Press Release

International Workshop on Harnessing Agricultural Education and Research for Rural Development

New Delhi | December 23, 2011: The USAID-supported Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), organized an international workshop on “Harnessing Agricultural Education and Research for Rural Development” on December 19 and 21, 2011, at the Radisson Blu Hotel Dwarka in New Delhi. Participants came from leading agricultural institutions in India, Africa, and the U.S., as well as from industry and policy planning organizations.

The group discussed some key changes required in Indian agricultural university curriculum to address the challenges faced by the agricultural sector today. These included strengthening curricula in agriculture, biotechnology, food science and processing, dairy science, animal science, and veterinary medicine.

Discussions also focused on human resource requirements in agricultural extension and the inclusion of gender initiatives in agricultural curricula. The participants also discussed ways to increase awareness of the latest agricultural technologies among small and marginal farmers as well as small rural enterprises to help them enhance their incomes.

“People who live on less than $1.25 per day face issues related to poverty, hunger, and child malnutrition. By improving farmers’ access to the latest agricultural knowledge, we can help them improve their livelihoods.” said Gary Robbins, Director of the office of Food Security at USAID/India.

“Innovative curricula and extension models are needed to improve the agri-technology and management support that graduates provide to the agricultural sector in India,” said Max Pfeffer, Senior Associate Dean at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

About AIP: The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) seeks to modernize agricultural curriculum and extension services in select agricultural universities in India in order to increase agricultural productivity and strengthen food security in India and across the world. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year project comprises a consortium of Indian and U.S. land-grant universities (Cornell, Illinois, Georgia, The Ohio State, Tuskegee, and UC-Davis) and private sector partners that include John Deere, Tata Chemicals Ltd, and Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

About USAID: In partnership with the Government of India, USAID/India funds activities in the areas of health, clean energy and environment, water, food security, disaster management, and education.

Workshop Participants: The consortium of scientists, policy planners, extension specialists, and agricultural leaders who met in New Delhi came from several institutions that are spread across three continents including ICAR, Banaras Hindu University, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology and other state agricultural universities in India; six land-grant universities in the U.S. – Cornell University, The University of Georgia, the University of Illinois, Tuskegee University, the University of California-Davis and The Ohio State University; the Egerton University, Kenya, and Bunda College of Agriculture, Malawi, in Africa. Private and public sector partners including Tata Chemicals Ltd., Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Coca-Cola India, Haldiram’s Food International Ltd., as well as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management also participated in the workshop.

For more information, please contact:
K. Vijayaraghavan
Regional Project Coordinator, AIP
Ph: +91 40 3016 0203, 3016 0333

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