By Neelapu Shanti, New Delhi, Aug 22 ANI | 3 months ago

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is offering advanced courses to Afghan students to rebuild agricultural productivity in Afghanistan, which is being sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs.

In order to promote agriculture in Afghanistan, IARI has also been developing human resource by organizing six-month training programmes for Afghan scientists.

A task force headed by Prof. M. S. Swaminathan has suggested establishing a university in Kandahar province in Afghanistan.

The Government of India, with the help of the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with IARI and other institutes, is helping Afghanistan to improve agricultural activity.

Rakesh Kumar Jain, Dean and Joint Director, Education, Indian Agricultural Research Institute said, "In order to rebuild agriculture in Afghanistan, the Government of India decided that the first thing is human resource development. In view of this, 25 scientists from Afghanistan were trained for six months in the field of live stock management, crop protection, horticulture, and agronomy and agriculture extension."

Nasir Haqbeen who hails from Kapisa province in Afghanistan is pursuing MSc in Food Science and postharvest technology. "These training programmes are not only helpful for me, but through me and through other students, it will help the economy of our country as well. Afghanistan is an agricultural based country. Sixty per cent of our income or economy depends on agriculture. So these courses, these generations these studies it will help us to increase income and increase the agriculture size in Afghanistan", he said.

Decades of war and conflict in Afghanistan have badly affected the research in agriculture sciences. The farming lands remain barren and in place of fruits and vegetables, the farmers are growing poppy. Students and scientists studying in India will help revive the agriculture in their country.

"The advanced learning techniques, which I get here, is how we can produce more from less inputs," said Ameer Jan, a second year student of M.Sc Agronomy.

Ameer Jan wants peace in Afghanistan and dreams that farmers will earn enough to fulfill their needs. "I want my country to be at peace. Everyone and every person who wants to come to Afghanistan should feel the country is safe for him. Secondly, I want farmersto have sufficient production, that should be enough for them and enough for their children, so that they can provide them with education," he said.

IARI provides 5 percent reservation to foreign students and currently houses nine students from Afghanistan. The institute also offers MSc and PhD degree programmes in 24 disciplines ranging from agricultural statistics, computer application, bio-informatics, molecular biology, micro-technology, plant pathology, genetics, and water science.

(Posted on 22-08-2014)

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