Wisconsin’s strength in basic science research is complemented by its strength in the agricultural sciences. Since March, 2008, the Khorana Program has initiated cooperation with several organizations, including Mahindra and Mahindra (soils),the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (dairy), the Agricultural Consultancy Management Foundation (demonstration farms),Tasty Bite (vegetables), and Punjab Agricultural University (entomology). Armed with a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant, we worked with Mr. Rahul Gandhi and separately with Mr. Anand Mahindra to bring several leading dairy and soil scientists to India.
Working with the Mahindra group, a UW soil scientist spent two years in India establishing nearly 100 state-of-the-art labs across India. These services have greatly reduced the inappropriate use of fertilizers and improved crop productivity by almost 100%. Similarly, working with the RGCT in the poorest state of India, several dairy and agricultural scientists from UW had a positive impact on approximately 50,000 women self help groups. This amounts to impacting nearly 200,000-250,000 individuals – assuming a conservative estimate of 4-5 individuals per self help group. The visiting UW/US scientists helped double the agricultural and dairy productivity of many of the sub-marginal farmers on low-yielding land. The lessons learned are now being extended to nearly 350,000 women in self help groups – in effect, reaching over a million individuals in the poorest part of the world.
Below are links to valuable publications that resulted from the collaboration between UW Madison scientists and Indian agencies mentioned above.
PIKA Narrated Project Report [PowerPoint]
USAID Success Stories [PDF]