(INDIA)

A new multi-million dollar initiative – backed by the World Bank – aims to improve the performance of the agriculture industry in India.

An investment of $82.50 million was sanctioned by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors this month, to support the efforts of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and agricultural universities in the country to build a stronger industry in India.

“Higher agricultural productivity will help India respond to several challenges such as persistent malnutrition, increased water scarcity and climate change,” explained Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India. “By focusing on innovation, research and improving skills of students, agricultural universities can become the engine for increasing agricultural productivity.”

The focus will be on training a new generation equipped with the skills to succeed in an industry, which globally, is experience a period of huge transformation.

“Students will benefit from a shift to a more learning-centered education, where the emphasis will be on leveraging ICT, external partnerships and on global experiences that will both expand and sharpen their skill set needed for future employment,” added Edward William Bresnyan, Senior Agriculture Economist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for this project.