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24/06/2011: International Crops Research Institute Director-General Calls on Ambassador Cuisia

Ambassador Jose Cuisia (center) with Dr. William Dar (right) and Dr. Josyline Javelosa (left), Agricultural Attache of the Philippine Embassy.

Shown in the photo above is Ambassador Jose Cuisia (center) with Dr. William Dar (right) and Dr. Josyline Javelosa (left), Agricultural Attache of the Philippine Embassy.

24 June 2011, Washington DC. Dr. William Dar, the first Filipino and Asian Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) called on Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. last June 22 while in Washington, D.C. for meetings concerning the U.S.’ Feed the Future Initiative.

ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, India, and belongs to the Consortium of Centers, which includes the International Rice Research Institute, and is supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ICRISAT conducts research on five highly nutritious, drought-tolerant crops – chickpea, pigeonpea, pearl millet, sorghum and groundnut. It also develops sustainable management of semi-arid tropic systems through efficient and sustainable management of natural resources, and enables policies and institutions for improving livelihoods and achieving food, nutrition and health security while protecting the environment.

Dr. Dar informed Ambassador Cuisia that among the crops being worked on at ICRISAT, sweet sorghum has great potential to be grown in the Philippines as a source of bioethanol. He also highlighted that food, energy and water security issues are important international cooperation areas to focus on and that enhancing the human and institutional capacity of the Philippines in these areas is crucial in achieving broad-based economic development and national security in the country.

Ambassador Cuisia noted that food security is a priority of the Aquino administration.  President Benigno S. Aquino III has advocated improvements in the country’s agricultural infrastructure and the introduction of appropriate technologies to increase productivity.

Dr. Dar was Philippine Secretary of Agriculture in 1998 and had a long and distinguished career as an educator, agricultural scientist, administrator and humanitarian.  He has received a number of awards and honors, including the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines, Outstanding Young Scientist of the Year, Crop Science Society of the Philippines' Achievement Award for Research Management and Outstanding Science Administrator.  END