U.S.-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative

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The U.S.-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative (AKI) is also known as the U.S.–India Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural Education, Teaching, Research, Service, and Commercial Linkages. According to the USDA:

"On July 18, 2005, President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced the U.S.–India Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural Education, Teaching, Research, Service, and Commercial Linkages (AKI). Recognizing the long history of cooperation in agriculture and the success of India’s Green Revolution launched 40 years ago with U.S. assistance, the AKI builds on this tradition of collaboration and addresses new challenges and opportunities of modern-day agriculture. Through public-private partnerships, it will help to facilitate technology transfer, trade, and investment and bolster agricultural research, education, and extension. In pursuing these objectives, a critical component is cooperation on development of effective policy, regulatory, and institutional frameworks. These, in turn, will contribute to increased prosperity for farmers and agricultural growth.
"Since its inception, the AKI has made notable progress. Both countries created a board comprised of academia, government, and private sector representatives from the United States and India. The board agreed to a three-year work plan that supports the "Evergreen Revolution," which is based on environmentally sustainable, market-oriented agriculture. To jump start the Initiative, the United States secured funding of $8 million in fiscal year 2006, with a total of $24 million pledged through 2008.
"A number of activities have been accomplished in each of the four key areas identified by the board for cooperation:
"Food Processing and Marketing." Twelve individuals from India’s public and private sectors were selected to participate in USDA’s Cochran Fellowship Program. This program provides short-term, U.S.-based agricultural training opportunities. Six Indian Cochran Fellows have already completed training, with the remainder participating in specific training programs early next year. A market assessment of India’s cold chain infrastructure was completed to conduct in-country technical seminars for key Indian companies that handle perishable food products throughout the cold chain. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding agricultural market information systems training in collaboration with India’s National Institute of Agricultural Marketing and USDA. In early 2007, a training program on strengthening agricultural markets will be held in three Indian states. USAID also launched a program with the Indian Forward Markets Commission to streamline and increase transparency of Indian commodity futures markets.
"Biotechnology. Indian participants attended an international workshop on improving legumes through genomics at the University of California–Davis. Following the workshop, the University and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute agreed to collaborate on a pigeon pea genome project under the AKI’s auspices. A planning meeting was held to prepare for a November 2007 workshop on harnessing the benefits of biotechnology.
"Water Management. The National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) awarded four grants to U.S. universities to work with Indian partners on water management. More than 50 U.S. and Indian universities and government institutions participated in a water resources management workshop in New Delhi in September 2006.
"University Capacity Building. Fifteen Indian scientists and researchers completed fellowships under USDA’s Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program. This program continues Dr. Borlaug’s Green Revolution efforts by helping developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices through fellowships to experts who are early in their careers. NASULGC awarded five grants to U.S. universities to work with Indian partners on capacity building projects that focus on university curriculum development, animal diseases, and trade. The U.S. Department of State selected 13 Indian candidates for the Fulbright-Humphrey program. They will begin their fellowships in 2007. A curriculum development workshop organized by three U.S. land-grant universities, in collaboration with their Indian counterparts, will be held in January 2007 in Hyderabad. USDA’s National Agricultural Library and U.S. land-grant universities began working with their Indian counterparts to develop a plan to strengthen India’s library and information systems.
"The U.S.–India AKI has the potential to raise agricultural productivity, strengthen food security, increase technology transfer, expand U.S.–India trade and investment through policy and regulatory capacity building, ensure key roles for the Indian and U.S. private sectors, and reinvigorate the U.S.–India university partnerships."[1]

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References

  1. Fact Sheet: U.S.–India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative, November 2006, USDA, Accessed March 30, 2012.

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