Thomas Lumpkin, CIMMYT Director General, addresses the audience as he closes the official launch of the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), held in New Delhi, India on 5 October 2011. He reminded the audience of the challenges of global food security as well as the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. He also highlighted the support of the Mexican government and CIMMYT’s role in facilitating and promoting cooperation through its centers in India, Mexico, and Africa. He concluded his speech stating that “CIMMYT has been in India for 50 years. It’s time we laid down some roots.”
BISA will be a new, state-of-the-art, international agricultural research and development center, based in India and managed by CIMMYT. It will boost agricultural productivity by adapting wheat and maize varieties able to thrive despite the challenges of climate change, natural resource scarcity, diverse ecosystems, and increasing market demand. It will deliver elite wheat and maize germplasm that is high-yielding and robust—able to withstand drought, heat, diseases—and meets requirements for diversified cropping rotations and grain quality, and make it accessible to small seed companies so that they can offer quality, affordable seed to smallholder farmers. It will provide support in the use of modern biotechnology and bioinformatics tools and supply effective and profitable technologies and crop varieties for conservation and precision agriculture. BISA will have centers in three states, Punjab, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, each of which contains varied agro-ecological zones allowing for testing of a variety of maize and wheat cultivars suited to the equally varied environments of South Asia.
S. Ayyappan, Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research and
Education (DARE) of the Ministry of Agriculture of India and Director
General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), opened
the launch ceremony with a welcome address. This was followed by
speeches from Ramkrishna Kusmaria, Agriculture Minister of Madhya
Pradesh, S. Sucha Singh Langah, Agriculture Minister of Punjab, and
Sharad Pawar, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Food Processing
Industries of India, and by Lumpkin's closing remarks.
In addition to CIMMYT-India staff, the CIMMYT management committee, and its Board of Trustees, the ceremony was attended by representatives from CIMMYT’s sister institutions ILRI, IRRI, and Bioversity, as well as from the Allan Mustard Institute of the US Department of Agriculture and the private sector. The event was closed by a dinner and a speech by the Board of Trustees Chair, Sara Boettiger.
Photo credit: CIMMYT.
For more information about the launch, see CIMMYT's website at: www.cimmyt.org/en/front-page-tems/news2011/1166-new-borla....
For an overview of BISA, see: www.cimmyt.org/ru/about-us/partnerships/countries/doc_vie....