The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the Universtiy of Nebraska and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of India plan to work together on a joint international research and education partnership. The two groups will provide financing for faculty, grad students, and post-doctoral scholars from UN to work with Jain Irrigation scientists to find solutions for water and food security.
Jain Irrigation, one of the largest irrigation and food processing companies in the world, will donate $500,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation over the next five years to support the Jain Irrigation – University of Nebraska Water for Food Research and Education Program. The funding from Jain Irrigation and resources provided by the Daugherty Water for Food Institute will help support a cooperative program, including scientific exchanges for hands-on research, training and outreach projects.
Chairman Bhavarlal H. Jain noted that the University of Nebraska’s Water for Food Institute and Jain Irrigation are committed to a collaborative partnership to sustainably increase yields and improve water productivity.
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said, “Feeding the world’s growing population is one of the most urgent challenges of the day. […] our collaboration will benefit students and faculty, farmers and ranchers, and people in Nebraska, India and elsewhere.”
“We’re excited to move forward with Jain Irrigation. Tapping into their expertise in precision irrigation technology and experience with agricultural settings in a wide variety of climates, soil conditions and cultures will provide beneficial insights for us in Nebraska,” said Water for Food’s Christopher Neale. “The funding will catalyze global, multi-disciplinary research opportunities to advance our shared efforts to improve water management and crop yields, while helping to educate the scientists of the future.”
The focus of the endeavor will be on improving salt and drought tolerance of soybeans and bananas, training and education in biotech for Jain scientists, and using geospatial technology to improve water management and productivity.