Global cotton research and advisory body, International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), has elevated Keshav R Kranthi as the chief scientist.

The former director of Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, Kranthi had moved to Washington, US after ICAC appointed him as the head of technical services division in March 2017.

“Dr Keshav Kranthi — the globally renowned cotton scientist who has served as Head of Technical Services for the ICAC since 2017 — has been appointed Chief Scientist, reflecting recent changes both in his work and in the direction of the organisation,” an ICAC statement said on Tuesday.

Focus on projects

“The ICAC’s emphasis has changed in recent years from just providing technical information to taking a more active role in implementing the most cutting-edge science and best practices in cotton production and sustainability,” said Kai Hughes, Executive Director, ICAC.

ICAC has placed an increasingly greater emphasis on projects, innovation and technology.

“Implementing projects on the ground and developing international project-teams of cotton scientists are indicative of the fact that Dr Kranthi has taken on a more robust role as Chief Scientist,” he added.

The 58-year-old cotton scientist, during his term at CICR, had travelled extensively across India educating farmers and cotton stakeholders about the pink-bollworm infestations.

In the capacity of Chief Scientist at ICAC, Kranthi will now be providing technical leadership for collaborative projects across the globe. This is to shape the future research agenda for enhancement of soil health, sustainable yield improvement, efficient crop protection and development of digital tools for technology transfer. However, Kranthi will continue to develop and lead international project-teams of cotton scientists.

Formed in 1939, the ICAC is an association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. It provides transparency to the world cotton market by serving as a clearing house for technical information on cotton production; and serves as a forum for discussing cotton issues of international significance. It does not have a role in setting market prices or in intervening in market mechanisms.