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Vasantrao Naik Agri-Uni VC Lands International Academy of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (iAABE) Fellowship

Vice Chancellor of Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University in Parbhani Maharashtra, bagged the International Academy of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (iAABE) fellowship in the US for “Sustainable Food-Water-Energy Nexus - India Context”.

Stuti Das
Newly appointed VC, Dr. Indra Mani gets fellowship for “Sustainable Food-Water-Energy Nexus - India Context” paper.
Newly appointed VC, Dr. Indra Mani gets fellowship for “Sustainable Food-Water-Energy Nexus - India Context” paper.

Dr. Indra Mani, recently elected Vice Chancellor of Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University in Parbhani Maharashtra was awarded the International Academy of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (iAABE) fellowship. He was awarded the fellowship at the 20th World Congress of the International Commission of Agricultural Engineering (CIGR) held in Kyoto, Japan earlier this month.

Prof. Indra Mani joined as a Vice-Chancellor of Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth on 25th July, 2022. Previously, he has worked as Joint Director Research at prestigious Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi.

Being in the industry for 29 years, he has worked extensively in the fields of machinery development for agro-residue management, dryland agriculture, vegetable mechanization, small farm mechanization, and equipment for enhancing fertilizer use efficiency. He has also headed the committee for developing standard guidelines of development of agricultural drone policy of India for Soil Nutrients application and drafting of crop wise SoP.

His projects have had an outreach of 18 states in advance of a profitable venture through yield in dry land areas, enhanced fertilizer use efficiency, biomass management, production of quality compost and mechanization of small farms. Along with publishing 140 research papers he has also been responsible for setting up Design Innovation Centre in collaboration with IIT for developing innovative solutions for Indian farmers. 

He has received multiple awards like ICAR -Bharat Ratna C.Subramaniam Outstanding Teacher Award, ASABE (USA) Presidential Citation award, ICFA Apollo tyres award, MoWR groundwater augmentation award, ICAR-Jawahar Lal Nehru award, IARI Best Teacher Award, Institution of Engineers Gold medal, ASPEE Award, ISAE Fellowship, IEI Fellowship, ISAE Team Award and ISAE Outstanding Book Award. 

He was awarded the fellowship in reference to his project on “Sustainable Food-Water-Energy Nexus - India Context” where he pointed out that the world will likely exceed 9 billion people by 2050 requiring 70%, 80% and 55%, more food, water and energy, respectively.

“Managing Food-Water- Energy nexus has become a matter of global concern due to environmental security under changing climate. Currently, it is estimated that 26 million diesel and electric pumps run on Indian farms, making them the dominant technology offerings today. However, grid-connected pumps that rely on electricity face the same challenge that any other load connected to India’s central grid faces: frequent outages. In addition, diesel-based pumps burden farmers with high recurring fuel expenditures.” as stated in his research paper. The concerns related to lack of dependable fuel solutions hinders sustainable goals. Apart from this the groundwater depletion, which can be saved through micro-irrigation.  

He posed the ‘Sustainable Food-energy-water nexus-potential’ options in the Indian context for the coming days such as: Smart technologies (agro-hydrological interventions): Improved irrigation techniques (Laser leveling, micro-irrigation, SRI, increasing pump efficiency), Reduction in energy used in pumping, (utilization of solar energy), Minimum tillage system, Genetic improvement in crops for heat and drought tolerance.

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