NAHEP-CAAST-VNMKV center has been formulated by VNMKV with a total cost of Rupees 17.88 crore at the exchange rate of Rs. 66.75 = 1US$ for three years starting from 2019-20 to 2022-23. The project is proposed on 50:50 cost sharing basis between the World Bank and the Government of India, implemented at VNMKV. Overall, the project aims to establish an advanced basic engineering hardware and software setup such as Mechatronics, CAD/CAM/CAE, 3-D Printers and Instrumentation Laboratories for Agribots, Agri-drones and Agri-AGVs., so that a holistic model can be developed to raise the standard of current agricultural education system that provides more jobs and is entrepreneurship oriented and on par with the global agriculture education standards. NAHEP-CAAST-VNMKV is now embarking upon an ambitious step in further strengthening the digital farming solutions for enhancing productivity by robots, drones, and AGV’s; with financial assistance of the World Bank and ICAR investing on infrastructure, competency and commitment of faculty, and attracting talented students to agriculture.
The NAHEP-CAAST DFSRDA-VNMKV Parbhani centre is integrated by three interdisciplinary research divisions such as Agribots, Agri-Drones and Agri-AGV’s based on four portfolios:
- Climate-based Digital Knowledge Support Centre. (CDKS)
- Seed/Seedling Processing and Nursery Automation Centre. (SSPN)
- Smart Portable Machinery Centre. (SPM)
- Food Processing Automation Centre. (FPA)
(1) Climate-based Digital Knowledge Support Centre:
- To establish the laboratories related to Agri bots, Agri drones and Agri AGVs application in CDKS, such as GIS, Remote sensing and modeling software’s in the computational lab for climate-based digital support center.
- To involve PG/ Ph. D. (Agri. Engineering, Agronomy, and Soil Science, etc.) students in project work, elective courses and certificate courses related to CDKS.
- To develop case studies, internet of things (IoT), Apps and software tools related to CDKS.
- To conduct training programs (one week/ two weeks) related to CDKS.
- To develop digital tools, equipment’s for students, faculty, farmers, and entrepreneurs.
- To establish national/international level collaborative work/ MOU with IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay, and Overseas universities.
(2) Seed/Seedling Processing and Nursery Automation Centre:
- Establishment of laboratories related to Agri-Bots Agri-AGVs and sensor-based technologies used in seed, seedling processing unit and atomized nursery center.
- Conduction of certificates courses in the digital agriculture system for PG/Ph.D. students.
- Starting of training and workshop for the students’ farmers and entrepreneurs. (3Days,1or 2 weeks).
- National international collaboration with universities for knowledge exchange.
- Built capacity of student’s farmer for self-employment.
(3) Smart Portable Machines:
- To develop advanced laboratories for Agri-Bots, Agri-Drones, Agri- AGVs and smart portable farm machinery.
- To develop the capacity amongst the faculties/scientist/PG-Ph.D. students/ rural entrepreneurs for the development and adoption of the mechatronics devices and precision agricultural machinery.
- To develop different mobile applications, software programs, Decision support systems, etc. on digital farming for effective dissemination of advanced farming technologies among different stakeholders.
- To conduct high-end capacity research and technologies for the integration of advanced engineering & technologies into existing farming practices for increasing production efficiency.
- To organize National/ International seminars, conferences/exhibitions/ stakeholder interface meetings for upscaling students and faculty research approach.
(4) Food Processing Automation Centre:
- To establish an advanced basic engineering hardware and software setups such as Mechatronics, CAD/CAM/CAE, 3-D Printers and Instrumentation Laboratories for Agribots and Agri-AGVs in the food processing industry.
- To strengthen the present PG and Ph.D. courses in food processing automation by offering three electives course work such as Robotics, Drones or AGVs and also to Certificate courses.
- To develop case studies / Projects of Agribots, Agri-drones, Agri-AGVs applications in the food industry.
- To enhance the skills of faculty and PG /Ph.D. student of VNMKV by academic and thematic research.
- To establish the University and Industry interface for PG /Ph.D. students and faculty at the national and international levels.
- To acquaint the students and rural youths on-going thrust programs and related new technologies (use of Agribots, AVG, and Drones) in Food Processing.
- To introduce students/entrepreneurs/ farmers for theoretical and practical applications of advanced techniques of fruit and vegetable processing in food industries.
- To acquaint with applications of Drone, Robot and AGV’s base material handling equipment’s in food industries.