TAU, INDIAN TATA TRUSTS LAUNCH JOINT INDIAN CENTER FOR AGRI AND ALLIED TECH

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BY LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI

In the future, the program is set to expand to include all of India.

Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the Indian philanthropic organization Tata Trusts announced the launch of a new Indian Center for Agri and Allied Tech (I-CAT) that will bring Israeli know-how and innovation to the farmers of the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India.

The initiative, supported by the government of Andhra Pradesh, will include an advanced R&D center, as well as activities of agricultural experts in villages and farms with the aim of overcoming various technological, agronomic and economic barriers, and promoting sustainable agriculture and food security.

In the future, the program is set to expand to include all of India.

TAU’s Boris Mints Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions to Global Challenges will offer its expertise to a joint TAU-Tata steering committee, collaborating with experts from both Israel and India, in order to identify problems in rural India and find potential solutions in Israel.

The program consists of five main components: First experts, corporations and research institutes in Israel will adapt existing technologies and develop new solutions to meet the needs of Indian agriculture.

The central R&D hub to be established in Andhra Pradesh will test the various solutions under local conditions while training local workers to operate the new technologies.

Additionally, a network of satellite farms will conduct further experiments, and supply farmers with guidance and various services. Farmers in each of the hundreds of villages throughout Andhra Pradesh will implement and test the new technologies in their own fields and business models will be developed to support wide diffusion of the innovative solutions among the broader farming population.

This initiative marks the fruits of the university’s growing relationship with India in recent years.

In 2014, TAU awarded an honorary doctorate to Indian businessman and philanthropist Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Trusts – the largest philanthropic trust in India.

Prof. Joseph Klafter, president of Tel Aviv University recently told The Jerusalem Post that the honorary degree symbolized “the strong and sustainable relationship with leaders in India.”

“TAU has existed for 62 years, but only in recent years, the scenery and who is on our stage is becoming really global, by having not only the West side but also the growing economies,” he said. “Behind these figures, there is a whole network of growing relationships: We have the academic relationship with universities in India and China, beyond this we have stronger relationships with industries in both countries that invest in the research and IP of TAU.”

With regards to the new initiative, Klafter hailed Israel and Tel Aviv University in helping India with their “advancements in research and in the implementation of research in making it applicable.”

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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