Innovations in Agricultural Education and Extension Systems: Outcomes and Lessons Learned

20-21 January | New Delhi

The two day long workshop on the impact made under USAID funded Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) was successfully concluded in New Delhi. The workshop saw a convergence of all AIP partners, USAID, ICAR, government departments, private sector and academic leaders from other institutions, bringing them on a single platform to discuss the innovations that have been made in agricultural education and extension systems at partner institutes Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Sardar Vallabhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology (SVPUAT) under AIP.

Over the course of two days, participants deliberated on various interventions that have been made in AIP and the impact it has made in partner institutions. The workshop was an ideal platform to share lessons learned from AIP; ICAR projects on successful intervention to policy makers and other stakeholders of Indian agriculture. Through brainstorming, the workshop facilitated the development of an innovative curriculum addressing domestic and global market needs; and initiated interactions and collaborations among diverse players engaged in exchanging knowledge and delivering technologies. Through panel discussions and presentations, the participants deliberated on ways to move forward and discussed the scope of AIP in other developing countries. The event had panel discussions on various thematic areas viz curriculum development for producing next generation workforce, new paradigm in knowledge delivery, ICT & agriculture extension and role of universities in small and medium enterprise development. “AIP provided Cornell University a unique opportunity to bring together a consortium of US land grant universities to work with Indian agricultural universities to improve the curriculum and extension components. The innovative models introduced under AIP have proved to be successful here and I think these time tested models can be replicated in other universities as well to make an impact. This project has truly been a catalyst for change and has benefitted the Indian agriculture immensely”, said Dr. K. V. Raman, Associate Director, Special Projects, CALS, Cornell University.

The agriculture sector in India has witnessed unprecedented transformation over the years and agricultural production has evolved in tune with shifts in consumer demand and preference for finished food products. Today, farming in India has become more complex due to worldwide socio-economic changes and these dynamics require revamped agricultural education, research and extension systems.

Over the last three years, the USAID funded Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) has made unique interventions to reduce rural poverty and hunger in the Indo-Gangetic plains by improving agricultural education through curriculum development and improving farmer productivity through innovative extension activities. The project, led by Cornell University and Sathguru Management Consultants, has facilitated faculty exchange programs that have led to curriculum reforms and technology transfer at partnering Indian Institutions; introduced innovative models such as e-learning and centers for teaching excellence for effective knowledge delivery; facilitated university-industry partnerships that have enhanced technology access to smallholder farmers and local enterprises. AIP’s engagement with private sector has also resulted in the development of first of its kind innovative extension models such as mobile solutions. Many of AIP innovations are suitable for replication in other universities. “AIP created and demonstrated effective models for Agriculture Universities to engage in technology transfer to farmers and small enterprises thereby demonstrating the regional economic impact these innovations can create”, said Vijayaraghavan, CEO, Sathguru Management Consultants.

Click to View: Agenda 
Click to View: Workshop Presentations  

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