Project Leader: Ashok Gulati
Research Team: Shweta Saini, Smriti Verma and Ranjana Roy
Commencement: October 2014
Funded by: As part of Infosys Chair
Growth in Indian agriculture is critical for meeting the rising demand for food, feed stock and fibre for the large and growing Indian population that is likely to exceed that of China by 2030. With rapidly increasing urbanisation (the existing urban population of 400 million is expected to expand to 600 million by 2030), food security is a major challenge. Agricultural growth is also critical to accelerate the rate of poverty reduction. If ‘growth with inclusiveness’ in India has to have any meaning, agricultural growth must accelerate to beyond four percent per annum, as agriculture engages the largest share of the work force.
At the same time, there is also opportunity to build food value-chains, linking farms in rural areas to urban centres of demand. However, in a globalised world, these value chains need to be efficient and competitive, besides being consistent with the trading rules under WTO.
Given this critical importance of agriculture to the Indian economy, the major objectives under the project are to map the nature of agricultural growth since the 1990s; identify the key drivers of growth; provide policy recommendations to boost growth in the sector; study the functioning of agricultural markets, logistics, agro-processing industry, and retailing; provide policy recommendations to make Indian value chains globally competitive and inclusive to mainstream India’s small holders as well as processors and retailers; study the national food security act (NFSA) and the involved operational and systemic challenges; and, explore what solutions new technologies like IT through UID, or bio-technology through bio-fortification, can offer to tackle the gigantic problem of food and nutritional insecurity in India.
The research also focuses on various facets of agricultural trade with a view to make Indian agriculture a globally competitive sector, and help India in agricultural trade negotiations.