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Former New Zealand PM affirms support to ICRISAT

Posted on Aug 25 2014 | IANS

Hyderabad, Aug 25 : Former New Zealand prime minister James Bolger, who has been nominated as the goodwill ambassador of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), has affirmed his support for science-based solutions to poverty and hunger.

William Dar, director general of ICRISAT, Monday presented a special plaque to Bolger during a meeting in Wellington, New Zealand, a statement by ICRISAT said here.

The global research institute is headquartered at Patancheru near Hyderabad.

"The world will have to feed 10 billion people by 2050. Today, a billion people are hungry and about 3 billion are not eating well.

"To overcome poverty, hunger and malnutrition, science is an essential component that must be behind all our efforts," said Bolger, who is also chair of the World Agricultural Forum (WAF) Advisory Board.

"ICRISAT plays an important role in this, particularly in the drylands that are resource-poor, marginal environments of the world.

"I am pleased and proud to be an ambassador of goodwill for the work of ICRISAT," the statement said quoting the former New Zealand prime minister.

Bolger had agreed to become an ICRISAT ambassador during the World Agricultural Forum Congress (WAF) held in Hyderabad last year.

"We cannot be any prouder of all our Ambassadors of Goodwill, who have agreed to work closely with us and serve as our voices, in order to make a difference for the poor farmers throughout Asia and Africa," said William Dar.

The ICRISAT ambassadors of goodwill include Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates, renowned Indian scientist and former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, father of India's green revolution M.S. Swaminathan, India's top woman shuttler Saina Nehwal and Nigeria's agriculture minister Akinwumi Adesina.

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