A Global Agricultural Research Partnership

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in the drylands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid or dryland tropics has over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor.

ICRISAT and its partners help empower these poor people to overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better agriculture. ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, in India, with two regional hubs (Nairobi, Kenya and Bamako, Mali) and country offices in Niger, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique. 

ICRISAT conducts research on five highly nutritious drought-tolerant crops: chickpea, pigeonpea, pearl millet, sorghum and groundnut.

Vision, mission and approach

ICRISAT envisions a prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics. To achieve this, its mission is to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics. It approaches this through partnership-based international agricultural research for development that embodies Science with a Human Face.

Inclusive market-oriented development

For a long time, dryland farm families have been marginalized out of the development loop. An inclusive strategy will enable the poor, particularly women and the youth/children, to participate, rather than be sidelined, in the development process.

ICRISAT’s research-for-development agenda is achieved through the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems, the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets, the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals. These are implemented in ways that benefit smallholder farmers, enabling them and their families to go beyond subsistence farming to produce surpluses that can be stored and sold to markets, paving the way for prosperity in the drylands. Surplus produce, which is stored as food, serves as a buffer in times of hunger. Income from marketed produce enable farm families to purchase more food when needed, including inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, labor, tools, livestock, insurance and education. These will further raise farm productivity, kicking off a series of investments that bring about economic growth. As this is sustained, it creates a self-reinforcing pathway to prosperity. The foregoing describes a socio-economic process called inclusive market-oriented development (IMOD) on which ICRISAT’s strategy is anchored.

ICRISAT has defined six developmental outcomes that it believes will help the poor to move along the IMOD path: food sufficiency, intensification, diversification, resilience and health & nutrition, and women empowerment. Significant reductions in poverty and increases in food security in the dryland tropics are possible through this route.

ICRISAT believes this is the way to meet its aspirational targets of halving the incidence of poverty in smallholder farming households, halving the incidence of hunger, halving childhood malnutrition and significantly increasing the resilience of tropical dryland smallholder farming.


International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
Patancheru 502 324
Andhra Pradesh, India
Tel: +91 40 30713071
Fax: +91 40 30713074
Addresses of hubs and country offices

General contact information
William D. Dar
Director General
w.dar AT cgiar.org

Media inquiry contact
Joanna Kane-Potaka
Director of Strategic Marketing & Communication
J.Kane-Potaka AT cgiar.org


Press Releases


Tracking Adaptation Pathways and Identifying Strategies for Enhancing Grass-root Resilience to Climate Change Synthesis of Case Studies from Selected Countries of Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam)

Singh, N P and Bantilan, M C S and Kattarkandi, B and Murty, M V R (2012) Tracking Adaptation Pathways and Identifying Strategies for Enhancing Grass-root Resilience to Climate Change Synthesis of Case Studies from Selected Countries of Asia (Banglades…

Press Clippings

Farmers need not be poor

People in her community in Chanje, Chipata District in the Eastern Province of Zambia describe Rachel Mbewe — a farmer-beneficiary of the FTF R&D Program — as a born leader and farmer innovator.


Fighting Hidden Hunger – A holistic approach

This video highlights how the biofortification initiative is just one part of the solution and needs to be integrated into a wider context of education on nutrition and health as well as diversification of agriculture to help household nutrition.

Pigeon pea: A pulse revolution in Padasoli

Pigeon pea: A pulse revolution in Padasoli On World Food Day, this video highlights how pigeon pea, a drought-resistant pulse, has brought a new source of food, fuel and income to poor women in the Indian village of Padasoli, near Jaipur.