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After a long 22 hour journey, our team comprising of 26 members (Faculty + Staff + Students) from Cornell reached Cochin airport yesterday Jan 4, 19 around 10 AM. The group was amazed at the facilities /infrastructure of Cochin airport. One of our members did not get his bags so after the necessary paperwork everyone was met by the big smiles of Sathguru folks (Hema and Pradeep) who escorted us to the bus. We did a quick check in had lunch and all the 3 groups were off to their respective field trips. The sunshine and the walk in the fields kept us all awake.  In the evening we had orientation and a great lecture on India's advances and future challenges in meeting its food needs for the next century by Vijay from Sathguru.

We are encouraging students at CU and India end to regularly post their blog on this site by adding their daily impressions on the visits plus some good pictures so that you all can get an idea of our daily activities.

Best wishes for the new year


A view of the pineapple field.

Fresh off the plane, the IARD 6020 group made our way to the farms and fields at Kolenchery. There, we met Adji, a second-generation farmer who leads 5 plots of 20 acre land for production of pineapple, rubber, nutmeg, and more.

Pineapple closeup.

We discussed the crop cycle and harvesting methods of pineapple, and remarked upon how weeds from the field were hand-weeded and used to cover the fruit to protect it from the sun. 

Each pineapple crop takes approximately 11 months to harvest, and each plant produces 4-5 fruits. The farmer gets 24 rupees per kilo. The farm grows two varieties, Rahnee and Queen varieties, and employs 30 laborers. 

Students enjoyed eating a fresh pineapple.


We had the chance to try our hand at cutting the pineapple as skillfully as Adji.


Although the group was fatigued from travel and very jet-lagged, we were revived by an impromptu pineapple tasting. The fruit was sweet, juicy, and refreshing.

After, we continued our walk through the land and got to see some cows and some spices.

These cows seemed happy to be in the shade during the intense heat of the day.


Cacao fruit.


Black pepper.


Many of us had never seen these spices outside of our spice racks at home, and appreciated the opportunity to see how they are grown.

Black pepper drying.


Chili’s drying.


Lastly, we got to see how latex is harvested.


Overall, although the American students were very fatigued from travel and jet lag, the day was filled with new knowledge and the group seemed very excited and grateful to be in India with our Indian student peers and professors.

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the IARD 6020 2019 blog.  Please post daily and include as many photos as possible.  This will be used while you are in India and before you depart.

Please let me know if there are any problems with the site.

If you haven't done so, please join the Facebook page for the IARD 6020 trip.


Danielle (

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