutes, in addition to companies linked to equipment and machinery, water conservation and management, bio-fuels, seeds and fresh produce management. Participants can learn about India’s exceptional and groundbreaking agricultural and business know-how.
India’s agricultural landscape varies widely, just like Africa, although like Africa an important proportion is part of the semi-arid climate, which has highly variable and low rainfalls and low productivity soils, which call for watershed management and grain innovation. Covering 6.5 million square km of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid or dryland tropics has over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest. A lot has yet to be achieved so that these regions and populations have enough food for themselves and are able to develop their land to achieve economic growth and move forward from subsistence to commercial farming.
“South-South cooperation is going to play a key role in the development of agriculture and agribusiness in the coming days. There is a wealth of learning and exchange repository with India, which can benefit Africa in a big way, especially when the Government of India has announced financial and technical support to African countries. Being a global agricultural research center, I am glad that we have taken this step a year back to facilitate the knowledge sharing process in partnership with EMRC. It is with great pride that we welcome our African counterparts in taking part in and benefit from the Economic Mission Africa-India,” William D. Dar, ICRISAT Director General highlights.
ICRISAT is an international agricultural research-for-development institute on sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, pigeon pea and groundnut – crops that support the livelihoods of the poor in the semi-arid tropics encompassing 48 countries. The Institute has its headquarters in Patancheru, India, and two regional centres for Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi for West and Central Africa in Bamako, Mali.
Among some of the field visits, participants will learn about the Agri-Business and Innovation Platform (AIP), an ICRISAT initiative to enhance its public-private partnerships as a model for fostering agro-business to bring Research for Development (R4D) innovations of ICRISAT and its partners to the market for faster, wider-scale impact. AIP provides prototype innovations, knowledge and expertise, training, and co-location with researchers for close interaction; while the entrepreneurs fine-tune the prototypes and take them to market, including bearing the risks and reaping the rewards involved.
“There is the know-how and there are the technologies out there to ensure real agricultural development. What is important is that people can access and exchange techniques and partner together. This will be the key for growth and will ensure that communities, countries and the African continent prosper sustainably,” says Idit Miller, Vice President of EMRC International. “This is what this mission is about: exchange and partnerships.”
To register for the Africa-India Economic Mission please visit www.emrc.be. For more information on the programme, please contact:
EMRC Senior Programme Manager
Showkat Nabi Rather
Senior Media Officer
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Mobile: +91- 897 888 2187