David Bergvinson

David Bergvinson Director General, ICRISAT, India

Dr. Bergvinson has a well-articulated passion for smallholder agriculture, and a strong desire to improve the lives of the hundreds of millions of impoverished small farmers and their families living in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. He regards himself as an agent of change, and he possesses a clear vision for how science and partnerships can come together to accelerate the pace of development in the world's poorest and most disadvantaged agrarian regions.
Prior to joining ICRISAT, Dr. Bergvinson was with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) as Senior Scientist (Entomologist) where he received the “Promising Young Scientist” award by CGIAR. He has over 45 refereed journal articles and four book chapters on plant biochemistry, host plant resistance in maize, integrated pest management and forest entomology. He later worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as Senior Program Officer in Agriculture Development managing crop improvement grants that involved public (national and international) research organizations, private sector and civil society organizations to develop stress-tolerant farmer-preferred varieties. In his last three years at BMGF, David led the Digital Design for Agriculture initiative to leverage cloud computing, mobile phones, remote sensing and genomics to accelerate the development, delivery and adoption of improved agricultural practices and market integration to enhance the profitability of smallholder farmers. He initiated the use of Value Chain Framework analysis and country strategies to anchor innovation around market demand and using digital technologies as a means to create equitable opportunities for the prosperity of smallholder farmers. Dr. Bergvinson is also an expert in Digital Agriculture and in this sessional talk will share his experiences in ICRISAT and Gates Foundation.

Since January 2015, Dr. Bergvinson has led ICRISAT with an emphasis on demand-driven innovation in its mandate crops (sorghum, millets, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut) across the dryland ecologies of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In partnership with governments and strategic partners, ICRISAT has developed country strategies aligned to national priorities. Applying cutting-edge science and models for rapidly scaling up adoption of farmer-preferred technologies, ICRISAT and its partners are bringing about rural prosperity, diet diversification to improve nutrition and restoring natural resources for future generations.

Inaugural Session

  • 21 November 2016
  • Ralph W Cummings Auditorium
  • 9:00 am - 10:45 am
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