The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), been envisaged to improve food availability and security, nutrition and health while providing opportunities to diversify the income and consequent economic and social advancement of the rural poor and women in India was launched at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). The function, attended by USAID officials, senior faculty and scientists from Cornell University and officials from BHU particularly, the faculty of Agricultural Sciences, was presided over by the Vice Chancellor of BHU Prof. D. P. Singh.
The project will involve BHU and Cornell University as major partners to create a nodal centre in India at the BHU campus that will administer a grant from USAID. Sathguru Management Consultants will help establish an office of technology transfer and commercialization at BHU, as well as market intelligence centres that adopt electronic and mobile extension models.
BHU, in addition to Cornell will partner with five other US land grant universities—University of Illinois; Ohio State University; University of Georgia; Tuskegee University; University of California, Davis—and private enterprises such as Sathguru Management Consultants, Tata Chemicals Limited and John Deere, and various state agricultural universities in India. The project will update the education and curriculum of BHU and the other partnering institutions in India to keep pace with International Agricultural Education, improve the extension expertise to provide support in management and agri-technology to farmers as they move from subsistence farming to a more market-driven economy.