Anthony Whitbread is the Director of the Resilient Dryland Systems Program within the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) since 2014. This team of 30+ scientists he leads works with smallholder farming communities across south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in a research for development mode to better manage climatic risk, soil fertility and identify market led development opportunities.  This role was preceded by a 20 year research career -after earning a PhD from the University of New England, Armidale in 1997. His work was recognised with the 2014 CSIRO medal for ‘Impact from Science’ for having profound impact on the adoption of water use efficient practices in the Australian Grains Industry.  Anthony is the r4D panel Chair for food Security in the Swiss National Research Foundation and performs editorial duties for several prominent agricultural journals.

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Most farmers in Western Rajasthan, India face an uncertain, impoverished future. The region is affected by frequent droughts, over-exploitation of groundwater, deteriorating soil and water quality, low productivity, weak institutions, malnutrition, continuously decreasing landholding size, and a burgeoning population of 28 million. With …

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