Introduction

Post independent Indian agriculture has witnessed unprecedented expansion, growth and development driven primarily by rising domestic demand for food and new technologies. The Green Revolution of the sixties, accompanied with White, Yellow, and Blue Revolutions, transformed India from 'ship to mouth' scenario to food self-sufficiency and the Food Bill status. Nonetheless, India is still home to one-fourth of the world's hungry people. Thus, we have to pursue production plus plus approach to reach the unreached.

Of late, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in terms of production, from cropping system to farming system approach and in terms of demand supply chain from being production led to consumption driven. Nutritional security is already an important dimension of food security. Rapid climate change, globalization, technological revolution with IT and ICT enabled services have added altogether new dimensions in terms of the challenges as well as the opportunities. Further, agribusiness, value chain management, value addition, trade in food and food and agriculture products, and the emerging markets both at national and international levels have made agriculture a key player in the economy of the country rather than a mere source of livelihood. These dynamic developments have brought about equally dynamic challenges upon the domain of agricultural knowledge. These new challenges need to be met comprehensively since the transformational changes in agriculture are both brought about as well as sustained by knowledge. In fact the whole gamut of agricultural sciences and the ever evolving knowledge domain that nurtures these have never before been so seriously challenged in terms of curricular, attitudinal, aspirational and qualitative reorientation as well as the scale and scope of human and capital resource investment.

It is therefore imperative to have proactive cooperation, coordination and interfacing across the institutions, governments, and public and private sectors for converging all eorts to effect transformational changes. It is with a view to generate such system synergy that ICFA has instituted 'Agricultural Knowledge Transformation Platform' under the chairmanship of Prof. R. B. Singh, formerly Director (IARI), Chairman (ASRB), Assistant Director General, FAO, and presently Chancellor, Central Agriculture University, Imphal to proactively involve and engage all the stakeholders.

Chairperson

Prof. Singh, Ph. D. in Genetics (NCSU, Raleigh, USA, 1964), possesses a career of leadership in improving agrarian livelihood, food, nutrition and ecological security, in cutting-edge research and technology development, in higher education and human resources development and in policy and programme formulation, execution and appraisal; each pursued in national, continental and global capacities. Prof. Singh had made important original contributions in the fields of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, guided doctoral research of 45 Ph.Ds. and authored over 300 research and policy papers and 12 books.

In recognition of his immense contribution to new knowledge, human resource capital and the science-led transformation of agriculture towards the alleviation of hunger and poverty in India and the Asia Pacific Region, Prof. Ram Badan Singh has been awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Hon’ble President of India – one of India’s highest civilian honours that recognizes distinguished service of a high order to the Nation in any field, in 2003. Currently, Prof. Singh is Chancellor, Central Agricultural University, Imphal, and President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Convener

Dr Gupta has made pioneering contributions the field of agricultural sciences with special reference to crop breeding and biotechnology. He was the inaugural Director General of the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) and prior to joining BISA, he served for five years as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, known globally as the institution that was instrumental in ushering the ‘Green Revolution’ in India.

While working at IARI, New Delhi, Dr Gupta initiated several new programs including School of Horticulture, Centre for Environment and Climate Resilient Agriculture, Division of Food Processing and Post-Harvest Technology, IARI-NGO partnership for faster dissemination of technology.

Dr Gupta led development of India's first short duration ‘Quality Protein Maize’ hybrid through marker assisted breeding. His research contributions have been recognized at the National as well as at International levels and he is three time recipient of ICAR's Team Award for Outstanding Multidisciplinary Research. Dr Gupta has been conferred with the Societal Innovation Award of the National Research & Development Corporation and his group's research was selected for WIPO's Gold Medal in the year 2009. Dr Gupta is also the recipient of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Hari Om Ashram Trust, Dr. AS Cheema, Dr Panchanan Maheshwari lecture, Dr Rao Bahadur B. Vishwanath and Shri Om Prakash Bhasin awards. He has authored more than 100 papers.

In recognition of his contribution to the field of agricultural Sciences, Dr Gupta has been conferred D.Sc. (h.c.) by the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Modipuram and the Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat. Dr Gupta is a fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and has held presidency of the Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding during 2011-13.

Vision

To stimulate sustainable national and international collaborations, alliances and networks across all the stakeholders engaged in creating, upgrading, managing and disseminating agricultural knowledge towards science- and technology-led transformation and modernization in the field of agriculture.

Mission

To act as a national platform for interfacing concerned stakeholders, institutions, and public and private sectors involved in creating, standardizing and disseminating agricultural knowledge to forge synergistic alliances and to promote and advocate resource and policy support leading to a vibrant agrarian economy and national prosperity.

Objectives
  • To facilitate stakeholders' collaboration in order to establish integrated programs to organize joint studies, seminars, market surveys and study tours on major segments of agriculture knowledge through information processing.
  • To serve as a nodal platform for facilitating and sustaining excellence in R&D components of agricultural knowledge including through private sector and industry investments.
  • To act as a repository of relevant information, knowledge and trends in the field of food and agriculture system.
  • To facilitate formulation of informed policies, priorities, and programs to attain excellence in agricultural research and education for sustainable development.
  • To improve the quality of agricultural education through ingenious methodologies in instructions, exploration and outreach exercises including the co-curricular programs that support experiential learning and student success.
  • To facilitate the development of skilled human resources and entrepreneurship to sustain, diversify and fully harness the economic, social and ecological potential of agriculture sector.
  • Provide a national platform for all stakeholders to facilitate international collaborations, alliances and networks to create and sustain centers of excellence in every area of agricultural academics in the country