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ICRISAT Full Form: history, features and functions etc.

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The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a global organisation that conducts agricultural research for rural development. Other regional centres and research stations include those in Niamey (Niger), Kano (Nigeria), Lilongwe (Malawi), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bulawayo, and Bamako (Mali) (Zimbabwe). A group of organisations led by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations came together to form it in 1972. The FAO and UNDP both signed the organization’s charter.

Since its foundation, the host nation of India has awarded ICRISAT unique status as a UN organisation operating on Indian soil, making it eligible for exclusive tax exemptions and immunities. A full-time Director General oversees ICRISAT while working under the general direction of a global Governing Board. Dr Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes assumed the position of Director General in April 2020. Prof. Prabhu Pingali is the board’s current chair.

ICRISAT Overview

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a nonprofit, apolitical organisation that collaborates with numerous international partners to do agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The semi-arid or dryland tropics, which span 6.5 million square kilometres of land in 55 nations, are home to nearly 2 billion people, 644 million of whom are the poorest of the poor. Through improved agriculture, ICRISAT and its collaborators give these underprivileged people the tools they need to beat hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation.

With six country offices in sub-Saharan Africa and two regional hubs, ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. It participates in CGIAR Consortium. CGIAR is a multinational partnership for agriculture research dedicated to ensuring future food security. The CGIAR Consortium’s 15 research centres work with hundreds of partner organisations to conduct its scientific research.

Research on environmental protection is done by ICRISAT. Agriculture in arid regions has long been associated with negativity and despondency. Tropical dryland regions are typically thought of being lacking in resources and always subject to shocks like drought, keeping dryland inhabitants in poverty and hunger and making them reliant on outside aid.


  • A thriving, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics are what ICRISAT envisions.
  • It aims to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics
  • ICRISAT researches five highly nutritious drought-tolerant crops
  • It is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

ICRISAT Six Development Outcomes

Six developmental outcomes have been identified by ICRISAT as being necessary for the impoverished to advance along the IMOD path.

  • food sufficiency
  • intensification
  • diversification
  • resilience
  • health & nutrition
  • women empowerment

This approach has the potential to significantly improve food security and reduce poverty in the dryland tropical regions.

To achieve its aspirational goals of halving the prevalence of poverty in smallholder farming households, reducing hunger and childhood malnutrition, and considerably boosting the resilience of tropical dryland smallholder farming, ICRISAT feels that this is the best course of action.

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