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Cornell's International Programs awarded $300,000 USAID grant to help bolster agricultural economy in India

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell University has been awarded a $300,000, three-year grant to generate public-private sector links that will bolster agricultural productivity, exports and rural incomes in India. The grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was awarded through the Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development.

Cornell will implement two development programs. First the university will offer a course, Agriculture in Developing Nations: India, in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 academic years. Cornell also will develop an executive development program in agricultural business management.

Cornell faculty members participating in the project include: K.V. Raman (principal investigator), associate director of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Ronnie Coffman, chair of the department of Plant Breeding and director of International Programs; Janet Hawkes, director of the Teach Us program in education; Rod Hawkes, senior extension associate in applied economics and management; Peter Hobbs, adjunct professor in soil and crops science; Syed Rizvi, professor of food science; Robert Blake, professor of animal science; and Terry Tucker, associate director of International Programs.

The Agriculture in Developing Nations course will be taught at Cornell and at partner institutions in India, including the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, the University of Agricultural Sciences, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and the Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Co. Students in India and the United States will be able to discuss issues and collaborate on relevant projects using Web and video streaming technology.

The course will sensitize Indian and U.S. students and policymakers on how to foment change in agricultural policy and technology to improve productivity, promote competitiveness and aid integration into a global economy.

For executives in both countries, the agribusiness management program will focus on technology transfer opportunities and issues in agriculture and food product commercialization; food retailing and supply chain management; and international food marketing standards and World Trade Organization regulations.

The program will build on previous collaborations between Cornell and India's public and private sectors. In partnership with Sathguru Management Consultants, Hyderabad, India, the program will involve Indian universities, research institutions, national and state governments and prominent agricultural-based companies.

"Each of the institutions has had a strong commitment to international education activities and has identified globalization as a critical educational initiative," said Raman. "Significant outcomes have materialized as a result of previous Cornell agri-business management programs. Cross-national and cross-sector interactions among program participants will lead to innovative and unique initiatives and projects. This will increase participant knowledge and capabilities to succeed in today's global agricultural and economic environment."

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