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ICAR-AIU enter pact to facilitate students visit to top agri universities

New Delhi, Jan 19: In a move that could kindle interest among students towards agriculture, the two of the top education and research institutes in the country have entered a pact to facilitate students’ visit to top agriculture universities and develop a better perspective of the sector and the nuances associated with it.

The students will visit 10 agriculture universities in a group of 25 for three days each and share their observations at the end of each day, said a statement.

The initiative will be piloted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) who have already signed an agreement in this regard.

The majority of the students have little idea what agriculture entails. We need to teach them about the challenges that farmers confront. It's up to us to orient them. We have established a programme for non-agricultural students to visit agricultural universities for this reason," said AIU Secretary-General G. Thiruvasagam, one of the agreement's signatories.

The agriculture universities are currently being selected for the visit and the students’ cost will be borne by both ICAR and AIU.

The move is being seen as an attempt to create interest among students especially in the urban areas who are detached from the sector and have minimal understanding about the subject barring some elementary facts.

Agriculture today contributes roughly 20 per cent to India’s GDP and remained the fastest growing sector during the Covid lockdown. It possesses immense potential for employment generation and has seen bright minds gravitate towards the sector to start an agri-tech firm or become an entrepreneur. Yet the interest in agriculture-related academic disciplines remains low as compared to other subjects.

At the end of the visit, the statement, the students will release a book and make a film on agriculture tourism.