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 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.
Dryland agriculture has long been viewed with pessimism and hopelessness. Tropical dryland areas are usually seen as resource-poor and perennially beset by shocks such as drought, trapping dryland communities in poverty and hunger and dependent on external aid. ICRISAT challenges this pessimistic view.
Working with diverse partners in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa for almost four decades, ICRISAT has found that dryland farmers are ingenious and resourceful. By applying scientific innovations backed up with adequate policy, marketing and other support services, they are able to increase their crop productivity and incomes several-fold, while improving the resilience of their lands and livelihoods. Hence, prosperity can be brought about in the tropical drylands.
ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR System Organization, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.