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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition


The Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition is a long-term research initiative that develops and assesses innovative, food systems-based approaches to reducing poverty and improving nutrition and livelihoods in the developing world, with a specific focus on India.

Prabhu Pingali and others standing outsideWith a diverse team of researchers and graduate students, TCI blends high-quality academic research, field-based projects, and policy analysis to generate and share knowledge relevant to policymakers, research institutions, and development agencies. As a multidisciplinary initiative, TCI provides a space where soil scientists, climate specialists, economists, nutritionists, food scientists, sociologists, and more can learn from each other’s work, share their research approaches and methodologies, and expand their perspectives on the complex nexus of agriculture, nutrition, and development.

TCI’s main office is located on Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, New York, where it is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and is hosted by the Department of Global Development. TCI also has satellite offices in Mumbai and New Delhi, India, where the Institute’s Center of Excellence is based.


Dr. Prabhu Pingali is the founding director of TCI. He joined the Institute and the Cornell University faculty in June 2013 as a professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, with joint appointments in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Why India?

Despite strong economic growth, the incidence of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition continue to be stubbornly high in India. About 210 million Indians are undernourished, while many others suffer from micronutrient deficiencies and obesity.

India’s food systems are changing. The rise of supermarkets, increased urbanization, and the free flow of information and commerce is accelerating the speed of dietary transformations. Meanwhile, government policies that boosted staple grains to help meet people’s caloric needs are now inhibiting the production of more diverse and nutritious foods.

In this environment, TCI seeks to encourage and participate in cutting-edge research and interventions that address the complex intersection of agriculture, human nutrition, and poverty in India in order to improve nutritional outcomes and enhance livelihoods.