Agri Business

Mali, TNAU pact for transfer of farm tech

L. N. Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on March 11, 2011

Ambassador of the Republic of Mali, Mr Ousmane Tandia and Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Mr P. Murugesa Boopathi during the signing of the MoU at the university in Coimbatore on Friday. Photo: Handout (email)   -  HANDOUT_E_MAIL.

It was his second visit in two months to the farm varsity here, but the Ambassador of Mali Republic (in Western Africa), Mr Ousmane Tandia, seemed convinced that with the technical support from University experts here, agricultural production and productivity could be enhanced in his country.

“I am quite impressed by what I saw here and am convinced that both the countries have lot of social and cultural similarities. What we need is a new kind of cooperation to see how we can grow together,” he said, after inking an agreement with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for transfer and dissemination of innovative farming technologies, input and capacity building.

The agreement is for a period of three years.

Stating that Mali is basically an agricultural country with 73 per cent of the working population engaged in subsistence farming, he said “the holdings are small and farming practices, rain-fed. There is no dearth of natural resources; River Niger and Senegal is flooded with water; farm productivity levels are low for want of suitable production technologies and quality inputs,” he said.

TNAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Murugesa Boopathy, said the University would be sending a team to Mali to study the soil, climate and type of agricultural farm practices there. Based on the team's report, the University would draw a plan to help the Republic of Mali in capacity building efforts. “We will also be inviting a team of scientists from there to study our farming practices. We will facilitate technical support only, without any financial commitment arising out of this agreement for both parties,” he added.

As per the agreement, the Embassy of the Republic of Mali would organise the visit of the officials of both parties and look after all the formalities related to government policies for receiving the technical and material support from TNAU.

Asked the reason for tying up with TNAU, Mr Tandia, said “productivity levels are slipping. For instance, Mali's cotton production has slipped from 6 lakh tonnes some time back to 2 lakh tonnes now. Farmers are moving out of cotton cultivation as they no longer find it remunerative. Since cotton has been the largest export crop, we want to step up production.”

In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice, millet, corn, vegetables, tobacco and tree crops.

Published on March 11, 2011

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