Offers four mandates namely education, research, extension and training. Located at Bhagalpur, Bihar
Established in 2010, Bihar Agricultural University (BAU) is engaged in teaching, research, extension and training. It has 14 departments catering to the graduates and post graduates. Speaking about their research foray, Dr. M. L. Choudhary, Vice Chancellor of BAU says, “We are working on drought resistant varieties of crops to be grown in the drought conditions of Bihar. Rice, wheat and maize are the main crop varieties we are focusing on. We are also engaged in horticultural research. Fortunately Bihar is now second largest vegetable producer.”
He adds, “Ours is one of the first universities in the country to release hybrid mangoes. We are also working on both tropical and subtropical staple. We have already released almost more than 50 varieties in different vegetable. We have expertise in pointed gourd (‘parval’). We have a coconut arcade and are the monopoly producers of certain varieties.”
Commenting on extension services, Dr. Choudhary says, “Bihar has got almost 38 districts having 38 Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s. BAU has initiated an innovative programme, Kisan Gyan for these Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s. Generally at these institutes thousands of people raise questions, which are solved by the scientist. Here at our university, there is a direct interaction between the farmers and the scientist every Saturday. This was initiated to address all the issues of the farmers and the farming community.
This programme has been so successful that the central government is going to fund this programme and implement in other states, too.”
The University has also launched another programme called Technology Week. “During the Technology Week the university or an institute working under the university or KVK, puts up a technology showcase. For a whole week the farmers come and visit the scientists at KVK. In fact they can find the solution for their problem. There by we are upgrading the knowledge of the farmers who are in the farming community,” maintains Dr. Choudhary. The university is also planning to have a Knowledge Centre in at least 16 village panchayats of the district. “The basic idea is that we can know the latest technology in farming, so we can guide the farmers through these Knowledge Centres. We have large number of farmers in the villages and we can make a knowledge hub and knowledge bank for the farmers living in the remote areas,” he adds.
The training programmes offered by BAU are specially designated for training the farmers. They offer training in all domains of agriculture. “We hold training programme for more than 200 days. We want to impart knowledge to the farmers. We are also involved in commercial agriculture producing of plantation materials. We produce breeder seeds and distribute to the farmers,” says Dr. Choudhary.
Youth in Agriculture
Dr. Choudhary says “About 65% of the students go for agriculture graduation and the rest for post-graduation and PhD. There should be enough job and business opportunities for them. Right now there is big scope in the government of Bihar,” he adds, “The university also trains the students during the course. Students have formed a club for sharing entrepreneurial ideas and skills. It also helps in personality development.”
Commenting on the disinclination of Indian youth towards agriculture, he says, “Creating a livelihood out of agriculture is hard. But now there are so many youth taking up agriculture. The government has the various policies targeted at youth taking up agriculture. Institutes like BAU support new farmers. We are also taking steps to
enable youths to take up agriculture as a business.”
He adds, “Youth can take up other farming activities too. For example, we are one of the highest producers of honey in the whole country. It involves the complete business cycle – right from collection, processing, bottling and also marketing. The farmer can
also take up poultry farming. This way the youth can build successful businesses in agri sector.”
Dr. Choudhary did his PhD in molecular solvent. He has two post graduations – one from US mand one in India. He adds, “I have spent 13 years of my career in different countries. I became a horticulture commissioner, Government of India in the ministry of agriculture, then I became a vice chancellor of Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa, and then vice chancellor of Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour”.
For more information, contact : Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bhagalpur, Bihar – 813 210 Phone: +91-641-2451700
Website – http://bausabour.ac.in/index.php/site/page/home
Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey