Gold medallist wants to become an entrepreneur

Student from Bihar says that Shimoga is his second home

Gold medallist wants to become an entrepreneur

A BSc Agriculture student, Ashutosh won 13 gold medals, the highest across all the degrees.

Ashutosh from Chapra district in Bihar studied at the Agriculture College in Shimoga.

Though his father is an engineer settled in Madhya Pradesh, he was inspired by his grandfather who was a farmer. He said: "My father always told me that whatever you do, compete and excel." 

On his choice of college, the 24-year said he had written ICAR’s all India entrance exam which has 15 per cent quota in all the affiliated universities. He chose Shimoga during the counselling round as many recommended him that the agriculture colleges in the South were good.

Ashutosh said he found it difficult to adjust to food in the first three months, adding that he now felt Shimoga as his second home.

On language barrier, he said the college  had Kannada course for non-Kannadiga students in the first two semesters. He said: “I understand Kannada and can speak as well. But, when we had to interact with farmers and collect information, my Kannadiga classmates used to help me." He was one of the seven students in his class selected in the ICAR exam. 

Owning about 15 hectares in his native village Ashutosh is eager to apply his knowledge. He said: "We grow seasonal crops there but irrigation is very less. So I want to do dry land farming."

Ashutosh, who is now pursuing MBA in Agri Business Management at the National Institute of Agriculture Marketing, wants to join micro finance institutions run by NGOs and help farmers. “Eventually, I want to become an entrepreneur," he said.  

Two of his cousins along with him have passed out from Agriculture College in Allahabad, this year. His father's brother is an agriculturist and his grandfather's brother was a professor of Agriculture extension at the Bihar College of Agriculture.

More land required

Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) Secretary Dr S Ayyappan urged Governor and Chancellor of UAS Hans Raj Bhardwaj, to allot more land to agricultural universities and not to take back the land already with the university.

Ayyappan said there should be facilitation of faculty movement in various agricultural universities within the country. The government funding for agriculture education should be at par with what is allotted to engineering or medical colleges, he added. "We want three-fold increase in agriculture higher education in the next 10 years. More students have been taking admission in agriculture colleges and we have increased the cut off from 65 per cent to 80 per cent. Still, a lot more needs to be done," he said.

He said that Karnataka was one of the leading agricultural states and contributes five per cent of food grains, 17 per cent coarse cereals, 4.5 million tonnes milk and over two billion eggs to the national agricultural production. It was also encouraging to see that Karnataka was being looked at for pulse production, especially Arhar dal.

"We want to rejuvenate lesser and unknown crops such as millet," he said. On a promising note, he expected that this year, there would be bumper crop due to good rainfall in the country.

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