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FAO Director-General Visits ICRISAT, Unveils Iconic Konark Wheel

FAO Director-General Visits ICRISAT, Unveils Iconic Konark Wheel

Visit highlights ICRISAT's Contribution to Food Security in the Drylands

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Dr QU Dongyu, visited ICRISAT headquarters on June 14. During his visit, he unveiled ICRISAT's iconic Konark Wheel and witnessed the Institute's significant efforts in contributing to food security in dryland regions.

Dr Dongyu's presence marked the unveiling of the Konark Wheel, which was witnessed by ICRISAT staff. Dr Jacqueline Hughes, the Director-General of ICRISAT, highlighted the importance of reinstalling the sandstone wheel, a replica of the one at the renowned Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha.

"The Konark Wheel holds great significance for ICRISAT. We had one for many years, but it needed replacement. Renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra commenced work in 2021, but unfortunately, his untimely demise interrupted the project. However, his family completed the construction.
We hope this wheel will endure the test of time. Symbolizing progress, prosperity, and a promising future for ICRISAT, the wheel represents our continued advancement as we move forward," said Dr Hughes.


The FAO delegation and ICRISAT's leadership team with the Director Generals of FAO and ICRISAT.

Dr QU Dongyu, who last visited ICRISAT 22 years ago, expressed his delight in unveiling the Konark Wheel and conveyed his hope that ICRISAT will continue to shine brightly and grow stronger in the future. The visiting delegation engaged in a fruitful meeting with senior officials, which served as a platform to discuss important research initiatives and exchange ideas to enhance agricultural research in the region. Subsequently, the delegation toured ICRISAT facilities.

"I was truly inspired by the impactful work I witnessed here. Empowering farmers with improved seeds and access to the latest agricultural technology and innovations is crucial for catalyzing the transformation of agri-food systems," tweeted Dr Dongyu.





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About The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a pioneering International Organization committed to developing and improving dryland farming and agri-food systems to address the challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and environmental degradation affecting the 2.1 billion people residing in the drylands of Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond.

ICRISAT was established under a Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of India and the CGIAR on the 28 March 1972. In accordance with the Headquarters Agreement, the Government of India has extended the status of a specified “International Organisation” to ICRISAT under section 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947 of the Republic of India through Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. UI/222(66)/71, dated 28 October 1972, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Our offices:

Asia: India (Headquarters - Hyderabad)

East and Southern Africa:  Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe

West and Central Africa: Mali, Niger, Nigeria

For all media inquiries, please email:

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Hyderabad, Telangana, India