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Addressing gender in agricultural research for development in the face of a changing climate: where are we and where should we be going?
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability , Volume 15, 2017 – Issue 5
Agricultural development efforts that do not address persistent gender gaps miss opportunities for greater impact. This synthesis reflects on key findings from integrated quantitative and qualitative analyses at the nexus of gender, agricultural development, and climate change. Linked farm household-, intrahousehold-, community-, and institutional-level data highlight significant and nuanced gender differences in adaptive capacity of individuals and communities to respond to climate change. The gender gap is also substantial in exposure to climate change and its impacts, and uptake of new practices that lower vulnerability. Women in agriculture will remain largely neglected by information and service providers unless their differing needs, access to, and control over resources are considered at policy and project design stage. Yet clear guidelines for addressing the needs of both men and women in different environments and agricultural systems are still lacking. Participatory ‘action research’ approaches with a focus on co-learning, and using innovative cell phone or social media-based approaches offer exciting new opportunities. Agricultural development decision-makers and project designers need to ‘design with gender in mind’. Equipping them with tools and knowledge of innovative gender-transformative practices and intervention options and creating accountability for serving women and men will be key.
This paper provides an assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined impacts on yields, key variable costs of production, direct farm (gross) income and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has occurred at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2015. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $15.4 billion in 2015 and $167.8 billion for the 20 year period 1996–2015 (in nominal terms). These gains have been divided 49% to farmers in developed countries and 51% to farmers in developing countries. About 72% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 28% coming from cost savings. The technology has also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having, for example, added 180 million tonnes and 358 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s.
Institutional versus non-institutional credit to agricultural households in India: Evidence on impact from a national farmers’ survey
Anjani Kumar, Ashok K. Mishra, Sunil Saroj and P.K. Joshi
Economic Systems, Volume 41, Issue 3, September 2017
A goal of agricultural policy in India has been to reduce farmers’ dependence on informal credit. To that end, recent initiatives are focused explicitly on rural areas and have a positive impact on the flow of agricultural credit. Despite the significance of the above initiatives in enhancing the flow of institutional credit to agriculture, the links between institutional credit and net farm income and consumption expenditures in India are not very well documented. Using large, national farm household level data and IV 2SLS estimation methods, we investigate the role of institutional farm credit on farm income and farm household consumption expenditures. Findings show that, in India, formal credit does indeed play a critical role in increasing both net farm income and per capita monthly household expenditures of Indian farm families. Finally, we find that, in the presence of formal credit, social safety net programs like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) may have unintended consequences. In particular, MGNREGA reduces both net farm income and per capita monthly household consumption expenditures. On the other hand, in the presence of formal credit, the Public Distribution System may increase both net farm income and per capita monthly household consumption expenditures.
Awareness about Minimum Support Price and Its Impact on Diversification Decision of Farmers in India
K.S. Aditya, S.P. Subash, K.V. Praveen, M.L. Nithyashree, N. Bhuvana and Akriti Sharma
Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2017
In this article, we have analysed farmers’ awareness about Minimum Support Price (MSP) and its impact on diversification of crops grown in India. We used nationally representative data collected by National Sample Survey Office, 70th round data. The data revealed that only 23.72 and 20.04 per cent of farmers in the rural agricultural households in India are aware of MSP of crops grown by them in kharif and rabi season, respectively. From the results of probit model, it is inferred that MSP needs to be backed up by effective procurement coupled with awareness creation by extension system to enable more number of farmers to take benefit of this safety net. We have also explored the relationship between farmers’ awareness about MSP and decision to go for crop specialization using Heckman selection model. The study shows that farmers’ knowledge of MSP had not lead to specialization.
Courtesy: Wiley online library
Ganguly, K., Gulati, A. and J. von Braun
ZEF Working Paper 159, 2017
Innovations are fast changing the agricultural landscape driven by the increasing need to shift towards sustainable practices without sacrificing the productivity and profitability of farming. Innovations in technology, institutions, processes, and products have contributed to the growth of agriculture, globally and in developing countries including India and Africa, as observed in the cases of green revolution in cereals; and gene revolution in cotton. More recently, innovations in farm mechanization, micro irrigation, digital technology driven farm and crop management, financial services, energy efficient post-harvest management including LED and solar driven logistics, among others are gaining momentum. These have considerable potential to impact farmers’ livelihood through higher productivity, better returns, more employability and in turn catalysing the shift towards sustainable agricultural practices through optimal utilization of resources. In addition to these, innovations in business models – uberization” of agri-mechanization, direct firm-farm linkages, aggregation of farmers through producer organizations, etc. that make agricultural technology more affordable and adoptable for smallholder farmers are critical for economic and human development of people who depend on agriculture for their income and livelihood security and in effect impact poverty alleviation. For the developing world, innovations must infuse inclusive growth and deliver maximum benefits to the smallholder farmers.
The present study involves an extensive stocktaking exercise of the types of innovations that have emerged globally and in India in particular, and their increasing impact on the agricultural sector. The stock taking exercise is based not only on peer-reviewed research from the academic fields, but also draws on recent corporate studies. This is done because we observe an accelerated innovation process in which business and startups (for instance in digital services) play an important role. The important trends and therein the lessons learnt which can be adapted to suit the local conditions in India are captured. The study also looks into the policy and institutional reforms that will catalyze the introduction and adoption of the advanced technology solutions in the context of Indian agriculture.
Understanding District Ecosystems: Implementation of Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Policies in Sabarkantha and Bijapur Districts (India)
Lina Sonne, Anar Bhatt & Anjali Neelakantan
LANSA WP. 17, 2017
Nutrition policies are shaped at a national and state level in India; however programmes are implemented by the district administration.
This paper considers the implementation of nutrition programmes in two districts – Sabarkantha in Gujarat and Bijapur in Karnataka – drawing on a systems approach to (i) detail how policies and programmes related to nutrition are implemented through the district ecosystem; (ii) whether programmes are integrated and complementary, both within the state machine as well as with non-state programmes; and (iii) what the roles of state and non-state actors are in implementation.
The paper evaluates policy implementation in a complex sector where integration is especially important, given the multiple and interacting pathways for supporting improved nutrition. This includes considering nutrition specific programmes, together with the underlying pathways highlighted – food production and agriculture; food access and food security; health, water, sanitation and hygiene; and women’s empowerment.
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courtesy – LANSA
Connecting Agriculture to better Nutrition in South Asia: Innovation as a process of socio-technical change
LANSA WP No. 16, 2017
In South Asia, undernutrition remains a widespread problem, in spite of strong economic growth in countries such as India, which continues to struggle with stubbornly high rates of maternal malnutrition and child stunting. This paper explores the potential for different kinds of innovation to strengthen the connections between agriculture and nutrition in South Asia.
The paper draws insights from research carried out under the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) consortium, a partnership of six research organisations located in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the UK and USA. The interventions and case studies examined by LANSA researchers have approached the challenge of strengthening agricultureâ€”nutrition linkages in a range of different ways. All of them may be considered innovations in some sense or degree, in so far as they involve a change or reconfiguration of knowledge, practices, organisation or material inputs in order to achieve a different (and hopefully better) outcome.
This paper reviews a selection of these interventions, alongside some reference examples not studied directly within LANSA, so as to understand their general approaches, key principles, and the basic features of their design and implementation. The aim is to create crosscutting insights into the various ways in which alternative kinds of innovation may help to strengthen the nutrition-sensitivity of agriculture and food systems. The purpose of this analysis is not to evaluate the impacts or success rates of the innovations in question, but to consider them from first principles as alternative models or propositions for improving the linkages between agriculture, food and nutrition.
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courtesy – LANSA