Our Staff

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    Dr. Nandkumar Kunchge

    Director, K.J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research (KIAAR), Sameerwadi, Karnataka, India.

    Dr. Nandkumar Kunchge is Director of K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research (KIAAR), Sameerwadi, Karnataka. He served agricultural community for more than 30 years through seeds industries (Mahyco, Mahabeej, Bejo Sheetal/ Kalash seeds) as Principal scientist and later as Director (Biotechnology) for six years.

    His research interest has been focused on agricultural development applying modern tools, experienced in crop biotechnology: Development of genetically modified crops (recalcitrant crops like Cajanus cajan, Allium cepa), biosafety studies of Bt. Brinjal (A complete make in India product), regulatory affairs, doubled haploids (Solanaceae & Cucurbits), polyploids, plant protoplasts, molecular breeding, micro propagation. Keeps keen interest in precision & organic agriculture with sustainable eco-friendly systems to conserve & enhance natural plethora

    Dr. Nandkumar has led multiple projects as Principal Investigator, supported by BIRAC, DBT Govt. of India under PPP model, coordinated for systematization of programs with International linkage to keep pace with global standards (e.g. ISTA accreditation) In this context travelled to more than 12 counties, led technology negotiations with IPR awareness.

    Dr. Nandkumar has been selected as Cochran Fellow, by USDA, USA in 2015 & represented India seed industry. He is passionate in scientific networking, technology hunting & its judicial applications, He has published a book chapter, five research papers, delivered lectures in training program (e.g. IARI, IIVR), organized trainers training programs, workshops, International Conference (AgTech Global Summit 2012), African delegation study tours (2013-2023). Also mentored more than 25 students for their masters & Industrial sandwich training program (BCIL supported), guided 3 Ph. D students as co-guide, working as Adjunct Professor for Institute of Chemical Technology (Marathwada Centre). He serves as member on board of studies for various Universities.

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    Dr. Adiveppa Asangi

    Senior Soil Scientist at K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research (KIAAR), Sameerwadi

    Dr. Adiveppa Asangi obtained his masters’ and Ph.D. degree from University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore with specialization in Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry. He is the recipient of University Gold Medal for his Masters’ studies. Dr. Adiveppa Asangi is specialized in soil health, crop nutrition, soil nutrient transformation, amelioration of problematic soils and carbon sequestration. He is currently working on carbon sequestration, soil test crop response (STCR) approach, biochar application and soil mapping.

    Dr. Adiveppa Asangi joined KIAAR in May 2022. Before joining KIAAR, He worked as Research Associate at UAS Dharwad under the project “Organic jaggery production”, as a Cane officer at Indian Cane Power Limited (ICPL), Mudhol and as Deputy Manager (Cane Development) in a startup company.

    He has well experience in assessing soil health and irrigation water quality and suggesting farmers regarding their soil health and nutrient management. He also involved in all the research activities and assists in farm management, development and transfer of technologies to farming community. He has lot of interest in soil quality assessment, climate change, carbon sequestration, carbon farming, remote sensing and soil mapping.

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    Mr. Basavaraj Kongawad

    Agronomist, K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research, Sameerwadi, Karnataka, India

    Mr. Basavaraj Kongawad is an Agronomist at K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research (KIAAR), Sameerwadi. He is specialized in Agronomy and an alumnus of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. He is handling all the research trials related to sugarcane crop production and AICRP trials on Sugarcane Improvement. He is involved in maintenance of KIAAR farm activities and three tier seed nursery program in collaboration with Godavari Bio-Refineries Limited (GBL). He assists in development of crop production technologies for improving the productivity of sugarcane and allied crops cultivated in the region. He is also actively involved in organising extension activities like training, field days and demonstrations.

    Mr. Basavaraj Kongawad joined KIAAR, Sameerwadi in February 2003. Before joining KIAAR, he has served at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad as a Researcher and Agriculture Officer at Kisan Plant Biotech Limited Company. On campus, you can find him involved in farm management activities and advising new agricultural technologies to farmers. He enjoys playing badminton and watching sports.

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    Mr. Sunil Kumar Jha

    Senior Remote Sensing Scientist, K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research, Sameerwadi, Karnataka, India

    Mr. Sunil Kumar Jha is working as the Sr. Remote Sensing Scientist at K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research (KIAAR), Sameerwadi. He has received his master's degree from Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Ranchi with distinction (Batch Topper) and graduated from Nagpur University in Electronics Engineering. He has overall 7+ years of industrial experience, and 3+ years in agriculture using remote sensing and GIS.

    Mr. Jha does research about various techniques and issues in monitoring agricultural dynamics from space. His area of interest includes Agriculture, Forestry, watersheds, and Glacier mapping using RS and GIS. He is currently involved in crop identification, crop mapping, yield estimation, ET mapping at the local and regional scale, crop water stress assessment, chlorophyll and nitrogen mapping, biomass estimation, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), crop height mapping using UAV, microwave remote sensing for agriculture. He is currently working with AI/ML team to execute new Remote Sensing based products. He is engaged in Agricultural labeled GPS database creation for providing cadastral level services to the farmers.

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    Mrs. Vrushali Deshmukh

    Soil Scientist, K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research, Sameerwadi, Karnataka, India

    Mrs. Vrushali Deshmukh is a Soil Scientist at K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agricultural Research (KIAAR), Sameerwadi. Vrushali is specialized in Land Resource Management under Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry. She has completed Master's degree in National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use planning (NBSS&LUP), Nagpur. She is handling Soil Science laboratory and Vermicompost production. She is involved in analyzing soil, water and leaf samples for nutrients and reclamation. She is also involved in giving customized recommendations to farmers about the application of fertilizers, organic manures and soil amendments based on soil analysis and target yield.

    Vrushali joined KIAAR, Sameerwadi in Jan 2020. Before joining KIAAR, she worked as an Assistant Professor at Sahyadri College of Agricultural Engineering, Karad. On-campus, you can find her involved in soil research, visiting farmer's fields for soil sample collection, tutoring the farmers about new agricultural technologies and arranging training programme for farmers to covey importance of “Soil Testing and reclamation of soils”. She has lots of interest in travelling and enjoys playing outdoor games like Basketball and badminton.