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Medium 9781786395177

30 A Strategy for Doubling Farmers’ Income

Paroda, R.S. CABI PDF

30

A Strategy for Doubling Farmers’ Income

All the nations facing problems of poverty, hunger and malnutrition will need to accelerate their agricultural growth for achieving SDGs, especially while aiming at no poverty, zero hunger and a safe environment for all (Paroda, 2017).

The Green Revolution not only led to food self-sufficiency but also helped to reduce poverty and hunger. And yet, despite a five-fold increase in foodgrain production, as against a four-fold increase in population, India still has around

250 million people who live in poverty and about

45 million children below age 5 who are malnourished. Moreover, after 50 years of the Green

Revolution, India is also facing second-generation challenges like decline in factor productivity growth, poor soil health, loss of soil organic carbon, ground and surface water pollution, water-­ related stress, increased incidence of pests and diseases, increased cost of inputs, decline in farm profits and the adverse impact of climate change. On the demographic front, India adds annually almost one Australia (about 15–16 million) to its population. Thus, any progress gets nullified by an overall increase in population. Also, around 48% of the population is currently dependent on agriculture and allied fields and the agriculture sector contributes around

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27 Women’s Empowerment for Agricultural Development

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27

Women’s Empowerment for Agricultural Development

Preamble

Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. Women play a crucial role in building this economy (FAO, 2010–11). Over the years, there has been a gradual realization of the key role of women in agricultural development and their important contribution in the field of agriculture, food and nutritional security, horticulture, livestock, fisheries, processing, sericulture and other allied sectors. Rural women are thus the most productive workforce in the economy of developing nations like India (Kokate et al.,

2012). Their activities typically include producing agricultural crops, tending animals, processing and preparing food, working in agricultural and allied rural enterprises, collecting fuel and water, engaging in trade and marketing, caring for family members and maintaining their homes. Many of these activities are not defined as ‘economically active employment’ in the national context but they are critical for the well-being of rural households. Statistical data are available regarding their participation in the agricultural sector and allied activities but their impact on the home environment has not been accounted for (Gates, 2014). Variations in women’s participation in agricultural work depend on supply-and-demand factors linked to economic growth and agricultural modernization.  Farm women do have an impact on their

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13 Accelerating Forage Crop Production

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13

Accelerating Forage Crop Production

Introduction

The livestock sector contributes almost 30% to

India’s agricultural GDP and plays a crucial role in national food and nutritional security. The sustainability and viability of livestock production depends on the availability of affordable fodder and feed resources, as they constitute almost

60% of the total expenditure in dairy farming.

Current estimates of fodder crop cultivation, though, may not be accurate, and are not more than 4–5% of the total cultivated area. Punjab,

Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh have a higher share (7–10%). The importance of the silvipastoral farming system is well recognized in the arid regions. In India, rich genetic diversity, institutional infrastructure and competent human resources, besides policy support for linking smallholder farmers to markets, resulted in a ‘White

Revolution’. At present, India is the world’s largest milk producer (producing more than 155 million t p.a.). In spite of all these achievements, dairy farmers are facing challenges of high cost of fodder and feed, non-remunerative price for milk, lesser incentives for value addition and export, lack of credit and insurance, and the adverse impact of climate change.

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Medium 9781789240733

2 What Defines Management Ability?

Nuthall, P.L. CABI PDF

2

What Defines Management

Ability?

Introduction

Anyone can be a manager – but they may not be particularly good at achieving their objectives. The desire to be a manager is relevant in success. Some farmers acquire their status due to tradition and the handing over of assets rather than a keen desire to make a career from managing primary production. On the other hand, some who want to be farm owners and managers find it is impos­ sible due to the resources required. Whatever the case, an ability to take and accept the responsibility of making and carrying out decisions is an important precursor, but whether a person can in fact make good decisions relevant to a particular farm (for each is unique) depends on whether they have the required attributes and experience. Abilities such as making sure that the jobs are carried out in a timely manner (e.g. spraying weeds before they are too mature; get­ ting supplies delivered before it is too late to complete the job; marketing the product before the prices drop, and so on) are crucial and probably relate to a person’s degree of conscientiousness as well as an understanding of the biology involved. Conscientiousness is a personality trait. Similar examples exist for the other attributes so a manager’s personality impacts on their likely success as a manager.

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12 Strategies for Enhancing Oilseed Production

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12

Strategies for Enhancing Oilseed

Production

Preamble

India is among the largest producers and consumers of vegetable oils in the world. Oilseeds have been the ‘backbone’ of the agricultural economy of India. The Indian vegetable oil economy is the fourth largest in the world next to the

USA, China and Brazil. Oilseed crops are the second most important in the Indian agricultural economy next to foodgrains in terms of area and production. At present, more than 27 million ha of land are under oilseed cultivation. The area under oilseeds has been increasing over time and the production has registered a many-fold increase, but its productivity is still low compared to other oilseed-producing countries. Low and fluctuating productivity of oilseeds is primarily because cultivation of oilseed crops is mostly done on marginal lands, which are lacking irrigation and have low levels of inputs. To improve the situation of oilseeds in the country, the government has been pursuing several development programmes: the Oilseed Growers Cooperative

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17 Managing Agrobiodiversity through Use: Changing Paradigms

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17

Managing Agrobiodiversity through

Use: Changing Paradigms

First, a clear understanding between biodiversity and agrobiodiversity needs to be grasped.

Biodiversity is essential for food security and nutrition. Thousands of interconnected species make up a vital web of biodiversity within the ecosystems upon which global food production depends. With the erosion of biodiversity, humankind loses the potential to adapt ecosystems to new challenges such as population growth and climate change. Achieving food security for

Biodiversity under Domestication all is intrinsically linked to the maintenance of biodiversity. Agrobiodiversity is the result of the

In nature, all organisms have been living in har- interaction between the environment, genetic mony for millions of years.  Humans (nomadic resources and management systems and pracand forest tribes) have been highly dependent on tices used by culturally diverse people, and the endless diversity among and within species therefore land and water resources are used for along with their habitats and ecosystems. When production in different ways. Thus, agrobiodihumans transited from being nomadic hunter-­ versity encompasses the variety and variability gatherers to having a more settled lifestyle, due of animals, plants and micro-organisms that to the adoption of agriculture  some  12,000 are necessary for sustaining key functions of years ago, they started searching for such biore- the agro-ecosystem, including its structure and sources that could provide them with food, feed, processes for, and in support of, food production fodder, fibre and improved livelihood. The inter- and food security (FAO, 1997). Local knowledge vention of humans by way of domestication and and culture can, therefore, be considered as farming affected the pattern of evolution, divert- ­integral parts of agrobiodiversity, because it is ing selection from ‘fitness’ to ‘human prefer- the human activity of agriculture that shapes ence’. The available  diversity of domesticated and conserves this biodiversity. Many people’s species, which is the basis for the quality, range food and livelihood security depends on the and extent of choices available to humankind, is sustained management of various biological the result of such evolution, influenced by fre- ­resources that are important for food and agriquent human interventions,  especially farm culture. Agricultural biodiversity, also known as agrobiodiversity, or the genetic resources for women, over millennia.

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8 The Influence of Farmers’ Personal Characteristics on a Range of Issues in Management

Nuthall, P.L. CABI PDF

8

The Influence of Farmers’

Personal Characteristics on a Range of Issues in

Management

Introduction

The thesis behind this book is that the human factor has an enormous influence on the life and times of any primary producing property. The information presented in the previous chapters makes this clear in a general sense. This chapter contains material that puts more flesh on the assertion by reviewing a number of studies covering a sample of aspects impacting on primary production. It is also important to realize that the ‘human factor’ is part and parcel of all Homo sapiens involved in the life of farms right from the new farm labourer through to the owners who may or may not directly contribute to the day-to-day running of the property.

In this chapter it is the manager whose human factor is brought further to the fore, but in so doing it should be remembered that her or his interactions with all the other humans involved in a farm may be influenced by the characteristics of each and every one of the participants. A farm operates not only by the planning decisions taken by the humans, but also by how successfully they carry out what has been decided. And the whole process is dynamic as people, risk and uncertainty unfold.

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20 Managing and Improving Soil Health

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20

Managing and Improving Soil Health

Introduction

Soil is the basic building-block of life on earth, and is the most wonderful gift of nature to humankind. It is a dynamic and multi-functional system, which exists as a relatively thin layer on the earth’s crust. No healthy life is possible without healthy soil. We all are dependent on the soil for our basic needs of food, feed, fibre, medicine and fuel. Hence, maintaining healthy soil would help in achieving quite a few important SDGs.

Historically, old civilization flourished only when soils were fertile and appropriate water resources were available for irrigation. This is true for northern India where civilization prospered in the Indo-Gangetic plains. In fact, healthy soils of the Indo-Gangetic plains led to the Green

Revolution in the mid-1960s, transforming India from a food-deficient to a food-sufficient country.

However, the challenges before agricultural scientists, farmers and policy makers to meet future food and nutritional security needs are quite different and complex as compared to the pre-Green

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9 Strategies for Scaling Innovations for Impact on Smallholder Farmers

Paroda, R.S. CABI PDF

9

Strategies for Scaling Innovations for Impact on Smallholder Farmers

The Need for Innovation

marginal, having holdings of less than 2 ha, would require technologies by which they can

Accelerating agricultural growth is an important save cost on inputs and have more income goal for most of the nations in achieving the through higher productivity and by linking to

Sustainable Development Goals, especially to markets. Thus, scaling of innovations like hybrid

­

­remove poverty, achieve zero hunger and ensure technology, conservation agriculture, micro-­ environmental security. Those developing na- irrigation, integrated nutrient management (INM), tions that have reorientated their agricultural IPM, adoption of GM food crops and protected research for development agenda towards scal- cultivation become high priority. For this to haping of innovations have made much faster pro- pen, enabling policy, strong PPP and innovative gress. The greater the emphasis on agricultural extension systems to transfer the right knowlresearch for innovation, the higher has been the edge, especially around secondary and speciality agriculture, will be needed. Moreover, innovagrowth of agricultural GDP (Fan, 2013).

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26 Empowering Farmers through Innovative Extension Systems

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26

Empowering Farmers through Innovative

Extension Systems

Agriculture must liberate India from the twin scourges of hunger and poverty while ensuring sustainability of natural resources. It must also address effectively the concerns of malnutrition among children and empowerment of women; being important SDGs. To ensure these, needs and aspirations of resource-poor smallholder farmers must be addressed through innovationled, accelerated and sustainable agricultural growth. Historically, adoption of high-yielding dwarf varieties of wheat and rice during the

Green Revolution era addressed both hunger and poverty. Of late, however, the yield gaps in agriculture, and income divide, in the farm and non-farm sectors have widened, primarily due to gaps in knowledge and skills and lack of timely access to improved technologies. Outscaling of appropriate technologies to reach farmers has emerged as a complex issue. Why farmers are not able to access or adopt new technologies are the major issues that create problems for the development officials and scientists alike. Further, growing challenges of natural resource degradation, escalating input costs, market volatility and, above all, the effects of global climate change contribute to declines in yield as well as farm ­income, thus making agriculture both non-profitable and unattractive. Thus, it is crucial to ensure inclusive growth in agriculture through innovative and synergistic approaches for achieving sustainable food and nutritional security. Therefore, ‘agriculture research for development (AR4D)’ requires a paradigm shift to

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11 Horticulture for Food and Nutrition Security

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11

Horticulture for Food and Nutrition

Security

Preamble

India supports more than 17% of the global

­population with only 2.4% land cover. The agricultural sector is an important contributor to the Indian economy (17.6% of GDP), besides providing nearly 54% of the country’s employment. Despite several challenges, namely tumultuous weather, seasonal cyclones, occasional drought, demographic pressure, industrialization, urbanization, unprecedented use of insecticides and pesticides, and compulsion for the migration of people from rural to urban areas, especially for employment, the country witnessed record food grain production of 277.49 million t during 2017–18.

Food and nutritional security are the key

SDGs. There has been appreciable progress on the food front including horticulture. Foodgrain production increased five-fold, horticulture nine-fold, milk six-fold and fish nine-fold in 2015–16, compared with production in 1950–51. However, economic access to nutritious food continues to be a cause of concern. Currently, more than 350 million people continue to suffer from malnutrition, which is a cause of various types of diseases and premature deaths of children and women. Therefore, the country can only be food-secure if the citizens have economic access to nutritious food to meet their physical needs. In this context, horticultural crops (fruits, vegetables, potatoes, tuber crops, mushrooms, plantation crops, spices etc.)

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29 Revitalizing the Indian Agricultural Education System

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29

Revitalizing the Indian Agricultural

Education System

Agriculture is an integral part of the socio-­ economic fabric of India, sustaining the livelihoods of over 60% of rural households and providing employment to nearly the same percentage of the population. The sharp rise in India’s post-­ independence population has been matched by a commendable rise in foodgrain production, starting with the Green Revolution of the early 1970s.

This production touched a record high of 277.49 million t during 2017–18, with a remarkable

­increase of 23% (around 4 million t) in pulse production. The agricultural research system comprising researchers, teachers and extension workers spread all over the country had been the backbone of this growth. However, continuing to achieve such production gains to ensure future food security for an ever-increasing population is likely to be a challenging task. By 2030, we would need to produce 70% more foodgrains than we are producing today; that in the face of  multiple challenges like climate uncertainties, depleting natural resources, shrinking farm sizes and indiscriminate and imbalanced use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The need to strengthen the agricultural research system, including education, is, therefore, critical to build capable human resources that are vital for future growth.

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19 Revitalizing the Indian Seed Sector

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19

Revitalizing the Indian Seed Sector

Introduction

Seeds play a major role in the growth of the agricultural sector. Indian Agriculture has grown impressively and the National Agricultural Research System (NARS), in collaboration with the

Indian seed industry, has played a critical role in its growth. Seeds represent the basic and most critical input for sustainable  farming. The response of all other inputs, to a large extent, depends on the quality of seeds. It is estimated that the direct contribution of quality seeds alone to total production is about 15–20% depending upon the crop; and it can be raised further to

45% with efficient management of other inputs

(Poonia, 2013). Developments in the seed industry in India, particularly in the last 30–35 years, have been very significant. A major restructuring of the seed industry by the government through the National Seed Project (NSP) Phase-I

(1977–78), Phase-II (1978–79) and Phase-III

(1990–1991) was carried out for strengthening seed infrastructure, which was most needed and relevant around those times. During the past five years, the seed market in India has grown considerably, nearly twice as fast as the global seed market. At present, in terms of market volume, rice, wheat and maize account for most of the market; cotton represents the biggest segment in terms of market value. Traditionally, farmers in

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8 Reorienting Agricultural Research for Development for Sustainable Agriculture

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8

Reorienting Agricultural Research for

Development for Sustainable Agriculture

The sharp increases in food prices that have

­occurred in global and national markets in recent years, and the resulting increase in the number of hungry and malnourished people, has sharpened the awareness of policy makers and of the general public to the fragility of the food system.

This awareness must be translated into political will and effective action to render the system

­better-prepared to respond to long-term demand for growth, to be more resilient against various risks that confront agriculture, and to ensure that the ever-growing population will be able to produce and/or have access to adequate food today and in the future. There is a need to address new challenges that transcend the traditional decision-making remit of producers, consumers and policy makers.

Agriculture has remained an integral part of the socioeconomic fabric of rural India since time immemorial,  and occupies centre-stage in the Indian economy as it sustains the livelihood of over 70% of rural households and provides employment for around 50% of the population.

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18 The Growth of the Indian Seed Sector: Challenges and Opportunities

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18

The Growth of the Indian Seed Sector:

Challenges and Opportunities

Seed is the basic and most critical input for sustainable agriculture.  The response of all other inputs depends on quality of seeds to a large extent.  For agriculture to prosper, farmers must have a reliable supply of high-quality seeds and seedlings of superior varieties, at an affordable price. Fortunately, recent advances in the technology of seed and seedling production are helping to improve both the quality and range of planting materials. It is estimated that the direct contribution of quality seed alone to the total production is about 15–20% depending upon the crop, and it can be further raised to 45% with efficient management of other inputs (Poonia, 2013). Seeds of varieties with appropriate characteristics are required to meet the demand of diverse agroclimatic conditions and intensive cropping systems. Sustained increase in agriculture production and productivity is dependent, to a large extent, on development of new and improved varieties of crops and an efficient system for timely supply of quality seeds and planting materials to farmers. The seed sector has made impressive progress over the past five decades

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