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.