Prabhu Pingali:

Prabhu Pingali, Indian American director of the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition, has been named chair of the governing board of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. (cornell.edu photo)

Cornell University Nov. 4 announced that Prabhu Pingali, Indian American director of the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition, has been named chair of the governing board of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.

ICRISAT is an international organization focused on reducing hunger, poverty and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics.

The institute, which conducts development-related scientific research, is one of 14 research centers that comprise CGIAR. Formerly known as the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources, according to Cornell.

“It’s an honor to be named chair of the ICRISAT board,” Pingali said in a university report. “I have been a longtime admirer of ICRISAT’s research addressing the food security of poor farmers in the tropical drylands of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Its work is ever more important and urgent in the face of rapid climate change and resource degradation in these poorest regions of the world.”

Pingali has served on ICRISAT’s governing board since April 2019. The Indian American educator is a professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, with joint appointments in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, his bio notes.

At Cornell, Pingali leads an international team of researchers seeking to create and assess innovative, food systems-based approaches to reducing poverty, improving nutrition and enhancing livelihoods in the developing world.

Before joining Cornell as TCI’s founding director, Pingali served as deputy director of the Agricultural Development Division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2008 to 2013. He was director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Agriculture and Development Economics Division from 2002 to 2007. From 1987 to 2002, he held senior research and research management positions at two CGIAR centers, the bio added.

Pingali is a Foreign Fellow of India’s National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, member of the National Academy of Sciences, Distinguished Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association, and honorary life member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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