Experiential Learning

Currently education in India is predominantly “classroom oriented” and lacks the real world exposure that is vital for holistic learning. Since agriculture plays a pivotal role in the Indian economy, global problems affect national agriculture in significant and complex ways. Therefore, agricultural students and professionals must be exposed to not only practical, but also experiential learning, in both agriculture and rural development sectors.

Updates

  • AIP’s e-learning and mobile solutions implementation team presented the transformative potential that its mobile solution (AIP Mobile) holds for extension professionals in improving farm productivity and farmers’ income. Presented during the 8th National Conference of KVKs in Bangalore on October 24 2013, the solution was appreciated by over five hundred KVK extension professionals who attended the session that was presided over by policy makers from ICAR, NAIP, Ministry of Agriculture and Govt of India, among others.

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  • Under the Agriculture Innovation Partnership (AIP) Program on “Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activities”, supported by USAID, a two day training program held from September 21-22, 2013 on vegetables and flower production technology at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Barkachha, Mirzapur was organized by Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

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  • The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) enabled a women’s self help group adopt the technology of preparing meat and fish pickle from Assam Agricultural University (AAU). In addition to adding to the variety of the Assamese plate, these products ease people’s access to cooked meat and fish, sans the trouble of cooking. The transfer of technology took place between AAU and Meghalee Food Products in Jorhat, Assam on 23 August, 2013.

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  • The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) in collaboration with All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA) and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) conducted a seminar cum training program titled “Chausa Mango Processing & Export Opportunities from Uttar Pradesh” on August 13, 2013 at Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The objective of the training program was to assist mango cultivators in boosting the production and imparting knowledge to improve the quality for export purposes.

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  • To shore up the dying jute industry and make farmers’ lives more stable, AIP under its Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activity (TDIIA) organized an awareness workshop titled “Commercialization of Jute Cultivation” on July 6, 2013 at Pratima Pande Baruah Auditorium, Bilasipara, Assam.

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  • To help farmers tackle the issues associated with crop loss, AIP organized a training program under its Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activity (TDIIA) at KVK, Nalbari on July 5, 2013. The training brought together 150 participants from different parts of Nalbari district.

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  • The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), under its Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activity (TDIIA) conducted an awareness-cum-training workshop titled “Profitable rice based cropping system” at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Sonitpur, Assam on 21 June, 2013. Conducted in association with Assam Agricultural University (AAU) the workshop sensitized the farmers on improved farming methods to enhance the production of rice while retaining soil’s moisture and nutrients.

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  • In an attempt to help farmers make efficient use of natural resources and improve productivity and income, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) sensitized the farmers on several critical aspects related to production and marketing. Under its Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activity (TDIIA), AIP conducted a workshop titled “Commercialization of Rice Production for Farmers” at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kaliapani, Jorhat on 17 June, 2013.

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  • In order to improve farmers’ understanding of these crucial aspects to enhance production and income, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) organized a two-day training program under its Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activities at Barkachha, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh on 15-16 June 2013. Supported by the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the program witnessed the participation of about 112 farmers.

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  • In its effort to promote sustainable agriculture and benefit the small tea growers of the region, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) organized an awareness program at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Dibrugarh, Assam on 14 June 2013 in association with the Directorate of Extension Education, Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat. About 119 small tea growers benefitted from the lectures and discussions that took place during the day-long program.

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  • The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) organized a two-day training-cum-exhibition program in association with the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University on May 5-6, 2013, at Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh under AIP’s Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activities, Phase-V (TDIIA-V), which benefited more than 120 farmers.

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  • Product development initiatives under the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) kick started with its first product trial for solar dried fruits in Coimbatore on April 3-5, 2013. Through development and commercialization of novel food products from locally available raw materials not only aims to enhance value of the selected products, but also creates an innovation ecosystem among universities to maximize income of farmers and small entrepreneurs.

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  • In a yet another significant step, AIP organized a farmer training initiative in association with Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to disseminate information on improved crop production techniques using technology. The two-day program, conducted on 3-4 April 2013 in Varanasi, witnessed several stalls manned by students, experts and agriculturists from across the state of Uttar Pradesh providing useful information on agriculture and crop management to the farmers.

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  • After the successful completion of Phase I, II & III of TDIIA in various districts of Uttar Pradesh last year, this year the program successfully completed phase IV on 12 March 2013 at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh.

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  • To provide exposure to experiential learning and build capacity among the students, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership sponsored several students and faculty members from the Indian and US universities to take part in the International Agriculture & Rural Development (IARD) program starting from January 4-16, 2013.

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  • In order to improve shelf life, taste and nutritional value of value-added food items using traditional as well as modern methods, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) organized a three-day training program for fruit and vegetable producers at the Department of Agricultural Engineering and Food Technology, College of Agriculture, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology from December 22-24, 2012.

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  • A five member team of experts from Tuskegee University, USA, visited Assam, India from December 7-21, 2012 to explore the fish industry and look at the possibility of enriching the fish market by introducing advanced fish-processing techniques and fish-based value-added products as part of the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP).

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  • The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) ignites agricultural entrepreneurship in Assam to make optimal use of the produce and reduce wastage, AIP converged international food expert, agriculturists, university faculty, entrepreneurs and students to organize a one-day workshop on entrepreneurship development in food processing on November 26, 2012 in the Assam Agricultural University Campus, Jorhat.

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  • To support the cause for clean milk production and product development in the dairy sector, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) in association with the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) and Purabi Dairy organized a full day training session on November 16, 2012 for the farmers on hygienic dairy farming practices on 16th November 2012 in Jorhat, Assam. Purabi dairy is the biggest of the three milk unions in Assam covering 4000 farmers and processing 40,000 litres of milk every day.

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  • With the successful completion of the first two phases of the Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activities (TDIIA) in Uttar Pradesh, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) launched the third phase of the program in various districts of the state. These trainings were carried out in a series from October 7-21, 2012 on several aspects of farming that included enhancing crop productivity and training farmers on how to deal with crops better using advanced technologies in contemporary farming practices to boost yield.

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  • The Natural Resource Management (NRM) team from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology (SVPUA&T), along with AIP private sector partner Tata Chemical Ltd (TCL) and Dr. Rattan Lal from The Ohio State University, have proposed a plan for balanced fertilization for improving soil quality and sustaining productivity of rice and wheat cropping sequences in Uttar Pradesh. As of July, 2012, both universities have completed site selection for conducting rice and wheat cropping field experiments and completed the collection of initial soil and ground water samples for soil and water analysis. Nursery raisings and sesbania sowings have also been completed by both universities. They have procured inputs from TCL and conducted field preparation and layout for the experiment. After collecting soil samples from different plots, both universities have determined the infiltration rate of different plots and allocated treatments and transplanted rice on the experimental fields based on their analyses.

  • Under the aegis of AIP, a training program for fruit and vegetable producers was organized by the Centre of Food Science and Technology (CFST), Institute of Agricultural Sciences, BHU, with support from USAID, March 13–15, 2012. The program focused on imparting training to scholars, producers and small-scale entrepreneurs from several Indian states on the best practices followed in the production of fruits and vegetables.

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  • AIP partner BHU conducted a technology dissemination and adoption workshop for improving the income of sweet makers and street food vendors in January 2012. Several renowned faculty members from India and the US, as well as experts from the Indian food industry, oriented the sweet makers and small scale food vendors on improving food quality and market access by sharing their food processing knowledge and expertise in order to enhance vendor income. They also discussed safe and hygienic methods of sweet preparation and improved packaging technology for promoting export.

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  • AIP supports interdisciplinary exchange among Indian and US faculty, staff and students. One way the project achieves this goal is through the participation of AIP collaborative partners from US and Indian universities in Cornell’s International Agricultural and Rural Development (IARD) 4020 and 6020 courses. In IARD 4020, students are exposed to a series of classroom lectures, e-lectures and online discussions that establish a global and regional context for sustainable agricultural development, with focus on specific developmental challenges in India. IARD 6020 begins with a 2-week-long field-study trip to India where US and Indian students and faculty come together to observe agricultural development challenges and methods discussed in IARD 4020. The first group of AIP sponsored students participated in the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters (August 2011 to March 2012) and included seven students and one faculty member from BHU and nine students and one faculty member from SVPUA&T. With the success of the first group, the second group of students was increased dramatically. Currently participating in the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters (August 2012 to March 2013) are two students from University of California, Davis; two students from the University of Georgia; three students from Tuskegee University; four students each from SVPUA&T, Bihar Agricultural University, Central Agricultural University, and Assam Agricultural University; and seven students from BHU. A designated faculty member from each university monitors their student’s participation.

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  • Since 2011, AIP has sponsored representatives from partnering Indian agricultural universities to participate in various Executive education programs, which are organized by Cornell University and Center for Executive Education at Sathguru Management Consultants, AIP collaborating partners. Sponsored programs include the Seed Industry Program, Food & Agri-Business Management Program and Global Food Safety Management Program. S. S. Vaish from BHU attended the Seed Industry Program held January 17-21, 2011, while fellow BHU faculty H. B. Singh, Alok Jha, Vijai P. and Pawan Kumar Singh attended the 2012 Seed program in Goa, held March 5-8, 2012. AIP sponsored six candidates to attend the Food & Agri-Business Management Program, held June 20-24, 2011, and the Global Food Safety Management Program, held August 22-25, 2011. The six attendees were Samsher Singh (SVPUA&T), Anil Sirohi (SVPUA&T), H. B. Singh (BHU), Alok Jha (BHU), Sanjay Kumar Singh (SVPUA&T) and Neelesh Chauhan (SVPUA&T). By participating in these renowned CEE programs, AIP representatives were provided the opportunity to learn from industry leaders and world class faculty members, through highly interactive sessions, on new technologies being used to improve the food and supply chain, new policies and regulations to make the system work effectively, exclusive trends initiating changes in customer handling and marketing strategies and more.

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  • Following the AIP “Harnessing Agricultural Education and Research for Rural Development” workshop held in December 19-21, 2011, in New Delhi, AIP partners visited Tata Kisan Sansar (TKS) center, TCL laboratory and farmers’ fields in Aligarh. The TCL laboratory, equipped with world-class research facilities, hosted a discussion on technology upgrades and dissemination to address farmers’ issues in the region. Later, the team paid visits to several farmers’ fields where TCL and John Deere demonstrated the positive effect that their interventions had made on the farmers’ fields and the tremendous results they had achieved in a short span of time with improved agricultural practices using disease-resistant hybrid seeds, seed sowing machines, water use efficiency practices, nutrient management practices and crop harvesting machines. The AIP team observed the visible impact of these activities on crop yield. The team later visited TCL’s training center where 60 unemployed youths were trained to meet the skilled manpower requirement in farm mechanization activities.

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  • AIP in its attempt to improve the income and livelihood of farmers thorough yield enhancement of wheat and sugarcane in various districts of Uttar Pradesh, organized extension and outreach activities across the state. The Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activities (TDIIA) were organized in collaboration with Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and TCL on 19, 21 & 23 December, 2011. About 80 farmers and 15 students participated in each of these events. The students (from SVPUA&T) were involved in a project dealing with improving the low yield of sugarcane in the region. The sugarcane producers were educated on the latest technical information with respect to modern sowing techniques, crop varieties, fertilizer doses and their application methods and factors hampering sugarcane cultivation in the region. They were also provided with information on ways to control insects/pests harmful to the crops and the major diseases affecting sugarcane.

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