In a brief ceremony on 5 November, representatives of FiBL and the vice-chancellor of the PDKV Agricultural University in Akola, India, along with other higher officials, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to embark on collaborative projects. The ceremony was also attended by Dr D. M. Mankar, the Director of research, by the Head of the soil science department and by Dr N.D. Parlawar, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture in Nagpur as well as several senior officials and scientists of the university.
The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL was represented by Dr Gurbir Bhullar, theme leader for tropical agriculture and Dr Amritbir Riar, coordinator of the cotton breeding project. The scientists led targeted discussions on potential future areas for collaborative work. Dr Bhale, who has recently taken up his post as vice-chancellor, expressed his keen interest in collaborating with FiBL and emphasized his commitment to promote the work of the PDKV University at an international level.
While FiBL is a global leader in organic agriculture, the PDKV University is far ahead of many other Indian institutions in starting the work on organic agriculture, which was initiated by Dr Bhale in the department of agronomy. Long-term field trials, conservation agriculture, cotton breeding and climate resilient agriculture are some of the research areas where both institutions see opportunities for collaboration in the near future. Exchange programmes for research staff and students with the aim of mutual capacity development were a specific interest of the PDKV University.
pdkv.ac.in: Website of the Dr. PDKV Agricultural University