Attendees Speak

The three-day international collaborative workshop titled “Harnessing Agricultural Education and Research for Rural Development”, held on December 19–21, 2011, at Hotel Radisson Blu, New Delhi, Dwarka, saw an international audience from academia as well as industry take active part and collaborate to share ideas on improving the food industry value chain in India.

Here’s a snapshot of what some of the participants had to say about the workshop.

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Prof. C. S. Prakash, Professor, Plant Molecular Genetics, Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA thanked all the participants who attended the Agricultural Innovation Partnership workshop. He added that being a part of the workshop was an enlightening and enriching experience for him. The workshop helped the participants understand many emerging issues related to agriculture and curriculum. The AIP program also gave them an opportunity to listen to a range of issues from different stakeholders who were also a part of the program. He concluded saying that the workshop boosted up self-confidence among the participants and during these three days helped them realize how to deal with agricultural education and extension better.



Prof. R. K. Rath, Dean, College of Fishery Sciences, Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Odisha, India thanked everyone saying that he was proud to be a part of the workshop and benefited from the sessions on agricultural education, extension and rural development. He also thanked all the participants for being a part of the workshop which motivated everyone to gain more experience and knowledge on agriculture.



Prof. Moses B. Kwapata, Principal, Bunda College of Agriculture, Africa thanked all the participants on behalf of Bunda College of Agriculture, University of Malawai and African colleagues and institutions. He also thanked all the organizers for giving him a chance to be a part of the AIP program which helped him learn and understand a lot about the processes adopted in agriculture in India as well as in other parts of the world.



Prof. Ramesh Kumar Singh, Professor of Agronomy, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India congratulated the organizers and participants on behalf of Banaras Hindu University for organizing the AIP workshop that sensitized the audience to agricultural education, extension and research activities. He was also grateful to the participants for sharing their presentations. Prof. Singh concluded by saying that the AIP program would go a long way to sustain the education system and research activities in India and around the world.



Dr. S. Senthil Vinayagam, Director, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India discussed the importance of the AIP workshop which focused on the present emerging issues on skill development, entrepreneurship development and public partnership. He was grateful that the workshop covered all these topics which are of major concern today. He said that the workshop highlighted some very important development areas and these played significant role in curriculum development as well as in developing the government and private sectors.



Dr. Archana Arya, Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology (SVPUA&T), Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India thanked the audience on behalf of the university and said that they were very proud to be a part of the AIP program. She also mentioned that the university gained a lot of knowledge through the AIP program and would also help in its progress. Dr. Arya added that with the new curriculum developed, SVPUA&T will be able to initiate industry-oriented programs in the university which would benefit the farmers and the education system in the near future.



Dr. Ashok Kumar, Prof., Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology (SVPUA&T), Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India congratulated the members and organizers who came up with informative presentations during the three days of the workshop. He added that being a part of the AIP program has helped him initiate special skill development training programs in the university with the assistance of Sathguru Management Consultants and its partners.



Dr. Mohammad Mukhtar Alam, Executive Director at Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development, New Delhi, India said that the AIP workshop has been an important platform to learn the current trends and challenges in agriculture. He thanked USAID, Cornell University and Sathguru Management Consultants for conducting the workshop which gave an opportunity to other partners to share their knowledge as well as concerns.



Dr. Alok Jha, Prof. & Head, Dept. of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India said that it was a great learning experience to attend the workshop with participants from the Indian agricultural universities and the US land-grant universities. Prof. Jha added that the major focus of the workshop was on bringing the partners together and working on curriculum development projects. He added that AIP aims at improving agriculture and education and producing graduates who can work towards uplifting the economic status of the Indian farmers. The workshop was a platform to develop the extension models. He added that AIP is acting as a great platform that has brought the Indian, US and African partners together.



Prof. C. Ramasamy, National Project Coordinator, AIP discussed the paradigm shift in Indian agriculture in the past few years and how such changes have led to a demand in high-quality human resources to meet the challenges. He added that agriculture has also become more diversified and with the growing demand it now needs better policies in place. Prof. Ramasamy also said that Indian agriculture needs to pursue agro-business activities and thus there is an urgent need to change university curricula to match this new demand. With this end in view, AIP aims at modifying curricula, help prepare graduates for the new market. In case of extension, public and private partnership, there is need for development and we must pool our resources and energy together to do a better job.



Prof. Max Pfeffer, Senior Associate Dean, Cornell University, New York, USA said that AIP has been introduced at the right time when we all needed to know and be aware of the future of agriculture, more so because of the huge demand made on food grain supply all over the world by an ever-increasing world population. Prof. Pfeffer also mentioned that the amount of interest expressed by ICAR and the state agricultural universities in the AIP program made it clear that curriculum reform is critical for ensuring a better future for agriculture. AIP is at the centre of the critical issues faced by India and the world



Dr. M. C. Das, Director of Research, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, India thanked Sathguru Management Consultants for organizing the AIP workshop which would help in all round development of agriculture in India in the near future.


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