Theme 1 the value of the ifad government of india partnership in supporting smallholder agriculture
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Theme 1: The value of the IFAD Government of India partnership in supporting smallholder agriculture. Role of Organic Farming Marketing, links with private sector, role of producer companies, and cooperatives Gender issues in agriculture and SHGs

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Theme 1 the value of the ifad government of india partnership in supporting smallholder agriculture

Theme 1: The value of the IFAD Government of India partnership in supporting smallholder agriculture


  • Role of Organic Farming partnership in supporting smallholder agriculture

  • Marketing, links with private sector, role of producer companies, and cooperatives

  • Gender issues in agriculture and SHGs

  • Research and extension issues in raising small farmer productivity

  • Raising returns to small farmers

  • Need for investment in rural infrastructure

  • Access to labour including links with Government employent programs, and support for the landless

  • Geographical and target group coverage

  • Other issues


Role of organic farming
Role of Organic Farming partnership in supporting smallholder agriculture

  • Need for an integrated approach to inputs and marketing

  • Differentiate ‘niche’ aspect from low input – based agriculture

  • A gene bank needs to be developed to ensure that India maintains bio-diversity

  • RECOMMENDATION: IFAD should pilot niche organic farming in some projects, and sponsor research into low input-based agriculture for dryland farming.


Marketing links with private sector role of producer companies and cooperatives
Marketing, links with private sector, role of producer companies, and cooperatives

  • Produce for the market, not market what is produced!

  • Not either/or, different models can be used and each has a role.

  • Some promising pilots are being developed using each of these models e.g. Arvind mills purchase of organic cotton in Maharashtra.

  • Agri-based micro-entrepreneurship development.

  • RECOMMENDATION: IFAD should try various models in its projects, but make this a more central feature of its work going forward.


Gender issues in agriculture and shgs
Gender issues in agriculture and SHGs companies, and cooperatives

  • Increasing prevalence of women-managed farms

  • Both men and women play a role in agricultural production and marketing and mixed groups are needed to support this.

  • RECOMMENDATION: IFAD should support mixed membership of farmer based SHGs, but groups should not be male-dominated.


Research and extension issues in raising small farmer productivity
Research and extension issues in raising small farmer productivity

  • Huge variation in agro-climatic zones requires research and extension focused on the differences

  • Need for one-stop service for farmers (at present they need to go to many different sources for information/access to inputs, markets, etc. Some promising private initiatives in this area.

  • Use of information technology to provide prices and weather information. (e.g. from commodity exchanges, reuters in Punjab.)

  • More work needed on dryland farming research to develop viable models

  • Farmers field schools have been promising but utilization limited

  • GOI has not yet settled on a new extension model to replace the existing one which is not delivering.

  • RECOMMENDATION: IFAD needs to explore alternative extension models and should use its grant programme to support dryland farming research.


Raising returns to small farmers
Raising returns to small farmers productivity

  • Need to invest in soil upgrading and watershed management to raise returns on smallholder dryland farms and promote sustainability.

  • Need to manage post-harvest losses through improved storage, handling and infrastructure.

  • Need to develop models that integrated different aspects of farming and also non-farming activities (example of Chinese model)

  • Moving small farms up the value chain to include selective processing activities

  • RECOMMENDATION: IFAD should include these features routinely in its programme designs


Need for investment in rural infrastructure
Need for investment in rural infrastructure productivity

  • Marketing requires roads, processing requires power.

  • IFAD programmes are often in remote areas where these are not available.

  • Government programmes are designed to meet these needs and IFAD should establish links with these programmes. (e.g. NREGS and PMs GSY for road access)


Access to labour including links with government employent programs
Access to labour including links with Government employent programs

  • Need to include tenant farmers in definition of smallholder agriculture

  • With NREGA there is now competition for rural labor

  • Need to increase rural wages and also reduce drudgery through small equipment upgrading

  • If agriculture is made more lucrative then farmers will be able to employ workers at higher wages


Geographical and target group coverage
Geographical and target group coverage programs

  • IFAD should continue its emphasis on tribal areas (very strong recommendation from working group)

  • Continue to cover North East, Orissa, mountainous areas, SE Rajasthan, etc.

  • Need to design programmes focused on the landless to meet the special issues surrounding migration, lack of security for loans, etc.


Other issues
Other issues programs

  • Malnutrition is important – a higher proportion of malnourished than below the poverty line in India

  • Programs should not be in more than one state, except that there can be support for national agencies.

  • Micro-insurance is a possible area for piloting.


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