Role of Policies and Institutions for Delivering Food Security in India

Role of Polices and Institutions for Delivering Food Security in IndiaObjective:
India has made a long journey. Once a country with chronic food shortages, India has become a food grain exporter replete with overflowing godowns. Indian food policy, whose foundations were laid during times of scarcity, today faces the daunting task of managing surpluses. Yet the country is also still home to one of the largest concentrations of poor, hungry and undernourished people in the world. The challenges to India’s food security today are vastly different in nature from what they were just a few decades ago. The sustained high rate of economic growth in the last two decades provides an opportunity for the country to take on this challenge on a scale that was not possible in the past. How effectively the country uses this opportunity to face up to the new challenges depends upon its policies and institutions whose task it is to provide food security to the country and its citizens. Against this background, the overall objectives of the project is to prepare a report that would

(1)    provide an overview of the policies and institutions that address the issue of food security in India focusing primarily on availability and accessibility to food

(2)    discusses the rationale of the policies and programmes for food security and assess the achievements and challenges

(3)    Review the international experience in moving from physical transfers to conditional cash transfers, use of food coupons and vouchers, etc, and assess their relevance in the Indian context

(4)    identify the role of partnerships and synergies between the public sector, private players, civil societies or farmers’ groups and international agencies for improving food security in the country.

(5)    Propose certain key policy alternatives and suggests changes in the existing policies that can help address the emerging challenges to food security more effectively.

Approach:
The study will be based on documentation and analysis of secondary information available, existing literature on issues related to food security. Primary information will be sought through interaction with concerned stakeholders to the extent absolutely necessary.

Timeline: June 2011-October 2011

Geographical Coverage: India

Rural Service Hubs: Business Catalysts for Rural Competitiveness and Inclusiveness – Markets for High-value Commodities in India

Objective:
(1)  To promote the development and diffusion of Rural Business Hubs (RBHs) by the private sector to increase incomes, linkages to markets, and productivity of small, poor farmers including women to address  the rural services vacuum;

(2)  To create long-term capacity in the private sector and Indian research organization/university sector to inform that promotion;

(3)  To inform policy formation by policymakers and other stakeholders in order to promote “competitiveness, inclusiveness, scalability, and sustainability” (CISS) in RBH development and farmers’ access to it.

Approach:
The main planned project activities are as follows:
(1) to study RBHs and the farm households in the catchment areas of those hubs, in order to assess the quantity and quality of current service coverage of farmer strata and gender types by RBHs versus the traditional sector;

(2) interact with partner companies to assess information from the study and design innovations to be experimentally rolled out in pilot form in a subset of RBHs. These innovations are envisioned to depend on the results of the studies, and be innovations in type, design, and delivery of RBH services and products; the objective of the innovations will be to reduce the cost and improve quality, and coverage impact for small farmers including female farmers, and others among the rural poor, while simultaneously in a win-win way helping the business growth of the RBH companies in order to pursue scalability and sustainability to address the rural services vacuum;

(3) provide technical assistance in post-harvest domains to assist the roll-out of the innovations through expertise from Indian universities and MSU;

(4) assess the impacts of innovations of alliance partners that respond to the study and focus group findings, and measure and monitor the leveraging of USAID funds by the investments of the alliance partners; and

(5) inform stakeholders, including policymakers, industry associations, and farmer groups, of the results of the studies, and the design and impact of the innovations.

Timeline: July 2008 - June 2012

Geographical Coverage: India

Trade, Agricultural Policies and Structural Changes in India’s Agrifood System; Implications for National and Global Market (TAPSIM)

TAPSIM ProjectObjective:
To study the impacts of domestic structural changes and trade agreements of India with the European Commission.  The project is tracing the overall macroeconomic and trade policies in India since 1980. The trends in Indian agricultural trade are being studied and issues related to comparative advantage of India over other countries in agricultural commodities are being reviewed. The study also identifies the key processes of change and its impact on the Agrifood sector of India. Modeling tools will be developed for analysis of value chain, analysis of demand for and supply of agricultural commodities, and forecasting the impact of policies on future developments of agriculture in India till 2020, 2025 and 2030.

Approach:
The project has implemented a program of research providing qualitative and quantitative analysis of future developments in Indian supply, demand and trade for main agricultural products. The actions implemented in this project include –

  • To identify the main drivers of change and their interaction, distinguishing between social, demographic, economic environmental and institutional factors
  • To link main drivers with agricultural and trade policies
  • To analyze the position of agriculture in India during the period of 2000-20
  • Compare supply, demand and trade in India with main producers of the world market with emphasis on the relations between Europe and India
  • Develop working tools for the analysis of the position of agriculture in India during the period of 2000-20

Timeline: September 2008-September 2012

Geographical Coverage: India

Evaluation of Indian Agricultural Productivity Growth

Evaluation of Indian Agricultural ProductivityObjective:
The primary objective of the project is to investigate the magnitude, causes and consequences of India’s agricultural productivity growth. The focus will on developing price and quantity datasets for both outputs and inputs between 1980 and 2008 across the entire Indian agricultural sector. The desired aggregation of the output and input series would be at the state level (19 major states of India). The output series should include cros, livestock and feasible aquaculture. The primary productivity determinates of interest are national and international agricultural research, transportation, infrastructure, agricultural extension, services, government policies and human capital. The input series should include all the measurable inputs such as labor, land fertilizers, pesticide, feed, seed, and farm capital. A natural resource stock including information or ground water and irrigation and an expanded capital stock including agricultural machinery, farm structures and tree capital would be significant contributions.

Approach:
Research need to be conducted on national and sub-national level. Methods will include stochastic frontier techniques to evaluate technology growth  in the major crops and technical efficiency changes at the state levels and index number theory to allow for intra-national evaluation and comparison of total factor productivity growth.

Timeline: August 2010-September 2012

Geographical Coverage : India

Prioritizing Sustainable Productivity Growth Opportunities and Constraints in Eastern India

Prioritizing Sustainable Productivity Growth Opportunities and Constraints in Eastern IndiaObjective:
To diagnose the key obstacles for higher agricultural growth and identify emerging opportunities in particular circumstances of selected lagging states of India especially Bihar and Orissa. The study plans to document and analyze the experiences and lessons from on-going programs, schemes and policies of state and central governments. Identifying and prioritizing interventions (policies and investments) for higher productivity growth, and leveraging private sector investment in all aspects of agriculture (on-farm, input-output marketing, agro-processing, etc.) will also be focused. It is to propose sequencing of interventions, investment priorities and reform measures to increase agricultural production and competitiveness.

Approach:
Both crop and livestock sector would be studied for prioritizing interventions. More specifically, important crops, namely rice, wheat, maize and legumes would be selected to understand the constraints to higher productivity. Similarly, cattle, buffalo, small ruminant and poultry would be studied to assess constraints and opportunities for higher productivity.

Timeline: September 2011-May 2012

Geographical Coverage: India

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