Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188
October 20, 2008
Through the International Science and Education (ISE) competitive grants program, CSREES recently awarded nearly $400,000 in four grants in support of the U.S.-India Knowledge Initiative (AKI), a partnership between the two countries to strengthen the Indian agricultural knowledge system in areas of mutual interest. Launched in June 2005, AKI recognizes the long history of cooperation in agriculture and the success of India’s Green Revolution launched 40 years ago with U.S. assistance.
With the involvement of universities and the private sector, the initiative focuses on building human and institutional capacity, promoting sustainable use of water resources, effectively applying biotechnological approaches, and ensuring strong markets and processing chains. Development of effective policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks will contribute to increased prosperity for farmers and agricultural growth.
CSREES also supports the Structuring Agricultural Marketing Systems project in India through collaboration with India's National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM), which is responsible for agricultural marketing-related promotion and training. In partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and Agricultural Marketing Service, CSREES is providing technical assistance to help NIAM and state agencies develop grades and standards, food safety warehousing, cold storage and cold chain management. India plans to upgrade its existing marketing news information and marketing extension system to better serve farmers. Experts from several U.S. land-grant universities are conducting train-the-trainer workshops for NIAM and other government staff to accomplish this goal.
In 2008, CSREES awarded four ISE grants to U.S. universities that will advance the AKI project:
Tuskegee University: This project will enhance environmental and international curricula and capacities at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University and at the Department of Poultry Science at India’s Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University to conduct collaborative research in environmental waste management.
University of Delaware: Through a partnership with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), located in Patancheru, India, this project will enhance the University of Delaware’s knowledge of sustainable agriculture and watershed management practices that developing countries are implementing.
North Carolina State University: By partnering with several Indian universities and organizations, North Carolina State University will use a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluate issues faced by the dairy and poultry industries (pollution of the environment from methane emissions and animal waste) and develop cost-effective technologies that optimize production practices and enhance health. Primary partners include Punjab Agricultural University, Karnataka Animal & Fisheries Sciences University, Lifeline Feeds, Inc., Karnataka, 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: This project will train faculty and students at Florida International University in international aspects of biofuel production, technology and trade and expand the university’s capabilities to educate students, farmers and U.S. 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.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, CSREES focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.csrees.usda.gov.