Public-private partnership and impact of ICRISAT?s pearl millet hybrid parents research uri icon


  • Genetic improvement of pearl millet (Pennisetumglaucum) at the International Crops Research for theSemi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) initially had greateremphasis on population improvement and developmentof open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) compared to hybridsand hybrid parents development. By late 1990s, asignificant decline in OPV development occurred in theInstitute?s research program in the Asia region (Rai et al.2006), where India accounts for more than 90% of totalpearl millet area (10.5 million ha) in the region. Greateremphasis was placed on hybrid parents development toalign the research focus of the institute with the regionalpriority of the national agricultural research systems(NARS) and the rapidly expanding private seed sector. Astronger interaction with the Indian NARS, largely underthe umbrella of ICAR (Indian Council of AgriculturalResearch)-ICRISAT Research Partnership was formulated.The interaction with the private seed sector remainedinformal and passive, although it continued to deriveimmense economic benefits from ICRISAT?s researchproducts. With a view primarily to engage the privatesector in more active partnership to hasten the pace andscale of impact, and to generate research fund to providepartial support to pearl millet improvement research atICRISAT, a consortium model was conceptualized as themost appropriate among various partnership models,which became effective in 2000 (Gowda et al. 2003).This paper presents the evolution of this consortium, andexamines the impact of ICRISAT?s research in terms ofstrengthening the research programs of ICRISAT, NARSand the private sector, on-farm hybrid cultivar diversity,and increasing participation of the private sector in thedocumentation of achievements of research anddevelopment activities

publication date

  • 2007