The jurisdiction of UAS, Dharwad is endowed with a great diversity of climate, soils and crops, spread across four agro-climatic zones, viz., Northern Dry Zone, Northern Transitional Zone, Hilly Zone and Coastal Zone. A number of agricultural, horticultural and plantation crops, spices and condiments, medicinal and aromatic plants are being cultivated. Four major irrigation projects, viz., Upper Krishna, Tungabhadra, Malaprabha and Ghataprabha operating in the area provide irrigation to about 7.18 lakh ha.
The research needs of the farmers are catered through 30 Agricultural Research Stations spread across diverse agro-ecosystems, 25 All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRPs) and 267 externally funded adhoc projects and staff research projects.
Recently, the University has been recognized for implementation of Obama-Singh initiative on reformed curriculum in emerging areas of agriculture and food security and the ICAR Niche Area of Excellence for exploiting microbial and genomic resources for plant disease management.
Some of the mega research projects include, Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana under the Prime Minister's special package on agriculture, World Bank aided National Agricultural Innovation Project, CIDA-McGill-UASD collaborative project on consolidation of food security in South India, World Bank aided GoK project entitled Community Based Tank Management Consultancy Project, DBT programme support for agricultural biotechnology, collaborative programme with Indonesian Government with regard to wheat, National Horticulture Mission and Technology Mission on Cotton (Gol), Centrally funded Farmers' Participatory Action Research Programme (PFARP), empowerment of rural families through value addition of regional staple food grains funded by IDRC, Canada and a project on empowerment of SC/ST farmers through IFS funded by GoK, precision farming, production of bio-diesel yielding plants, rain water harvesting and ground water recharge at Dharwad and Vijayapur campuses funded by CGB, New Delhi.
The mission of the University is to explore new frontiers of science and knowledge and to develop human resources and policy guidance to create a vibrant, responsive and resilient agriculture. In order to realize this mission, the university has the mandate to conduct basic, strategic and applied research and to undertake need based research that leads to crop improvement and sustained agricultural productivity; It aims to serve as a centre for research excellence in organic farming, dryland farming, seed production, precision farming, millets value addition, water management and customized hiring of agriculture implements and to provide leadership in its various activities. Further, UASD is undertaking effective adaptive and applied researches to solve regional and location-specific problems.
While crop improvement and breeding will continue to be its strong programme, the thrust will shift to new strategic areas such as exploitation of heterosis and development of hybrids, new plant types combining high biomass production with high harvest index, identification and incorporation of genes for resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses and other desirable attributes. The seed unit would also plan to take up research work on seed production, processing, storage, grow out test and use of molecular tools in quality seed production.
Basic and strategic researches will also be strengthened or established in the areas of resource management. Geographical information system, remote sensing and crop modelling will be emphasized to generate new concepts, tools and methodologies based on systems approach.
Agronomic research will address the needs and opportunities of small farmers through the development of new cropping systems and crop diversification modules consistent with sustainable use of land, water and other natural and purchased production resources. Basic research in nutrient management, soil-plant-water relations, soil physics, soil water dynamics and kinetics leading to the development of integrated plant-soil-water-nutrient management systems will be given high priority.
The university will continue to undertake research in new and emerging areas such as climate change; impact of conservation agriculture and application of nanoscience in diagnostics, formulation of agrochemicals and waste water management; protection of plant varieties and farmers’ rights, intellectual property rights and biosafety. Thus, the University will lead the research for enhanced and sustainable agricultural production towards the achievement set for future goal.