Thursday, January 20, 2011

Indo-US dialogue on ‘Food Sciences and Agricultural Education’ organized in BHU

Varanasi, January 18, 2011: An Indo-US Dialogue on Food Sciences and Agricultural Education was organized at Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University here on Tuesday.

A delegation of scientists from College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, USA visited Institute of Agriculture Sciences, BHU for possible collaboration under USAID Programme.

It may be mentioned here that an USAID Programme comprising of a Consortium of Universities with BHU and Cornell University as a leading player, is in advance stage of implementation. In this reference several US universities had visited BHU in the past and there is a possibility of launching this programme during coming February, 2011.

This initiative will give an international exposure to agriculture research, extension and teaching in India as a whole and BHU in particular. While speaking at this occasion Professor Ronnie Coffman, International Professor of Plant Breeding, Director of International Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, said he had visited many of the 140 rice research stations in India while working at International Rice Research Institute, Philippines and also worked with important institutes of Indian Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi. “I am looking forward for a fruitful collaboration with BHU and Cornell University”, he said.

Prof. Max J. Pfeffer, Senior Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, said the Cornell University already had some programme with some universities in India, particularly “dual degree programme” in the field of Plant Biotechnology and Agribusiness Management.

The programme has helped several Indian students including from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore to fetch better jobs at the international level, he said. “I am looking forward similar collaboration with BHU in the future USAID programme”, he said.

The US university is looking forward particularly for following few issues under BHU-Cornell Partnership Programme; (i) food security, (ii) furtherance of food system, (iii) population increase and expected food supply, (iv) agricultural in global environment.

Pfeffer said the international food trade; global technological needs; environmental issues related with food are going to be important issues to be addressed under this programme.

Professor SSH Rizvi, Professor of Food Science, Cornell University was the key speaker at this occasion. He spoke about agriculture and food science in global prospective.

He mentioned that though India has reached to self sufficiency in food production but still we have large chunk of people leaving under poverty line. US are processing its food up to 80% in response of only 2-3% in India. This is one of the reasons of high percentage of food being wasted in India. He expects India will be a leading player in food industry in the coming days.

Dr. Pilar Parra, the nutritionist and Senior Lecturer, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University spoke on “Phenomena of Occurrence of Obesity in Middle Income Group” due to poor management of nutrition.

Speaking on the contribution of agriculture and allied sciences in economy of our country, Prof. AK Shrivastav, Director, NDRI was of the opinion that during green revolution in addition to self sufficiency in food grain, other field of agriculture sciences like horticulture, vegetable, milk, meat, egg production has also increased manifold.

Professor DP Singh, Vice-Chancellor of BHU presided over the function. He said he was quite hopeful on the partnership programme with Cornell University.

“I am looking forward for launching and fruitful implementation of this programme”, he said.

The programme was coordinated by Professor Alok Jha and was attended by Professor SR Singh, Director, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Prof. Kalyan Singh, Dean, Professor Subedar Singh, Dr. DK Rai, Prof. AK Shrivastav, Dr. Pradeep Shrivastav, Professor RP Singh, former Vice-Chancellor, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur, Dr. AK Chauhan and Professor Rajesh Singh, Coordinator, Plant Biotechnology and students of plant biotechnology and food sciences.

Photo caption: Top: BHU vice-chancellor Professor DP Singh inaugurates Indo-US dialogue on Food Sciences and Agriculture Education at Institute of Agricultural Sciences, BHU on January 18, 2011.

From top 2 to bottom: Professor AK Shrivastav, Professor Ronnie Coffman, Dr Pilar Parra and Prof. Max J. Pfeffer address the seminar.

Source: PPP Cell-BHU

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