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AIP review team visit Indian Partner Institutes

April 25th, 2018 by
An external review team from USAID visited the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, BHU from 18 to 20 June, 2014. The team led by Dr. Mark Balschweid, Senior Agriculture Specialist, Social Impact, Inc. and Dr. RajagopalArunachalam, Agriculture Specialist, Social Impact, Inc., visited the campus to assess the various components that have been implemented in the university under AIP so far. The team was accompanied by Dr. KV Raman, International Coordinator, Dr. Suresh Damodaran, Program Coordinator, Dr. C Ramasamy, National Coordinator and Mr. Ananthan Murthy, Information Specialist.

Day 1 (June 18, 2014):
The team began with a visit to the agricultural farm, where the experiments on Natural Resource Management techniques (NRM) are being conducted for last two years. The team also visited Center of Food Science and Technology and interacted with the faculty and students involved in developing unique food products under the initiatives of AIP. During the interaction, the Coordinator apprised the team on various capacity building activities organized for different stakeholders under AIP.

Day 2 (June 19, 2014):
The day began with the USAID team visiting Dr. LalJiSingh, Vice Chancellor, BHU. They were briefed on various concerns afflicting the small and regional farmers in Uttar Pradesh. Dr. Singh apprised the team that programs like TDIIA has direct relevance at grass root level to improve the income status of farming community and he emphasized that the adoption of new technologies have risen after the implementation of TDIIA under AIP. Prof. A.K Singh, then presented a detailed report where he mentioned that 14 TDIIA were conducted in villages where more than 1200 farmers participated. The review team also interacted with Prof. S.P Singh on the progress of new diploma course launched on Seed Production and marketing.

The team visited the university library and discussed with Dr. A.K. Srivastava, University Librarian, who highlighted the successful inception of cyber library through the support of AIP. The team later toured the media production studio and e-learning laboratory set up under USAID funding. Prof. Rakesh Singh, Activity Coordinator, made a presentation on activities undertaken in e-learning such as content capturing, lecture uploading and site updation to help students access lectures online. He briefed the team on IT awareness certificate programs being imparted to sensitize the faculty on newer ways of education delivery through modern technological tools.

The team interacted with students and faculty to assess the impact of these various programs implemented under AIP. Dr. R.P Singh, Project Coordinator, AIP, presented a detailed overview of various activities carried out under AIP and discussed the future course of action with the team members.

Day 3 (June 20, 2014):
The team visited the Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, BHU in Mirzapur to witness an ongoing TDIIA program and interacted with the farmers to assess the benefits availed through these activities. Later, they paid a visit to the newly established site of College of Veterinary Sciences.

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

January 21st, 2016 by

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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AIP conducts teaching excellence workshop in SVPUAT

August 20th, 2014 by

19-20 August, 2014 | Meerut

With an aim to improve the teaching skills and learning experience of students, a workshop on Teaching Interest and Basics of excellent teaching was held at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology (SVPUAT), Meerut on 19-20 August, 2014. More than thirty professors attended the workshop conducted by Centre of Teaching Excellence at SVPUAT under the AIP project. “I have been longing to give lecture in this regard since a long time and I am glad that a workshop on Excellence in Teaching is being conducted at our university” said the honourable Vice Chancellor of SVPUAT, Dr H S Gaur. He stressed on the importance of innovation in teaching and improvising teaching techniques based on students’ needs. Prof. C S Prasad, Registrar, SVPUAT, Dr S K Garg, Director, CAEHS, Prof Y Vimala, CSS university, Dr A M Bendre, Meerut College inspired the audience with their words of wisdom and by sharing their experiences. They spoke on various topics like communication, interest, aptitude, passion and quality of teachers.

Prof S K Bhatnagar, Component director, Teaching Excellence AIP at SVPUAT, helped summarize previous day’s discussion. Dr Neerja Saxena, Head, Education Department, Meerut College introduced the teachers to participatory classroom teaching. To keep students engaged in the classroom, she suggested use of techniques like group discussions, question and answer sessions and group learning. The participants were actively involved in the workshop during the session as well as the group discussion conducted by Prof. A K Srivastava, Former Pro-VC, CSS University. Lecturers who attended this workshop as participants would surely be better equipped to handle their classes henceforth.

AIP conducts media production and video editing training workshop at SVPUAT, Meerut

August 11th, 2014 by
11 -12 August, 2014 | Meerut

The Agricultural Innovation Partnership took another successful step to leverage upon the capacity built at Assam Agriculture University in the area of ‘Media production and content development for e-learning courses’ under the project. Dr. Jyoti Gogoi (AAU, Jorhat) who had earlier received training at Cornell University, Ithaca in ‘various techniques of video lecture capturing and editing’, visited SVPUAT, Meerut along with Sathguru team to pass on that expertise to faculty and resources at SVPUAT. The two day workshop held on August 11 & 12, 2014 was highly appreciated by the management and faculty. The faculty underwent this comprehensive and hands-on training to make their teaching material and methods more interesting and interactive.

Various aspects of media production including hardware & server set up, camera set up, audio set up, camera focus, zoom-in & zoom-out techniques along with video-PowerPoint synchronization, data management, etc were covered during the two-day long workshop. As part of the e-learning initiative under AIP, faculty at SVPUAT is equipped to capture lectures and upload it on the e-learning portal developed for the same purpose.

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AIPs training on cyber library helps BHU build its second cyber library

July 4th, 2014 by
04 July | Varanasi

After successfully launching its first cyber library with the assistance from AIP, Banaras Hindu University has taken a step forward by establishing a second cyber library in its campus. The second phase of the cyber library, which marked the completion of the project, was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor of BHU on 02 July, 2014. With nearly 500 workstations and 455 computers, the library will provide access to over 14,000 journals and other materials to the students. The library will be accessible to students 24×7 without any charges being imposed on them.

“This is easily Asia’s biggest cyber library provided by a university free of charge. We would not be surprised if it turns out to be the biggest such facility in the world. It is definitely among the biggest. During the last academic session the cyber library was used more than 5 lakh times. The faculty, students and staff downloaded more than 12 lakh scientific research”, said University librarian Dr. A K Srivastava, BHU.  Working in alliance with Sathguru Management Consultants, the implementing partner of AIP, the university was introduced to the concept of developing a cyber library that would benefit thousands of students.  Through its various workshops, AIP sensitized universities on the importance of creating cyber libraries and ways to improve library science development.  The library is expected to be extended to the faculty level in the coming days. “AIP appreciates the efforts taken by Dr. Srivastava in expanding the cyber library and delivering this innovative model to thousands of students who will benefit”, said Dr. Suresh, Program Coordinator, AIP.

The library has been funded primarily by the Maharaja of Baroda Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. “The building is ours while the equipment has been provided by the Maharaja. The total cost of the project is Rs 10 crore,” said Dr Srivastava.

The facility will be very useful for especially poor students, most of whom hail from backward areas and cannot afford to buy a laptop. While each workstation has been provided with a cubicle, the facility will also provide a separate area for those using their laptops. The Vice Chancellor during his speech emphasized on the problems of information overloading and the need to classify e-resources effectively to ensure valuable efforts of researchers and other users could be benefitted. The facility will be open to outsiders intending to use after a thorough screening.

 

AIP trains farmers on better sugarcane yielding practices

July 3rd, 2014 by

03 July, 2014 | Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

A day long training program was conducted for farmers in Ghaziabad on 3rd July 2014 to improve their yield of sugarcane.The program commenced at 10 am at KVK Muradnagar. Close to 100 farmers from the surrounding areas participated in the program. The program was chaired and summarized by Dr. Babu Ram, Director Extension and hosted by Dr. Vipin Sharma, SMS Agronomy, KVK, Muradnagar Key delegates present at the event were Director Extension Dr.Baburam, Components director Dr Ashok Kumar, DR Satendra Kumar Khari, Associate Director Extension,Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology (SVPUA&T), Mr. Bob Reseguie, Dr. Mark Balschweid,Dr. Rajagopal Arunachalam, Dr Suresh, AIP program coordinator and officials from Tata Chemicals Limited participated in the training. The program was jointlyorganized by AIP, SVPUA&T and Tata Chemicals Ltd.

Dr Hans Raj Singh, Program Coordinator, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Muradnagar welcomed the participants and briefed about the KVK. Dr. Ashok Kumar, Coordinator of the project, briefed the participants on the significance and necessity of this program. Dr. Hans Raj Singh delivered a lecture on sugarcane cultivation emphasizing the practical approaches that could be taken by the farmers to enhance productivity. The sugarcane producers benefited from the technical information and got to know more about sowing techniques, varieties of sugarcane, fertilizer dosage and their application methods, factors hampering sugarcane cultivation in the region,etc. Dr. Arvind Kumar, SMS Plant Protection, KVK, Muradnagar briefed the participants on ways to control harmful insects and pests and the major diseases affecting sugarcane. During his technical session, Dr. Kumar laid special emphasis on Integrated Pest Management techniques.

Later in the day, TCL representative briefed the participants on customized fertilizers and PARAS formula with special emphasis on the cost benefit ratio of the fertilizers. During the sessions, several queries were raised by farmers on crop protection/management, productivity enhancement.

Reviewers from USAID discussed with the KVK team, TCL representative and Dr Ashok Kumar about their role in these activities. Dr. Hansraj Singh, Program Coordinator, KVK, Muradnagar Ghaziabad thanked all the participants for their active participation.

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Chicken and Fish pickle from AIP, a hit among local entrepreneurs

June 25th, 2014 by
Nagaon, Assam

After enabling Meghalee Food Products adopt the technology of preparing meat and fish pickle from Assam Agricultural University (AAU), the Agricultural Innovation Partnership, yet again facilitated the adoption of this successful technology to JM Foods, a local enterprise in Assam. The chicken and fish pickle was commercially launched on 25 June, 2014 in Nagaon, Assam. Key delegates from AIP and AAU were present during the product launch. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Jerna Medhi, Proprietor, JM Foods, said, “ We are very grateful to Agricultural Innovation Partnership & Assam Agricultural University for helping us in adopting this technology and in creating these pickles. The hands-on training we received from AIP program has benefitted us enormously”.

Earlier this year, AIP facilitated a MoU between AAU and JM Foods. It was followed by a day long training workshop to JM Foods, focusing on aspects like recipe, production process, hygiene, quality control, ingredient specification, regulatory aspects, food safety measures, labeling, pricing and product distribution strategy. A pilot batch of both chicken and fish pickle were prepared under the guidance of product developers from AAU during the workshop. “I must thank AIP for its support in creating a positive environment that motivates AAU faculty to develop innovative products and it has helped to change people’s perceptions about Agricultural Universities”, said Dr. M. Hajarika, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Science. The training program was helpful in sensitizing JM Foods on various practices to be followed while manufacturing the products.

AIP-AAU’s successful development of fish & meat pickle has gained popularity in Assam since its technology transfer to local entrepreneurs earlier in 2013. Though these products were known to be popular among local consumers, a methodological consumer research done by Sathguru Management Consultants established the demand and hence commercial viability of the products. This motivated the developer and entrepreneur to adopt and commercialize the product.

Meghalee Food Products, who adopted this technology in 2013, has gained good market share in Assam for the products. “These products have been in great demand ever since we launched it in the market. These pickles have a longer shelf life than similar products available in the market and have better nutritional value”, said Mrs. Meghalee Bora, Proprietor, Meghalee Food Products.

By looking at the popularity of the products, JM Foods decided to adopt this technology of manufacturing pickles from AAU, Jorhat. The ever growing demand for value added healthy and tasty food products has made it possible for numerous small entrepreneurs in growing their business and also provided employment opportunities for the local community.

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AIP sensitizes farmers on increasing production and productivity of agricultural crops

June 21st, 2014 by

20-21 June, 2014 | Mirzapur

A two-day long training programme was organized at Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, Barkachha on 20-21 June, 2014 by Institute of Agricultural Sciences, BHU in collaboration with USAID under AIP’s “Technology Dissemination and Income Improvement Activities”. The main objective of the programme was to sensitize the farmers on ways to increase production and productivity of agricultural crops by following scientific methods of farming suited to their agro-climatic conditions and market demand.

Key delegates present during the programme were Prof. Ravi Pratap Singh, Director, IAS- BHU, Dr. Mark Balschweid, Agriculture Specialist, Social Impact, Inc., Prof. Arun Kumar Singh, Deptt. of extension Education, Dr. K.V.Raman, Professor, CALS, Cornell University, Dr. Rajgopal Arunachalam,  Agriculture Specialist, Social Impact, Inc., Mr. Chandan K. Samal, Project Development Specialist, Dr. Suresh D, Programme Coordinator, AIP, Prof. Anil Kumar Singh, Dept. of Horticulture, Prof. Ramadevi Nimmanapalli, Dept. of Microbiology, Prof. Sri Ram Singh, Programme Co-ordinator KVK, Barkaccha, Dr. O.P.Mishra, Dept. of Extension Education, Dr. A.K. Pal, Mr. Vipram Chourasia, STA, IAS, BHU,  Mr. Abhishek Pratap Singh and Mr. Mohammad Hashim, Research Scholars, Dept. of Extension Education, IAS, BHU. Over the course of two days, many farmers from Mirzapur District attended the programme.

The training programme was coordinated by Dr. O.P. Mishra, Prof. A.K. Singh, Head, Dept. of Extension Education & Dy. Coordinator (AIP) introduced the participants and threw light on the objectives of the programme. He highlighted the achievements made under AIP and encouraged the farmers to participate in these knowledge imparting programmes.

The chief guest, Prof. Ravi Pratap Singh, Coordinator (AIP), Director, IAS- BHU, introduced the objectives and theme of the programme. He said the main theme of the programme is to increase the production and productivity of agricultural crops followed by scientific methods of cultivation of regional crops like paddy, maize etc. He also interacted with the participants on basic problems on marketing of agricultural products and thanked the whole team of USAID for their significant contribution towards agricultural sector.

Later in the session, Dr. Mark Balschweid, Agriculture Specialist, Social Impact, Inc. interacted with farmers and asked their opinion about how TDIIA activities could be more effective. Dr. Rajgopal Arunachalam, Agriculture Specialist, Social Impact, Inc. also interacted with the farmers and praised them for their energetic presence and regular participation in AIP training programme. Mr. Chandan K. Samal, Project Development Specialist made the farmers aware of the basic theme of AIP.

An interaction session was held in which farmers got answers to their crop related problems from Prof. Ramesh Chand, Department of MPP who apart from resolving farmers’ queries, also provided valuable notes on various regional plant diseases and their control measures. He gave the information of Bioagent Trichoderma and also told about seed treatment.

This session was followed by the presentation of Prof. Anil Kumar Singh, Dept. of Horticulture who gave valuable information related to flower cultivation with special emphasis on Gladiolus and Marigold production as these two floriculture crops have a huge market in Mirzapur and Varanasi.

After that Prof. Ramadevi Nimmanapalli, Prof. Shree Ram Singh, Dr. A.K.Pal, Prof S.P.Singh, Dr. S.K. Goel, Dr. J.P.Rai, Prof Sant Prasad and Dr. S.N. Singh interacted with farmers about their problems in a very effective manner and provided them scientific and reliable solutions.

The special feature of this programme was the personal interaction of Mr. Mark Balschweid and his colleagues, who spoke to a group of farmers to get a better understanding about the motives of AIP programme and its achievements and shortcomings as perceived by the farmers.

The final session saw Dr. O.P. Mishra encourage and motivate the farmers for scientific cultivation and thanked the participants for their active involvement.

AIP trains JM Foods on chicken and fish product manufacturing

June 4th, 2014 by

04 June, 2014 | Nagaon

A day long training workshop on product development and manufacturing of fish, chicken pickle and hygienic dry fish was held at the facilities of JM Foods, Nagaon on 4 June, 2014. The hands-on training was organized to transfer the unique technology developed by Assam Agricultural University to JM Foods. The training focused on aspects like recipe, production process, hygiene, quality control, ingredient specification, regulatory aspects, food safety measures, labeling, pricing and product distribution strategy. A pilot batch of both chicken and fish pickle were prepared under the guidance of product developers from AAU.

Key delegates present for this training session were Dr. R N Goswami, Dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, Dr. M Hajarika, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Science, Dr. Pranjyoti Sharma, Associate professor, Dr. Jiten Sharma, Asstt Prof, Mr. S Ahmed, Asstt Prof. College of Fisheries, Ms. Jharna Medhi, Entrepreneur and her factory staff members.

The ever growing demand for value added healthy and tasty food products has made it possible for numerous small entrepreneurs in growing their business and also provided employment opportunities for the local community. “I must thank AIP for its support to create a positive environment that motivates AAU faculty to develop innovative products and it has helped to change people’s perceptions about Agricultural Universities”, said Dr. M. Hajarika, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Science.

The training program was held in succession to the technology transfer event organized earlier at Assam Agricultural University, Khanpara Campus on 22 March, 2014. A MoU was signed between JM Foods, a local entrepreneur and Assam Agricultural University. AIP-AAU’s successful initiative of development of fish & meat pickle has gained good market share in Assam since its technology transfer to local entrepreneurs earlier in 2013. By looking at the popularity of the product, “J M Foods” decided to adopt this technology of manufacturing pickles from AAU, Jorhat.

I am satisfied with the hands-on training programme on fish/meat pickle and hygienic dry fish knowhow imparted under AIP programme and confident that the products will soon hit the market of Northeast India” said Mrs. Medhi.

The training program was helpful in sensitizing JM Foods on various practices to be followed while manufacturing the products.

AIP- AAU’S pickle a hit among entrepreneurs

March 22nd, 2014 by

22 March, 2014 | Guwahati

A technology transfer event was organized at Assam Agricultural University, Khanpara Campus on 22 March, 2014. A MoU was signed between JM Foods, a local entrepreneur and Assam Agricultural University. AIP-AAU’s successful initiative of development of fish & meat pickle has gained good market share in Assam since its technology transfer to local entrepreneurs earlier in 2013. As precedent of this successful commercialization and looking at the popularity of the product, a pickle manufacturer from Guwahati, “J M Foods” decided to adopt this technology of manufacturing pickles from AAU, Jorhat. Ms. Jarna Medhi, a small entrepreneur from Nagaon involved in manufacturing of vegetarian pickles, Jam Squash etc will now avail the benefits of this technology.

Key delegates present in the event were Dr. R N Goswami, Dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, Dr. Apurva Chakrabarthy, Directorate of Research, Dr. A K Barua, Associate Dean, College of fisheries, Dr. M Hajarika, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Science, Dr. Purna Barua, Faculty and IPR cell representative, Dr. Jiten Sharma, Scientist, College of Fisheries, Ms. Jarna Medhi, Entrepreneur and Mr. Sumit Darphale, Representative, Sathguru-AIP.

The ever growing demand for value added healthy and tasty food products has made it possible for numerous small entrepreneurs in growing their business and also provided employment opportunities for the local community. “I must thank AIP for its support to create a positive environment that motivates AAU faculty to develop innovative products and it has helped to change people’s perceptions about Agricultural Universities”, said Dr. M. Hajarika, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Science.

AIP addresses technology translation opportunities to strengthen the competitive advantage of Indian farmers by introducing innovations all throughout the supply chain. AIP stresses the premise that farmer prosperity results from innovative technologies combined with optimum policy and regulatory compliance that increase productivity through improved access to technology. “AIP has helped us in strengthening our IPR cell’s capabilities for collaborating with private sector and it has a long way to go ahead”, Dr. Apurva Chakrabarthy, Directorate of Research, College of Veterinary Science, AAU.

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