Institution: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
Padmaja R Kamtam is currently working for the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics as a Scientific Officer in the Socioeconomics and Policy Program of the institute. Her job responsibilities include Poverty and Gender Analysis in research technology design and diffusion for the semi-arid tropics, assisting in writing research project proposals for complementary funding, survey questionnaire designing, primary and secondary level data collection, conducting PRAs and RRAs, consistency check and validation of data, data analysis (using statistical packages), report writing, graphic representations, preparation of presentations and documentation of the results. She is also actively involved in computerisation of the databases of the program onto a Graphical User Interface.
She holds a masters degree from the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, Hyderabad, India with specialization in Human Development and Family Studies. Awarded 'College of Home-Science Gold Medal' by Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University for scoring highest Overall Grade Point Average (OGPA) in the M.Sc Program.
Title: Enhancing research-poverty alleviation linkages: The ICRISAT experience. Co-authors: D. Parthasarathy, C. Bantilan.
The semi-arid tropics (SAT) are home to 380 millions of the worlds poor. ICRISAT, since its inception, has therefore had a primary focus on putting in place mechanisms, which would strengthen the linkages between agricultural research and poverty alleviation. The political economy as well as the agro-ecological conditions of the SAT region are considered in the development of the research agenda of ICRISAT. Pioneering village level studies and research on distributional effects, risk, gender dimensions, nutrition, and employment were carried out which fed into the research process for agricultural innovations. Poverty alleviation or changes in welfare are shown to be influenced by adoption of agricultural innovation and also by other factors including socio-economic conditions, policy environment, and infrastructure facilities. Since most of SAT is ecologically fragile, the linkage between resource degradation and poverty is given prime emphasis. Of equal importance is research carried out on developing improved varieties of ICRISAT's mandate crops which significantly enhanced crop yields and quality. Unlike the green revolution which was not scale-neutral, and which increased farmer dependence on a variety of rural and urban institutions, ICRISAT focussed on open pollinated varieties, which significantly empowered them. The paper presents methodologies developed at ICRISAT, which help to assess and enhance research-poverty alleviation linkages. The paper illustrates studies carried out to show positive impact particularly on the livelihood of the poor.
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