Amrita University continues to accelerate the adoption of sustainable development, by collaborating with SAARC Countries and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), and conducted an expert consultation meeting on “Assessment of role of agro-processing as a key component of rural mass employment and rural development models” at Amrita University, Coimbatore on 18-19 August 2016. The seminar focused on establishing a shared framework for rural development through small-scale agro-business.
Members* from the Ministries of 10 countries -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – attended the seminar. Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore hosted the event.
Welcoming the delegates, Dr. R. Raghu Raman, Chairman, Amrita School of Business said, “This initiative with SAARC countries and CIRDAP is a part of University’s roadmap to incorporate the United Nations’ mission on Environment and Development. The trio addressed three main jeopardies of the existing model of development, comprising income inequity, gender inequity, and lack of sustainability. The framework developed will be integrated with the developmental efforts taken by Mata Amritanandamayi Math and Amrita University.”
Dr. Sankaran K., Registrar, Amrita University was the Chief Guest for the event. He summarized various sustainable developmental activities undertaken by the University as well as the Government, including PURA, Kudumbasree, Amrita SeRVe (Amrita’s program to empower villages), Amrita SREE (Amrita’s Self-reliance program for women), etc.
Dr. Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, Director, SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) commented, “Agriculture is the major source of South Asian economy. SAC was established with a primary objective of strengthening the sector by focusing on research and technological interventions in the field, especially by establishing regional networks, providing inputs for developing regional policies, facilitating collaborative studies, etc. This initiative goes in par with SAC’c objectives and I thank you all participants for making this a success.”
In response to the increasing suicide rates among the farmers (in India), Mr. Tevita G. Boseiwaqa Tanginavulau, Director General, CIRDAP highlighted the need to cultivate self- determination in people. “Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, all had different styles of leadership. Of all the things that boost their success, the most important is having self-determination. The will-power of the individuals has to be made stronger.”
Each country member presented his country’s agro-processing experiences, discussed the challenges faced and shared the successful research & business models adopted in the respective country. For India, Dr. K. Alagusundaram, DDG (Agricultural Engineering), ICAR, Pusa, New Delhi presented the facts. The members visited the villages near Coimbatore adopted by Mata Amritanandamayi Math to witness the sustainable practices put in place by
Mr. Ir. Kristiawan, a businessman from Indonesia (only non-governmental member in the meeting), demonstrated the success of agro-processing in Indonesia through the food materials made from fruits and vegetables including jackfruit, carrot, banana, apple, to name a few. Amrita University plans to establish an incubation center for agro-processing in Coimbatore campus, thereby providing a facility for the villagers to get trained in the agro-processing and earn a livelihood.
*Details of Attendees:
Dr. Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, Director, SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC)
Dr. Tayan Raj Gurung, Senior Program Specialist (NRM), SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC)
Mr. Tevita G. Boseiwaqa Tanginavulau, Director General, Centre on Integrated Rural
Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP)
Dr. Vasanthi Rajendran, Director, Information & Communication Div. and Director (Training),
Mr. Shaiful Rahman, Research Officer, CIRDAP
Indonesia: Mr. Ir. Kristiawan, CV. Kajeye Food, JL Polowijen II/359 Malang - Jawa Timur,
Malaysia: Mr. Abu Hassan bin Haji Ishak, Principal Research Officer, Promolio4 and Business
Development Centre, MARDI Headquarters, Malaysia
Thailand: Mr. Pallop TanjariYaPorn, Chief of International Relations Unit. Community Development Department Ministry of Interior, Thailand
Bhutan: Mr. Dechen Tshering, Offtg. Chief Post Production Officer, Post Harvest Centre, Paro, Bhutan
Bangladesh: Mohammed Abdul Martin, Director General, RDA, Bogra
India: Dr. K. Alagusundaram, DDG (Agricultural Engineering), ICAR, Pusa, New Delhi, India
Maldives: Mr. Ismail Rasheed, Director of Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Male, Maldives.
Sri Lanka: Mrs. H.M.J. IIankoom Manike, Additional Director, Extension and Training Centre, Department of Agriculture, MoA, Sri Lanka
Afghanistan: Khwaja Mohammed Shafi Seddeqi, Member of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL)
Nepal: Santhosh Raj Paudel, Senior Agricultural Economist, Dept. of Agriculture, Ministry of Agricultural Development, Nepal
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