Could you live on $1.25 per day?
In parts of India - specifically the less developed states of the Indo-Gangetic Plains - living on less than $1.25 per day per capita is a harsh reality. People in this region face problems of hunger, poverty and child malnutrition.
According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), agricultural development is a proven engine of growth that reduces global hunger and poverty. That is why Cornell University, in partnership with the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES); the University of Georgia; Ohio State University; Tuskegee University; the University of California-Davis; John Deere; Tata Chemicals Ltd.; and Sathguru Management Consultants, have been awarded a $9.6 million grant from USAID to undertake a five-year project working with Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to increase agricultural production and food security in northern India.
The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) is being launched by India and USAID under "Feed the Future," the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative.
The consortium will strengthen the capacity of state agricultural universities by revising university curricula to include important issues such as market-led demand and the potential impact of climate change on agriculture. The consortium will also develop and pilot innovative Extension models to improve the expertise of agricultural graduates in their provision of management and agri-technology support to farmers as they move away from subsistence farming.
More than half a century ago, the U of I began a long-standing educational partnership with Pantnagar University in India - creating the land-grant model in India and laying the foundations for feeding a hungry country. Most recently, members of U of I's ACES Global Academy took part in a 14-day immersion experience in India to study the food value chain systems there. Three of the academy's members - Mary Arends-Kuenning, Hao Feng, and Mindy Mallory - also met with faculty at BHU.