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Australia's WSU to Help India in Agri Research

According to varsity officials, to leverage research and innovations, an Australian university is planning to invest AUD 5 million as a part of a collaboration with agricultural universities across India, that may help Indian farmers double their income by 2022.

Western Sydney University (WSU) Vice Chancellor Barney Glover said that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to double the income of farmers of India over the next five years. However, he noted that achieving this goal will require innovation and development, as well as grassroot problem solving for farmers.

Australia's WSU has forged a partnership with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and thirteen state agricultural universities as part of a new initiative designed to combat global food security issues presented by climate change. The university will invest AUD 5 million to leverage new research and developments, which is expected to make a significant contribution towards doubling farmers' income over the long term.

The research will focus on the areas of protected cropping and related aspects of horticulture and agriculture, as well as collaborative teaching and learning.

The two countries share similar climates. We have monsoonal areas, very arid areas -- the challenges of broad agriculture are similar in many ways, Glover said. However, Glover points out that India has an added complexity.

Certain varieties of bees are crucial to protected cropping -- as pollination inside the greenhouse is challenging. Currently, both India and Australia uses hand pollination, an expensive and time consuming process, Glover said.

With ICAR and the state universities across the country, WSU will work to upskill industry and train early career academics through joint research training programs in horticulture and agriculture.

Director General of ICAR, Trilochan Mohapatra said, "Collaborative research between ICAR and WSU will bring together researchers, academics and students from partnering institutions and provide them with a platform to benefit from mutual expertise."

The network includes top state agricultural universities of Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kashmir, West Bengal, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu ,and Kerala.


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