The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in Ludhiana, India enjoy a long history of collaboration dating back to 1962 when the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) solicited the assistance of the Ohio State’s Office of International Programs in Agriculture in creating PAU from the “mold” of successful U.S. land-grant institutions.
A recent March 14-21st visit to PAU by Dr. Mark Erbaugh, Director of the Office of International Programs in Agriculture at Ohio State; Dr. David Hansen, Director Emeritus and current project coordinator for the Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI); and other iAGRI staff from Tanzania, served as an important reminder of the close and long-lasting ties shared between Ohio State and PAU. The group was also accompanied by Ratnesh Bhattacharya, Director of Ohio State’s India Global Gateway Office, who was able to witness firsthand the fruits of this five-decade long relationship during meetings with PAU faculty and administrators.
Currently PAU hosts six iAGRI-funded graduate students from Tanzania who are completing their M.S. degrees in food science, crop science, soil science, and agribusiness. These students constitute only a small subset of the total number of Tanzanian students completing their graduate studies at universities throughout the rest of the world - mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and the United States - through the iAGRI project, which is funded by USAID and administered by the Office of International Programs in Agriculture at Ohio State University.
PAU was also an integral player in another Ohio State-led project, the Trilateral Partnership for Food Security in Kenya, from 2012 -2014. This project, which was funded by USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, brought faculty and researchers from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and PAU to work collaboratively with counterparts at Egerton University in Nakuru, Kenya on projects aimed at improving Egerton’s teaching and agricultural research capacities. The teams worked cooperatively on several specific projects, including agribusiness curriculum development, the creation of research units for honey and mushroom production, and improvements to Egerton’s student internship program.
The relationship between Ohio State and PAU stands to further benefit from Ohio State’s continued focus in India through the Global Gateways Office in Mumbai, India, which hopes to create synergies between students, faculty, alumni at Ohio State and similar stakeholder groups in India.
Additional photos of the vist to PAU are available in the photo gallery.