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I first met Madam Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, at FAO and invited her to come to MSSRF when she visited India. She came in 2009 and spent some time with us. She was very impressed with our projects such as the Village Knowledge Centres and seawater farming for coastal area prosperity, especially the work done in transferring genes from mangroves to rice. She personally signed the MOU between the Government of Chile and MSSRF for working together in spreading the Village Knowledge Centre movement in Chile and for promoting the integrated coastal zone management programme. Our collaboration is still going on in the fields of science, technology, agriculture, particularly information technology.

Shortly afterwards, on her invitation, I went to Santiago with some of our scientists. Madame Bachelet asked me to address the Members of Parliament on recent developments in agriculture.  We had a very good visit and there was very warm hospitality. The Universidad de Talca gave mean honorary doctorate.

When she was at MSSRF, Madame Bachelet was also highly taken up with our pro-women mandate. When in 2011, she was appointed the first Executive Director of UN Women and she recommended it to other institutions and said they should have gender sensitivity in their programmes.