U.S.-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative
Washington D.C., June 14-15, 2007
Agricultural Knowledge Initiative Board met
on June 14-15, 2007. Present at the Board
meeting was a full complement of Board
members from both sides, including
government, universities and the private
sector. USDA Deputy Under Secretary A.
Ellen Terpstra co-chaired the meeting from
the U.S. side, and ICAR Director General Dr.
Mangala Rai co-chaired from the Indian
side. The Board discussed the agenda items,
including progress in the four focus areas
and announced a number of planned
activities, including a finalized list of 17
Borlaug Fellows for 2007 who will be paired
with U.S. university partners. The focus
area reports at the Board meeting led to
productive discussions both of
accomplishments and future activities. In
addition, both sides agreed to set the dates
of the next meeting for second half of
February 2008. Agreed upon planned
activities are listed below. These will
take place in six months. Other activities
may take place with mutual consultation of
the nodal officers on the two sides.
Human Resource and
Institutional Capacity Building
Twelve Borlaug Fellows will travel to
the United States for 6 week
fellowships. US side would consider the
possibility of also including the 3
applicants who are on the reserve list.
In addition, five Borlaug Fellows in
biotechnology will travel to the United
States for 6 week fellowships. The
international travel cost will be borne
Regarding the two NASULGC projects which
were earlier not considered by the India
Side, the Indian Co-Chair reconsidered
these two proposals and agreed to fund
with the inclusion/substitution of
Indian partners. The Indian Co-Chair
also emphasized the importance of prior
consultation about selection of projects
and partners so that such a situation
does not arise.
development which entails three trips of
a senior manager for one week duration
each may be dropped. An observer may be
considered for the first session.
A project on
knowledge and operational linking of
National Agricultural Library of USA and
(National) IARI Library, New Delhi may
be appropriately developed and proposed
trainings would be organized in India
with US experts funded by the U.S. side:
training in India/US on Marker Assisted
Selection, Library automation and e-mode
b. Training in cross cutting
areas-climate change, nanotechnology, bio
prospecting, carbon sequestration and
IP portfolio management.
A workshop on SPS Capacity
Building and Science-based Risk Analysis and
Modeling will take place from July 23 -
August 3, 2007 in Hyderabad, India. A workshop on Agribusiness and
Food Industry in Developing Countries is
planned for Lucknow in August 2007.
International Conference on Avian Viral
Diseases and Animal Biotechnological
Applications will be held August 21-23,
2007 at Madras Veterinary College,
will be done in the next six months for
public-private partnership workshop and
capacity development team workshop.
An India-U.S. Sanitary and
Phytosanitary Seminar took place in
Washington, DC, June 11-15 with a second
seminar planned in India late summer 2007.
Cochran Fellowship Program
will continue in 2007 for up to 12 Fellows
with a primary focus area on agro processing
Two joint research projects,
one in “Processing and value added products
including formulated and fabricated foods,
cereals, dairy products through extrusion
technology” and the other in “Bio-fuels,
by-products/waste management, residue
recycling” are planned for 2007.
A Contract Farming Online
“Resource Book” for India will be completed
4 cold chain workshops will
take place in India in 2007. USTDA would
identify the agencies to organize the
A project on
remediation including bioremediation of
heavy metal, arsenic/fluoride pollutants
in soil and water would be jointly
developed for funding.
Florida and Washington State University
working with Indian counterparts will
conduct a survey on gender and social
issues in watershed management in 2007.
collaborative research projects along with
the partners from Indian side as identified
by India side were agreed to in principle in
the following areas.
Drought tolerance in rice and wheat
Salt tolerance in rice
Thermo tolerance in wheat
Virus resistance in papaya, potato,
Diagnostic and vaccines for important
diseases of livestock and fish
Five Borlaug Fellows will
travel to the U.S. for to the United States
for 6 week fellowships as stated under the
Human Resource Development and Capacity
workshop on harvesting the benefits of
biotechnology is planned for fall 2007.
Other related activities
The AKI Board was apprised of other
activities undertaken in related areas by
other US agencies such as USDA, USAID, USTDA,
US State Dept. etc. These are
given in Annexure I.
Related activities undertaken by other US
A new activity
will focus on the creation of a
comprehensive roadmap of India’s
agricultural insurance market.
Three new Higher
Education Partnerships will be created
U.S. Land Grant universities and
Indian state agricultural universities.
Farmer-to-Farmer Program will continue
with an additional 10 participants
planned for the remainder of 2007. The
program goal is to increase the income
of farmers and farm groups in
Uttaranchal State, Himachal Pradesh, and
Under the SAMS
project, state “Master Trainers” will
conduct village level producer training
for farmers in Karnataka and Himachal
Pradesh, June 18-29, and in Karnataka
and Himachal Pradesh on Market News,
A Terminal Markets
Conference will be held August 6-10, in
Two U.S. study
tours, from field–to-fork, for 15 NIAM
and state staff “Master Trainers” will
be held August/September 2007.
- USDA/FAS will collaborate with
Indian hosts on the 2007 meeting of the
CODEX Committee of Food Hygiene (CCFH) in
the fall of 2007.
- A CODEX Risk Assessment and
Risk Management Seminar and Study Tour will
be held in October-November 2007 in New
- Staff from Iowa State
University will set up “distance learning
class” rooms at UAS Bangalore, PAU Ludhiana,
and GBPUAT, August 2007.
- U.S. universities and ICAR are
recruiting 15 M.S. students for the
U.S.-India exchange degree program in
“International Water Management” with the
beginning date of July/August 2007.
- Two research projects are
currently being established at India partner
institutes/ universities on “Use of Waste
Water for Irrigation” and “Water Harvesting
for Groundwater Recharge.”
- U.S. undergraduate students
(about 10-15) from Univ. Illinois, Purdue,
and Iowa State will visit GB Pant University
to work with Indian students on joint
- A site visit by Ohio State is
planned in June/July to PAU, JLNKVV and
MSSRF sites. The site visit is planned to
finalize land use and management treatments.
- Following the assessment,
equipment for measurement of runoff, erosion
and transport of chemicals (e.g., dissolved
and suspended loads) will be installed. A workshop is planned by to
discuss measurement, monitoring and
identification of research needs, 15-25
- Humphrey and Fulbright
programs will continue.
- USDA will provide 6-8 speakers
for an AGBIO 2007 conference on “Harnessing
the Benefits of Biotechnology”, September
- An internship program for IP
management staff at HAU and KAU has been
established including 2-3 month visits to
Michigan State University and CGIAR and
ICRISAT IPR offices.
- HAU and KAU will conduct three
training workshops for trainees from the
State Agricultural Univ. in India.
Workshops will address IP management and
technology transfer issues and will prepare
trainees to establish IP cells at their
- AGBIOS has been working with
ICMR to draft guidelines for the safety of
GM foods for the GOI. The final document is
undergoing revisions and is expected to be
adopted in October 2007. Additional
activities on regulatory capacity building
and policy analysis will be undertaken by
AGBIOS and IFPRI in collaboration with ICMR,
DBT and Indian Univers
- A Biotech Research Partnership
will begin in fall 2007 between a U.S.
biotech company and the Indian private or
public sector to develop new rice varieties
with traits for drought and salt tolerance.
- Golden Rice varieties are
being backcrossed into local varieties and
will be field tested. Studies on β-carotene
uptake and retention are also underway.
- Additional funding has been
provided to support field trials and market
release of public sector varieties of Bt
resistant eggplant in collaboration with
Indian public and private sector partners.
- Field trials and safety
evaluation for late blight resistant potato
varieties will continue.
- Funding is being sought to
support the development of Viral Chip
diagnostics project in collaboration with