Press Release
AIP in Harness with AAU to Create Value Added Products from Agricultural Waste

Jorhat, Assam | December 4-5, 2012: The Assam Agricultural University (AAU) under the aegis of the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) plans to take a pivotal role in disseminating among entrepreneurs and NGOs technologies to produce marketable products from agricultural waste. Towards this end, AAU is organizing a workshop on December 4 and 5, 2012 on developing and marketing innovative, value-added products from agricultural waste. Dr. Anil Netravali, faculty from Cornell University and an expert in fiber science technology will be spearheading the workshop along with faculty from the North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) and AAU.In order to accelerate growth in the agricultural sector in the north-eastern region of India, AIP aspires, through such workshops, to create an innovation-based ecosystem where every product and byproduct of agriculture contributes to the profitability of the value chain and thus empowers the farming and rural community. AIP, a project funded by the USAID, is a consortium of leading agricultural universities and institutions in India and US and supported by private partners in India, is managed by Sathguru Management Consultants.

Assam being an agriculture-driven state generates copious amounts of agricultural waste. In the present scenario, there is no proper utilization of the non-edible parts of plants like leaves, stems, etc., which could be converted into good sources of energy, fiber, composite material, useful chemicals, etc. These non-edible parts not only go waste but burden farmers with the additional costs of disposing them. Burning such wastes in the open, a usual practice, creates environmental pollution. Therein lies potential for commercial utilization of agricultural waste that can serve the dual purpose of augmenting farmer’s income as well as promoting entrepreneurship and employment at the rural level.

Highlighting the significance of the workshop, Dr Suresh D., General Manager–Life Sciences Advisory Group at Sathguru Management Consultants said, “Educating the people on the environmental issues associated with the storage and handling of agricultural waste will help to mitigate the harmful impact of waste on ecosystems. This will also foster the manufacture of environment-friendly products using such waste with little inherent value, which can provide benefits to other agricultural or non-agricultural sectors. Moreover, promoting the use of agricultural waste as a value-added product will help the products to be perceived as a marketing opportunity, and not a waste product, thus mitigating the environmental impact.”

Dr. Binita Kalita, faculty at AAU, who is instrumental in organizing this workshop, indicated that more than 30 entrepreneurs and NGOs involved in handling agricultural waste would participate and benefit from this workshop. On the occasion, Dr Kalita said, “A first-of-its-kind initiative in the region, the workshop will facilitate the unique opportunity of finding value-added uses of agricultural waste which is a world-wide industry concern. This unique initiative by AIP will provide platform for all the stakeholders to work together and develop sustainable solutions for the growth of the agricultural sector in Assam.”

About AIP
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), a five-year project, comprises a consortium of Indian Agricultural Universities and land-grant universities in the US (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. AIP believes in fostering change in the capabilities of Indian universities to deliver innovative pedagogical practices and to maximize institutional impact by promoting holistic transformation in Indian agriculture. AIP fosters innovation ecosystems within the rural setup to maximize income and enhance sustainability.

About Assam Agricultural University
Assam Agricultural University is the first institution of its kind in the whole of North-eastern Region of India. The main goal of this institution is to produce globally competitive human resources in farm sector and to carry out research in both conventional and frontier areas for production, optimization as well as to disseminate the generated technologies as public good for the benefit of the food growers/producers and traders involved in the sector while emphasizing on sustainability, equity and overall food security at household level.

About Sathguru Management Consultants
Sathguru Management Consultants is a multifaceted advisory firm providing strategic, technological, functional and sectoral advisory services to an international clientele. Sathguru is among the largest strategy and technology management advisory firm for the life sciences sector that covers a broad spectrum of industries including agriculture, food, retail, animal sciences and health care. Sathguru’s development efforts are carried out in partnership with domestic and international development partners. Sathguru has pioneered creation of public-private partnerships for advancement of life science research, skill development and technology commercialization.

For details, contact:
Dr. Suresh Damodaran
General Manager – Life Sciences Advisory Group
Sathguru Management Consultants
Phone: + 91 40 3016 0207, 3016 0333 | Fax: +91 40 4004 0554

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