The department, the first of its kind in the country was set up in 1952 on the recommendation of the Dhar Committee appointed by the Board of Governors. As one of the larger departments of IIT Kharagpur, it covers a wide range of areas dealing with Post-Harvest Technology, Dairy and Food Engineering, Farm Machinery and Power Workshop, Aqua-Cultural Engineering. Sponsored research projects and development activities deal with Integrated Rainwater Management, Soil Tillage, Utilisation of Fly ash, Ergonomic Database for Agricultural Equipment, Integrating Remote Sensing Data with Distributed Hydrological Models, Model Pilot Plant for producing industrial enzymes etc. The department has filed several patent application based on its developmental work.
The Agricultural and Food Engineering Department is unique of its kind in the IIT system. It has very talented faculty working in different disciplines of Agricultural Engineering and Sciences. The department offers UG/PG programme in the field of Farm Machinery and Power, Land and Water Resources Engineering, Food Process Engineering, Aquacultural Engineering, Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Biotechnology. The faculty have developed world class laboratories and have strong collaboration with several international organisations for high quality research and teaching. The students go for internship in different industries, corporate houses and institutes in the country and abroad and thus acquire international exposure. They are also encouraged with financial support to present research papers at international fora. Currently the departmental activities include Precision Agriculture, Non-renewable Energy Sources, Climate Change, Non-point Source Pollution, Extrusion Technology, Intelligent and High Pressure Packaging, Soil Mapping and Image Analysis for Plant Phenotyping. Our motto is to aim for excellence in all our activities of teaching and research. We believe that our efforts will make significant contributions towards offering solutions to food security and environmental sustainability.
Faculty has published more than 2200 research findings with an h-index of 60 and i10-index of 505. In addition, 34 books, 64 patents and 16 copyrights related to agricultural production, processing and management technologies are credited as faculty academic contributions.
Faculty and students have received several awards like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Jawahar Lal Nehru Award to name a few.