The visit of Svenja Schulze, the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany, to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Mali was a significant event that emphasized the importance of strategic collaborations in promoting climate-resilient agriculture technologies and Smart Food crops.
During her visit on April 14th, Minister Schulze was impressed by ICRISAT's climate-smart initiatives.
"Sustainable agriculture is key to building a resilient future. Our collaboration with ICRISAT is critical to achieving the goals of enhancing food security and promoting sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change," said Minister Schulze.
Dr MacDonald Bright Jumbo, the Interim Country Representative of ICRISAT in Mali, delivered a welcome presentation, expressing gratitude for the longstanding partnership and collaboration between ICRISAT and the German Government through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
"Mali's agriculture is heavily reliant on rainfall, which makes the country vulnerable to the challenges posed by climate variability. ICRISAT-GIZ collaboration on irrigation and other interventions, implemented in collaboration with communities in Mali play a critical role in building the resilience of farming communities in the region," said Dr Jumbo.
"ICRISAT is committed to enhancing food security in Mali through the provision of high-quality seeds of nutritious and climate-resilient improved crop varieties, as well as by improving farm and food systems. Our efforts are aimed at creating a transformative and enabling environment that facilitates sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth," said Dr Jumbo.
In addition, ICRISAT drew attention to the International Year of Millets 2023, which aims to recognize the importance of millets in our food systems and their significant contribution to nutrition. Ms Agathe Diama, Head of Communications and Smart Food Coordinator at ICRISAT-West and Central Africa, presented ICRISAT's Smart Food initiative during the visit, showcasing the exhibit on millets.
Minister Schulze appreciated the Smart Food exhibition and expressed her willingness to spread the message about millets back in Germany with partners. The visit of the German Federal Minister underscored the critical role of partnerships and collaborations in promoting climate-resilient agriculture technologies and Smart Food crops in Mali and beyond.
Header image: Dr. MacDonald Bright Jumbo, the Interim Country Representative of ICRISAT in Mali and Svenja Schulze, the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany standing in a groundnut field.