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The Rediff Special/
George Iype in Hyderabad
Andhra agri university hopes to dazzle Bush
March 02, 2006
Will US President Bush be impressed by the rice, maize and cotton varieties cultivated by Indian farmers?
"He will be, I am sure," says Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy, who has spent the last few days at the Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), which is all set to receive its most high profile
visitor ever on Friday: President Bush.
Soon after the American President's arrival at Hyderabad's Begumpet airport, he will take a helicopter to the ANGRAU campus.
"We have organized a farming exhibition in a demonstration field at the university campus, to show how India produces the best of rice, maize, cotton etc," Reddy told rediff.com.
He said Bush would visit the demonstration field in the university campus at Rajendranagar where new varieties of hybrid crops are being grown on an experimental basis.
Bush will thus be the first US President to see how farming is done in India. The idea, officials said, is to set the tone for the series of agricultural joint projects India and the US are set to embark on.
Reddy says during the meeting with President Bush, Indian agricultural scientists will ask for US expertise in improving agricultural productivity in the country.
The AP government has also chalked up plans to make the Bush visit a great leap forward in India's second Green Revolution. Towards this end, some farmers and members of self-help groups from all over the state have been
brought to interact with the US team.
Reddy says the interaction will be an occasion for India to project to President Bush the latest trends in wet and dry land farming and improvised techniques of scientific farming.
The university scientists will also brief Bush on the SRI (Systems Rice Intensification) method of cultivation developed by them, which boosts yield by 37 per cent and reduces water requirement by 35 per cent.
The agriculture department launched the initiative to popularise SRI paddy cultivation during the current crop year by organising 14,400 demonstrations during kharif and rabi seasons at a cost of Rs 25 million (slightly less than $0.5 million).
The scientists will also explain to Bush the university's research in biotechnology and genetic engineering.