13th Conference on the Development of Drylands

Written by sdanda. Posted in News, News Happenings

Drylands cover over 40 percent of Earth’s land area and are home to more than a third of the world’s population. Though they provide ecosystem services that are crucial for global food, nutrition and water security, they are also some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems. A majority of the people living in dryland areas live in developing countries, and with fragile natural resources, achieving food security in these areas remains challenging.

The International Dryland Development Commission (IDCC) states that the efforts towards ensuring sustainable management of natural resources in dryland areas “have to be boosted in order to optimize adaptive mechanisms and risk aversion elements for dryland communities.”

Organized by IDCC and Arid Sone Research Association of India (AZAI), the 13thConference on the Development of Drylands, held in Jodhpur, India, from February 11-14, brings together national and international stakeholders to discuss sustainable dryland development under the theme “Converting Dryland Areas from Grey into Green.”

A traditional lamp-lighting ceremony opened the 13th Conference on the Development of Drylands in Jodhpur, India, on February 11, 2019

“With the release of the EAT-Lancet report, the world has come together under the umbrella of food as the answer to human and planetary health,” said Martin Kropff in his welcome address. “I think that drylands, too, need such an integrated approach.” He highlighted the importance of healthy and sustainable drylands for cereal production, explaining that 51 percent of the world’s maize crop and 76 percent of the world’s wheat crop are grown in these areas.

Over the course of the four-day conference, Kropff and other attendees will discuss a number of themes including climate change in drylands, managing land degradation and desertification, and soil health management, carbon sequestration and conservation. 

See the conference website for more information.

Australian high commissioner’s visit to BISA farm at Ladhowal, Ludhiana and Climate Smart Village, Nurpur Bet

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Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner, visited the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) in Ladhowal, Ludhiana, India on February 19. Arun Joshi, Managing Director for BISA & CIMMYT in India, welcomed her with an introduction about the creation, mission, and activities of BISA and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). HS Sidhu, the Senior Research Engineer for BISA, explained the work CIMMYT and BISA were conducting in conservation agriculture in collaboration with Punjab Agricultural University, machinery manufacturers and farmers. This work focuses on using and scaling the Happy Seeder, which enables direct seeding of wheat into heavy loads of rice residue without burning. This technology has been called “an agricultural solution to air pollution in South Asia,”  as the burning of crop residue is a huge contributor to poor air quality in South Asia.

Breeding for yield potential vis-à-vis biotic and abiotic stresses in wheat: Integrating genomics to move ahead

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A brainstorming meeting on “Breeding for yield potential vis-à-vis biotic and abiotic stresses in wheat: Integrating genomics to move ahead” was organized jointly by CIMMYT and ICAR on Aug 21, 2018. The meeting took place in NASC Complex in New Delhi with a participation of around 50 delegates including the key officials of ICAR, Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR), State Universities and CIMMYT.

Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) and Director General, ICAR chaired the meeting with Dr. Hans J. Braun, Director, Global Wheat Program (GWP), CIMMYT and Dr. Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Crop Science), ICAR.

Corporate Service Program (CSP) training in India

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CSP, an initiative by CIMMYT to build effective coordination and flexibility in between team members invited Finance, HR, ITU, Administration and Communication teams to the workshop. CIMMYT office in India organized a CSP training program for its CSP team to build effective coordination and support amongst teams across India. At offsite, the three-day workshop was facilitated to update and provide a clear understanding of financial and administrative procedures, team roles, responsibilities and better coordination amongst different units.

Dr. Arun K Joshi (Asia Regional Representative, CIMMYT) enlightened the team members on the vision of Borlaug and his dedication, working towards food security and sustainable futures.  He advised the team for better coordination to enhance the work culture, efficiency and efficacy inculcating the concept of One CIMMYT and FEESO.

India Finance Manager (Dinesh Trikha) updated the team on revised financial guidelines and formats, current Government compliances, laws and policies. Queries related to labor law, PF (Provident Fund), TDS (Tax Deducted at Source), GST (Goods and Services Tax) and audit were discussed and resolved. Group exercises were undertaken to understand guidelines and get clarity for the smooth functioning of the financial system.

HR Coordinator (Bornali) provided an overview of HR policies and procedures. The session paved way for intensive team building activities later in the day. This was followed by team building exercises which were facilitated by an external trainer. The team members participated in sharing sessions, art therapy, movement mobilization and team engagement activity.

The admin team led by Meenakshi Chandiramani facilitated sessions on procurement and logistics including a group exercise between the teams for improved understanding and coordination. Queries on admin related issues, logistics, fixed assets management, stock management and insurance were discussed and resolved

The regional ITU manger (Lalit Bogra) highlighted the global IT process for efficient workflow. The communications specialist (Vedachalam Dakshinamurthy) presented the communication strategy, processes requisite for better documentation. The presentation also highlighted the importance of effective communication within the organization.

Team members from eight states from India came together in the workshop. This event was organized under the supervision of HR representative from Mexico – Nishi Kashyap.


Picture Courtesy: Vedachalam Dakshinamurthy