Dr. Praveen Rao Velchala holds a Ph.D degree in Agronomy with specialization in crop water requirements, microirrigation scheduling & fertigation solutions of tropical field and orchard crops, and crop yield – water modelling.
Since 1983 he has served for 33-years as Teacher, Researcher, Extension Agronomist and Administrator in different capacities in the Agricultural University viz., Professor & University Head of Agronomy; IFFCO Chair; Director, Water Technology Centre; Registrar, Special Officer and presently Vice Chancellor of Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University. Also served as Technical Advisor on Microirrigation to several State Governments and Expert Member on microirrigation committees in India & abroad; International Microirrigation Consultant for 5-years in Israel promoting implementation of sustainable water conservation technologies in twenty Asia-Pacific, African and Latin American Countries.
Dr. Rao has guided 11 M.Sc. Agriculture and 10 Ph.D. students to date with particular reference to Crop water requirements and Irrigation scheduling; Drip irrigation & fertigation management in field and horticultural crops. He published – 117 research articles in peer reviewed national & international Journals, authored 10 books & 5 UG & PG practical manuals, 9 crop growing manuals for farmers, 12 microirrigation project documents, 13 DVD Zingles, 22 pamphlets & folders, delivered 13 international and 32 national invited key note/thematic presentations covering different aspects of water management, microirrigation & fertigation technology.
He was also a recipient of “Meritorious Teacher Award” (1998), Leadership Award for large scale promotion of Microirrigation Technologies in India from Soil & Water Conservation Society of India (2005), Lifetime Achievement Award (2015) from GVK Society, Agra, UP, India for contributions to Water management, Mashav Fellowship by CINADCO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State of Israel (1995) and Net Award for knowledge contribution in the field of microirrigation technologies from Netafim Ltd., Israel (2006). Fellow of Telangana Academy of Sciences, Indian Society of Oil Seeds Research etc.
International Active Member of American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers, International Society of Horticultural Science, Asian PGPR Society of Sustainable Agriculture.
Life member of Indian Society of Agricultural Science, Indian Society of Oilseeds Research, Indian Society of Agronomy, Indian Society of Plant Physiology, Indian Soicety of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Soil & Water Conservation Society of India, Indian Society of Agricultural Science, Indian Society of Oilseeds Research, Indian Society of Agronomy, Indian Society of Plant Physiology. Also a Member, Telangana State Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Expert Panel Member, Agriculture Panel, Telangana State Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Member - Advisory Council, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad.
Handled 13–Research and 6–Consultancy microirrigation projects in India, Israel and South Africa. As Technical Advisor he was instrumental in formulation & commissioning of world’s largest microirrigation project covering an area of 0.9 million ha. This project was a significant milestone in Indian agriculture and set a benchmark for microirrigation technology application on a large scale in India.
As an International Microirrigation Consultant for 5–Years in Israel contributed to mapping, organisation, storage, dissemination & sharing of agronomical knowledge and development of digital knowledge content for more than 198 drip irrigated field, vegetable, fruits, plantation and biofuel crops to create new capabilities, decision criteria for diffusion and adoption, enable superior system performance, encourage innovation and enhance stakeholder value. Developed a website viz., www.sugarcanecrops.com / www.ethanolcrops.com concerning sustainable drip irrigated sugarcane production for the benefit of drip irrigated sugarcane growers in several countries viz., Brazil, India, South Africa, Thailand, Australia, and Philippines etc.