A strategic guide: Working towards food security in the drylands, through COVID-19 and beyond

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ICRISAT is well positioned to significantly contribute to efforts towards restoring food security in the drylands, while combating the COVID-19 pandemic-related impacts and beyond. Here is a quick guide outlining ways in which we can collaborate with our partners and influence positive outcomes for smallholder farmers.


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused phenomenal disruptions in the food system – a major contributor to global livelihoods and health. Such major disruptions typically impact vulnerable geographies the most, such as the semi-arid tropics or drylands. Smallholder farmers are particularly at risk because of pre-existing lags in nutrition, health, and income goals.

Our strengths:

  • Extensive network of staff and partners on the ground, across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia
  • Technical and scientific knowledge to partner with development teams
  • Specialization in the drylands
  • A wide range of scientific tools – from GIS and remote sensing to genomics, modeling and social tools
  • Nutrient-dense and drought-tolerant mandate crops – millets, sorghum, groundnut, chickpea and pigeonpea
  • Scaling expertise for a range of solutions
  • Agribusiness innovation platform to support agri-entrepreneurs with product development and market analysis
  • Digital solutions across the whole value chain

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