Over 30 students from Cornell University are in Tamil Nadu as part of a 13-day agricultural visit to India. On Wednesday, the students visited a government-sponsored farmers produce trade center in Coimbatore, where they interacted with the farmers.
[Peter Hobbs, Head of the Department of Agriculture, Cornell University]:
"The important thing here is for the students to see the diversity of crops that farmers grow and also interact with farmers about what their reaction is to farming and how they can improve farming."
Indian farmers sell their produce directly to the consumers without a middleman.
[Olivia Diamond, Student, Cornell University]:
"This system of like buying and trading goods is very different from what we have in the United States. The farmer and the consumer get to meet each other. The food seems to be a lot fresher, so I think I would really enjoy buying my food here and having it really fresh — being able to meet and talk to the people that grow it. "
In the United States, consumers buy products from supermarkets and do not come in direct contact with the farmers.
[Shelby Rajkovich, Student, Cornell University]:
"I think it is very important for the farmers to directly connect with the consumers and bring a healthy product. And everything that I have seen so far... the produces look beautiful and everything I have tasted has been great. So I think this is a really great system."
During the visit, the students will also learn about tropical crop breeding systems, pollination methods, and cultivation of millets.
The visit by the Cornell University students is also a part of the courses offered by the University of International Agricultural and Rural Development (IARD).
Post-graduate students have a chance to be exposed to emerging challenges and opportunities in the global food and agricultural sectors.