Annual meeting reviews achievements and sets up work plans

Annual meeting reviews achievements and sets up work plans

DDG-R Dave Hoisington and Director ICRISAT ESA Said Silim with participants of the HOPE Annual Review and Work Plan meeting

DDG-R Dave Hoisington and Director ESA Said Silim with participants of the ICRISAT-HOPE Annual Review and Work Plan meeting

Members of the ICRISAT-HOPE project had their first Annual Review-2009 and Work Plan-2010 meeting for pearl millet (Asia) with new partners at Patancheru on 11 and 12 May. DDG-R Dave Hoisington welcomed the participants and highlighted the need for developing good work plans for the project to accomplish real achievements.

Said Silim, the Principal Investigator of the project and CLL Gowda GTL-Crop Improvement, also welcomed the participants. Thirteen scientists from Choudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (Hisar), Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University (Bikaner), Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (SK Nagar) and Junagarh Agricultural University (Junagarh) took part in this event. Two scientists from the private sector (Bayer Biosciences and Bioseed), one from an NGO (Gravis) and 19 from ICRISAT were also present.

Project Manager George Okwach chaired the meetings and presented an overview of the project covering all six objectives and three regions. During deliberations, progress reports for 2009 were presented by MCS Bantilan, P Parthasarthy Rao and VR Kiresur on objectives 1 and 5. CT Hash explained work done with regard to objective 3 and SK Gupta talked about the achievements of objective 6. Work plans for 2010 were finalized after detailed discussions with the partners. Most of the project activities are progressing well and the project objectives and activities were found well-aligned and integrated to achieve the planned milestones in time. The group decided to revise timelines for some activities of the first year, which were delayed due to unavoidable circumstances.

The meeting with partners also saw discussions on all administrative and technical measures required to speed up the achievement of milestones under different objectives. Partners were briefed about the financial and technical reporting procedures. IS Khairwal, Project Coordinator for pearl millet, encouraged national partners to meet the deadlines and BVS Reddy (sorghum) shared his experiences in the project and helped the group resolve various technical issues.

Okwach thanked the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for providing the opportunity to enhance the productivity and production of two important semi-arid cereals. He urged partners to sign the sub-agreements with ICRISAT within two weeks. He also called for a united and dedicated approach to fulfilling the agenda and mandate of the project by setting their eyes on the milestones and impacts. KN Rai proposed the vote of thanks.