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Pawar to explore US-India Agriculture Initiatives

Written by: Staff

Washington, June 7: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who is on a three day visit to the United States, will today hold talks with top officials and scientists to explore means to expand the strategic US-India Agriculture Initiative.

He will hold discussions with his counterpart, US Secretary of Agriculture Michael Johanns and members of the Board of the US India Agriculture Knowlege Initiative (AKI), a proposal which, among other things, seeks to facilitate technology transfer and bolster agri research through public and private partnerships in both countries.

Mr Pawar, who arrived here from New York yesterday after visiting the Board of Trade, will be meeting renowned agriculture scientist Norman Borlaug, regarded as the father of the Green Revolution.

The Minister is also scheduled to meet with Senator Saxby Chambliss, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and the director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Joachim von Braun, before addressing a press conference at the Indian Embassy here this evening.

The India-US Agriculture Knowledge Initiative (AKI) was announced as part of the strategic partnership between the US and India during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the White House in July 2005.

Recognising the long history of cooperation in agriculture and the success of India's Green Revolution launched 40 years ago with US assistance, the AKI builds on this tradition of collaboration and addresses new challenges and opportunities of modern-day agriculture.

To lead the AKI, both countries have already created a board comprised of academia, government, and private sector representatives from the United States and India.

Following a meeting on February 13-14 this year, the board agreed to a three-year work plan that supports the envisioned ''Evergreen Revolution'' that is based upon environmentally sustainable, market-oriented agriculture.

The plan focuses mainly on education, learning, resources, curriculum development and training in agriculture.


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