US-INDIA: Collaboration in agricultural education

The US Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) has awarded four grants totalling about $400,000 to US universities for advancing the US-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative.

Awarded through the International Science and Education competitive grants programme, the initiative involves universities and private sector and will focus on strengthening human and institutional capacity, promoting sustainable use of water resources, effectively applying biotechnological approaches, and ensuring strong markets and processing chains.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programmes, CSREES focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future.

The knowledge initiative was launched in 2005 by US President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Singh. This year's grants have gone to Tuskegee University, University of Delaware, North Carolina State University and Florida International University.

Tuskegee University will use the grant to improve environmental and international curricula and capacities at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University and to collaborate with the Department of Poultry Science at India's Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University to conduct collaborative research in environmental waste management.

University of Delaware will partner with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, located in Patancheru, India, to enhance its knowledge of sustainable agriculture and watershed management practices that developing countries are implementing.

North Carolina State University will collaborate with several Indian universities and organisations, and will use a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluate issues faced by the dairy and poultry industries, such as pollution of the environment from methane emissions and animal waste, and develop cost-effective technologies to optimise production practices and enhance health.

Partners in this project include Punjab Agricultural University, Karnataka Animal & Fisheries Sciences University, Lifeline Feeds, Inc., Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Public Health Foundation of India, Indian Vet Research Institute, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, and Maharashtra Animal & Fishery Sciences University.

Florida International University will train faculty and students in international aspects of biofuel production, technology and trade, and expand the university's capabilities to educate students, farmers and US energy industry groups. Students and faculty will conduct short-term research projects and internships on bioenergy topics in India, Brazil and other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Primary partners in India include the University of Agricultural Sciences - Bangalore, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and ICRISAT.