U.S.–India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative:
Sixth Meeting of the
April 15–16, 2008
New Delhi, India
See Also . . .
Indo-U.S. Agricultural Knowledge Initiative
Board met on April 15-16, 2008. Present at the
Board meeting were Board members from both
sides, including government, universities and
private sector. Dr. Mangala Rai, Secretary,
Department of Agricultural Research and
Education and DG, ICAR from India side and Mr.
Michael W. Yost, Administrator, Foreign
Agricultural Service, USDA from U.S. side,
co-chaired the meeting. The Board discussed the
agenda items, including progress made in the
four focus areas and announced a number of
planned activities, including selection of 15
Borlaug Fellows for 2008 who will be paired with
U.S. university partners. The focus area reports
at the Board meeting led to productive
discussions on both accomplishments and future
activities. In addition, both sides agreed to
set the dates of the next meeting for the second
quarter in 2009. During the interim period, need
based monitoring on both the sides can be done
at the secretariat level and other mutually
agreed activities may take place. The agreed
planned activities listed below, will take place
in 2008 and continue through 2009.
from the 6th Board
Resources and Institutional Capacity Building
Fifteen Borlaug Fellows including three in
Biotechnology, will travel to the United
States for 6 weeks’ fellowships. The
international travel cost will be borne by
The following on-going NASULGC projects will
Capacity Building for Risk Analysis and
Modeling to promote trade: Tuskegee
University will plan the second workshop
in May 2008. A group of 8 selected
Indian scientists/faculty members will
Teaching and Learning Excellence: A
Capacity Building Model.
National Agricultural Library: The
project concept on library strengthening
and information systems in cooperation
with the USDA National Agricultural
Library (NAL) will be finalized within
the next 3 months. The Director and
Deputy Director of NAL will visit the
IARI (ICAR) in New Delhi to identify
joint activities and training.
3. The Board noted the two internships
extended by Bharti-Wal-mart to NIAM
students on a pilot scale. It was
brought out that several other private
sector companies have expressed their
willingness to participate in similar
internship programmes. The Board
authorized Dr. P.L. Gautam and Dr. David
Hansen to finalize the modalities for
extending the programmes to appropriate
The Board further authorized Dr. P.L. Gautam
and Dr. David Hansen to explore
possibilities of additional private/public
internship programmes for students and
faculty of Indian agricultural universities/ICAR
and U.S. universities. The modalities
including funding mechanisms and cost
implications are to be presented by May 2008
to the two secretariats for consideration.
A joint proposal for capacity building in
bio-security will be considered.
Project on "Integrated Pest Management of
insect-borne viral diseases in Indian
Vegetable Production" will be finalized.
Agro-Processing and Marketing
An India-U.S. Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary
seminar is slated to take place in India in
Cochran Fellowship Program will continue in
2008 for up to 17 Fellows with a primary
focus area on agro processing and marketing.
It was agreed that participants will be
selected through mutual consultations.
Two joint projects on- (i) Extrusion
Technology and (ii) Biofuels from ligno-cellulosic
agricultural residues and by-products will
be implemented in the second half of 2008.
A "Contract Farming Online Resource Book"
for India will be completed in May 2008 for
A project on "Technology for extraction and
characterization of active ingredients in
agricultural produce and by-products" was
proposed by the Indian side. The U.S. will
consider ways to support this proposal.
Agri-business Workshop: Linking Farmers to
Markets will be planned in India. The U.S.
side will revise the original draft
presented during the Board meeting and will
share revisions with stakeholders such as
USIBC, CII, FICCI, U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), the
Ministry of Food Processing Industries and
ICAR for comments. The proposed workshop
will take place in the third quarter of
The following four on-going projects funded
through NASULGC grants will continue-
Water Harvesting for groundwater
re-charge and bio-drainage for salinity
Sustainable Water Resource Management:
U.S.- India Collaborative Research and
On Farm Water Management for Rain-fed
Agriculture on Benchmark Watersheds in
Five Diverse Eco-Regions of India
Information & Communications
Technologies for Capacity Building Model
in Water Management: U.S. India
Collaborative Extension/ Outreach and
A project on ‘Remediation including
bioremediation of heavy metal,
arsenic/fluoride pollutants in soil and
water’ will be implemented. Iowa State
University is the lead U.S. institution for
Project on ‘Gender and Social Equity Issues
in the Water Management’ with University of
Florida, Washington State University and
Indian counterparts will be revised and
USDA will provide funding to Michigan State
University (MSU) to hold a follow-up
workshop in support of the AKI water
management area in New Delhi. The workshop
will provide the opportunity for past
Borlaug Fellowship Program mentors and
mentees to reinforce what was learnt during
their U.S. visit and further strengthen the
partnerships that were established.
The project on "Pigeonpea Genomics
Initiative" will continue.
As a follow-up to the joint workshop on
"Harnessing the Benefits of Biotechnology"
held in March 2008 in New Delhi, the
following projects have been identified.
Abiotic stress (draught, salinity, high
Virus resistance in important
horticultural crops (potato, papaya,
Diagnostics and vaccines for animal
Functional genomics in Cassava,
Association mapping to identify markers
linked with genes/QTLs for nutrient use
efficiency in wheat and rice.
The Indian side is committed to provide
funding for the above projects. The U.S.
side will explore the possibility of
It was also agreed that the U.S. will work
with counterparts at USDA’s Agricultural
Research Service to identify partnership
opportunities to work on rust disease
resistance in wheat and introducing C4
photosynthetic pathway in rice.
It was brought out that Indian side has
reconstituted the Board by including
representatives of FICCI and CII. The U.S.
side will also reconstitute the Board with
two additional members from private sector.
Funding: The Indian side is committed to
provide funding for the identified projects
in the focus areas. The U.S. side agreed to
seek funding though various U.S. agencies.
Further, the Board was apprised that the
Indian side has committed funding for
approved projects under AKI. The U.S. side
stated that it is committed to the
partnership and would endeavor to seek
funding for the partnership in the future.
Board was apprised that the USAID has solicited
a call for concept papers under their
Partnership for Innovation in Knowledge in
Agriculture (PIKA) program, which supports small
and medium enterprise development. The proposal
requests are specifically geared to support the
four thematic areas under the AKI. Five awards
will be granted before the end of September
Board was also apprised of activities undertaken
by other U.S. agencies. The details, as provided
by U.S. side, are given in Annexure I.
activities undertaken by other U.S. agencies as
provided by U.S. side-
delivered by October 1, 2008)
Large scale and multiple location field
trials for Bt Eggplant, a public private
partnership to develop a food crop reducing
pesticide use and increasing food safety.
Partners: Cornell University; MAHYCO, Indian
Institute of Vegetable Research, UP; TNAU;
Dharwad Agriculture Science University;
Three to five Public Private Partnerships
established to develop abiotic stress
tolerant transgenic rice and wheat
established. Partners TBD
Virology chip diagnostics (Danforth, USDA,
Washington U, IARI, JNU) project funded.
Farm to market linkages:
a. Best practices documented and
presented at conference with NIAM, FICCI
and CII (jointly with NASULGC?)
b. Models of farm/retail linkages:
Karnataka Horticulture Mission; Nandani
Farmer Cooperative/Foodlands; ITC farm
clusters; BAIF mango growers
c. Handbooks on horticulture production
produced and distributed through NIAM
Grades and Standards/Market Information in
partnership with NIAM:
a. Two study tours to US on agriculture
marketing facilitated with NIAM and
b. One study tour/with FICCI, on
terminal markets, facilitated
c. Two state marketing boards able to
develop grades and standards and support
farmer utilization, with NIAM support
d. Assessment of potential for
development of Ag marketing portal with
Partnerships supporting AKI
five new Public Private Partnerships established
within AKI workplan framework supporting
innovation and knowledge in agriculture.