Sunday, January 18, 2009

Innovative Farming

One of the major obstacles standing in the way of achieving the Millennium Goals is the agricultural challenge in dry regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Short growing seasons separated by hot and dry periods, droughts, low soil fertility, and pests create a very difficult environment for farming. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) works on developing scientific innovations to help farmers fight these conditions. They study crops such as pearl millet, sorghum, chickpea, pigeonpea, and groundnut. ICRISAT focuses on improving the productivity of the crop, developing early maturing varieties and hybrids, and developing drought and disease tolerance.