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Coping with Complexity: Mapping Sustainable Agriculture in Orissa using RTD Framework. C. Shambu Prasad & Sumita Sindhi. The journey of the book. Changing landscape of agricultural research, what policy interventions might help us cope? RTD framework and policy dialogue

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Coping with complexity mapping sustainable agriculture in orissa using rtd framework

Coping with Complexity: Mapping Sustainable Agriculture in Orissa using RTD Framework

C. Shambu Prasad & Sumita Sindhi

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

Coping with complexity mapping sustainable agriculture in orissa using rtd framework

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop Orissa using RTD Framework

The journey of the book
The journey of the book Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Changing landscape of agricultural research, what policy interventions might help us cope?

  • RTD framework and policy dialogue

  • Workshops to test the ground – Nov 2006, Feb 2008, interest and need for stakeholder dialogue on agriculture

  • Orissa government’s draft agricultural policy as context

  • Mapping study that could lead to policy dialogue

  • XIMB & the SRI learning alliance

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

Context why such a study
Context – why such a study Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Complexity of agricultural innovation – linear models not working

  • Decreasing returns to scale – nature catching up big way

  • Responses not commensurate – old methods cannot work, support mechanisms for alternate models not existing.

  • Policy processes not inclusive – few experts cant solve our common future

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

Coping with complexity
Coping with complexity Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Policies policymaking and science policy

  • Policy analysis and the RTD framework

  • Agriculture in Orissa

  • Study findings and analysis

  • Towards a policy network

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

Thinking differently on policies
Thinking differently on policies Orissa using RTD Framework

  • ‘Orissa agriculture as backward, lagging behind’ –

  • Response 1: Orissa needs to get its due – farmers not experiences first green revolution - introduce more seeds, improve irrigation coverage etc.

  • Response 2: Build on newer opportunities – climate proofing possibilities, farmers more responsive to SRI, organic farming. Low ecological stress.

  • Energy – agricultural nexus. (1.52% natnl avg 21.7%)

  • Fertiliser 2% of total – poor access

  • What sort of support can make a difference?

  • Does Orissa need different solutions?

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

Policy analysis and rtd framework
Policy analysis and RTD framework Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Mental models to understand policy too have been linear

  • Policy-making as complex, messy, interactive process.

  • How to accelerate learning from experience?

  • How to link research and technology to democracy?

  • How to integrate other forms of knowledge into policy?

  • RTD as an open learning process

  • Invest in policy dialogues – the policies will be better.

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

Agriculture in orissa overview
Agriculture in Orissa: Overview Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Most important livelihood – 23% of state GDP, 70 % of workforce

  • Largely small and marginal farmers (80%)

  • Single crop state 74% area under rice

  • Not in top three on any food grain

  • Self sufficiency in foodgrains?

  • Low productivity (showing upward trend)

  • Strong regional disparities

  • Greater potential in fruits and vegetables, spices

  • Extension system collapsing, understaffed

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

State agriculture policy

1996 Orissa using RTD Framework

Status of Industry



Emphasis on cash crops and exports

High subsidies on agro and food-based industries

Irrigation, marketing, insurance, credit – only of cash crops


Improve economic status of farmers

Holistic – WUE, SRI, IPM

Participatory – farmers, private partners

Integration with NREGS, NFSM

Support for organic farming, rainfed agri,

Demand driven research

Untouched issues

State Agriculture Policy

Policy through rtd lens
Policy through RTD lens Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Research Institutional Infrastructure –

  • Research Funding structure – Central government & State funding (on decline) NAIP (World Bank), DFID, IFAD; emphasis on private investment

  • Value laden knowledge – Need better understanding, indigenous knowledge insufficiently recognised

  • Concept of development - largely in economic terms, empowerment? Mention of self confidence of farmers, mechanisms…

Policy thro rtd cont
Policy thro RTD Cont. Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Policy dialogue – centre driven decisions, consultative group, media and internet, no procedures for feedback, CSOs as conduits

  • Challenges – to make it an open, learning process, need to improve process, make it inclusive, mechanisms and institutions to be established

  • S&T landscape – Assess the strength of research institutes (actor tools used), multiple organisations poor coordination

Actor oriented tools
Actor Oriented Tools Orissa using RTD Framework

Focuses on

  • mapping the relationship/linkages

  • flow of information among various actors

  • system to facilitate reflection and action

    Helps in

  • suggesting ways for better collaboration and involvement

  • improve the procedure of policy formulation

  • strengthen the policy dialogue process

Actor oriented tools1
Actor oriented tools Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Agriculture Time Line

  • Stakeholder mapping

  • Actor Linkage Matrix understanding of the key institutional linkages with which project should work, or strengthen, to achieve its aims.

  • Determinants Diagram – exploring nature of a particular linkage

  • Better done collectively, as an aid to reflection and planning

Simplified actor linkage matrix
Simplified Actor Linkage Matrix Orissa using RTD Framework

Actor linkage matrix
Actor Linkage Matrix Orissa using RTD Framework

  • DoA has weak linkage with the ICAR research institutes and most CSOs

  • Inter ICAR institute linkages are also minimal

  • CSOs provide information to the farmers, farmers trust them

  • International research institutes dialogue with other research institutes and agriculture department currently low

  • Donor agencies basically confined to areas of project implementation

  • Farmers, CSOs not very aligned with government actions and mechanisms.

Coping with complexity mapping sustainable agriculture in orissa using rtd framework

Channelize funds for more field research Orissa using RTD Framework

Increase interactions & holistic solutions

Act as conduits between farmers & department

Sensitization of stakeholders

What to do?

Interdepartmental research projects

Empowered NGOs/CSOs

Frameworks as RTD

Increase in research funding

Strengthening factors

Consultation meetings

State Agriculture Policy & Research & Technology Linkages

Ideological differences of researchers & politicians

Weak link between agriculture dept. & Research Institutes

Laboratory -oriented research

Farmers’ voices unheard

Weak extension services

Weakening factors

More collaborative projects

Field research preferred

Strengthen linkage with NGOs/CSOs & media support

Training for extension staff to bring forth backward & forward linkages

What to do?

Determinants Diagram – Pg 42

Arrange for more interactions through various forums

Linkage between agriculture policy and research technology
Linkage between Agriculture Policy and Research & Technology Orissa using RTD Framework

Strengthening factors:

  • Develop better communication modes

  • Interactions at various forums

  • Collaborative projects

  • Sensitization of the government officials and NGOs in emerging frameworks

  • Increase in research funding

  • Interdepartmental research projects

Agricultural policy and research
Agricultural policy and research Orissa using RTD Framework

Weakening factors: Mostly systemic

  • Ideological differences of researchers and policy makers

  • Laboratory oriented research

  • Weak links of dept. of agriculture

  • Weak extension services

    Need to empower farmers, research organizations and CSOs for better flow of research and technology in both directions.

    Not unique to Orissa, but Orissa could like learning alliance take a lead

Towards a policy network
Towards a Policy Network Orissa using RTD Framework

  • RTD as enabling framework, greater ‘buy-in’ from policy makers needed.

  • CSOs need to focus more on policymaking than policies perse.

  • Empowering stakeholders necessary for better policies and implementation.

  • From technologies to institutional mechanisms

  • Single agency to multiple consortia.

  • The case for policy networks

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop

Questions for the panel
Questions for the panel Orissa using RTD Framework

  • Specific comments on agricultural policy and research study

  • Your (organisation) role, if any, in shaping the policy.

  • What do you see as the key challenges in translating the policy into action and

    4. What could organisations like yours do and what policy support it needs to take this collective agenda further.

Orissa Agricultural Policy workshop