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Innovations spearheading the next transformations in India‘s agriculture

Kavery Ganguly, Ashok Gulati, Joachim von Braun

ZEF working paper 159, 2017

The present study involves an extensive stocktaking exercise of the types of innovations that have emerged globally and their potentials for increasing impact on the agricultural sector, farmers and consumers. Our stocktaking draws not only on peer-reviewed research, but also on recent corporate studies. We choose this approach, because we observe an accelerated innovation process in which business and startups play important roles. Impact assessment of biological, mechanical, and organizational innovations currently lags behind actions on the ground. We report on a number of promising innovations that are mainly private sector based. In doing so we partly rely on reporting by the
companies and media, although independent evaluations are still missing. The potentials of these reported innovations need further scrutiny by independent detailed research for impact assessments that capture potential positive and negative externalities. The public agricultural research systems must play a strong role in delivering such independent assessments.

URL: https://www.zef.de/uploads/tx_zefportal/Publications/zef_wp_159_final_01.pdf

Courtesy: ZEF


Weather, Labor Reallocation and Industrial Production: Evidence from India

Jonathan Colmer

CEP Discussion Paper, No’ CEPDP1544, May 2018

Temperature-driven reductions in the demand for agricultural labor are associated with increases in the share of workers engaged in manufacturing, suggesting that the ability of non-agricultural sectors to absorb workers may play a key role in attenuating the economic consequences of weather-driven changes in agricultural productivity. Exploiting firm-level variation in the propensity to absorb these workers, I find that this reallocation is associated with relative expansions in manufacturing activity in exible labor market environments. Counter-factual estimates suggest that in the absence of labor reallocation the aggregate consequences of temperature increases would be up to 40% higher.

URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/abstract.asp?index=5854

Courtesy: LSE

The Private Sector and India’s Agricultural Transformation

Marco Ferroni, and Yuan Zhou. (2017).
Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 9(1-3).
There is often ambivalence about the private sector in agriculture. But successful agricultural growth and transformations are inconceivable without a dynamic private sector serving and driving agriculture, farming, and agri-food value chains. The private sector plays decisive roles in India’s agricultural transformation today, fostering productivity improvements and creating jobs and value in supply chains “from farm to fork.” This is a relatively new phenomenon, made possible by the economic reforms of the early 1990s and policy changes since then. There remains much to do. Government is challenged to offer the required enabling, regulatory, and institutional support.
Courtesy: Sage

Towards a Gramscian food regime analysis of India’s agrarian crisis: Counter-movements, petrofarming and Cheap Nature

Jostein Jakobsen.
Geoforum, 90, 1-10. 2018.

Abstract :
This article develops an initial framework for a Gramscian and political ecological food regime analysis of India’s ongoing agrarian crisis. Criticizing readings of Polanyi in food regime analysis in light of Gramscian perspectives, I seek to contest food regime analysis’s approach to counter-movements. I suggest, further, that close attention to the Indian case of ‘actually existing crises’ helps us avoid some of the capital-centric limitations in food regime literature. Working towards an incipient understanding of the absence of a sustained smallholder counter-movement at the current conjuncture in India, I argue for locating our investigation at the intersection of crises of accumulation and of legitimation. I analyze India’s decentralized form of petrofarming as a socioecological cycle of accumulation that is presently facing a condition of exhaustion of Cheap Nature. Drawing on Gramscian perespectives, I argue that an analytics that foregrounds the dynamics of class forces in the integral state can help us rethinking the possibilities for resistance to the contemporary food regime more broadly.

url – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016718518300216
courtesy -Elsevier


Ratan Priya and Padmini Pani

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 36 No. 4, 2017

Increase in agricultural productivity contributes to overall economic development and by providing capital, employment, and increased purchasing power of the rural people it also helps in reducing poverty. Environmental degradation is emerging as a major constraint in increasing productivity in agriculture. Land degradation is among the most crucial environmental problems affecting agricultural development. This paper tries to evaluate the implication of land degradation, by examining input use in agriculture in the severely degraded districts of India. Although land degradation directly affects agricultural productivity, the use of fertilisers and rainfall also influences productivity. In turn, productivity is also influenced by other inputs like irrigation, conventional inputs, credit, extension services and adoption of mechanical and chemical technologies.

URL: http://nirdprojms.in/index.php/jrd/article/view/120625/82763

Courtesy: NIRD

Can group farms outperform individual family farms? Empirical insights from India

Bina Agarwal

World Development,Volume 108, August 2018


Is there an alternative model to small family farming that could provide sustainable livelihoods to millions of resource-constrained and often non-viable smallholders in developing countries? Could group farming constitute such an alternative, wherein smallholders voluntarily pool land, labour and capital to create larger farms that they manage collectively? In South Asia, for instance, over 85% of farmers are small and increasingly female. Potentially, group farming could provide them economies of scale, a dependable labour force, more investible funds and skills, and greater bargaining power with governments and markets. But can this potential be realised in practice? In particular, can group farms economically outperform small family farms? A rare opportunity to test this is provided by two experiments begun in the 2000s in the Indian states of Kerala and Telangana. Constituted only of women, the groups lease in land to farm collectively, sharing labour, the cost of inputs, and the returns. But the states differ in several respects, including the technical support the groups receive, and their institutional base, composition, land access and cropping patterns. Based on the author’s primary sample surveys in both states, this paper compares the productivity and profitability of group farms with that of small individual family farms in the same state. Kerala’s groups perform strikingly better than the predominantly male-managed individual farms, both in their annual value of output per hectare and annual net returns per farm, while in Telangana group farms perform much worse than individual farms in annual output, but are equivalent in net returns. In both states, groups do much better in commercial crops than in traditional foodgrains, where the largely male-managed individual farms, owning good quality land and with longer farm management experience, have an advantage. The factors underlying the differential performances of Kerala and Telangana, and the lessons learnt for possible replication, are also discussed. Overall, the paper demonstrates that group farming can provide an effective alternative, subject to specified conditions and adaptation of the model to the local context.

URL : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X18300913

Courtesy: ScienceDirect


Climate change in India: how to protect farmers?

Catherine Benjamin and Ewen Gallic
Université de Rennes I, Working Paper, September 2017
The effects of climate change on Indian agriculture under different alternative climate scenarios are empirically studied. This article uses the Ricardian approach that links net revenues per acre as a function of climate, farm and households’ characteristics. We estimate the net revenues per acre function using cross-sectional data and quantile regression. Empirical results show that farms with higher net revenues per acre look to be more affected by climate variables in magnitude. Farms with lower net revenues per acre tend to benefit more from crops mixing than farms
with high income per acre. In a second step, we implement two climate scenarios which differ according to the assumptions on changes on average temperature and total rainfall. Farms with low net revenues per acre experience losses less important in magnitude but larger in percent change than farms with high net revenues per acre. At the district level, results show more heterogeneity. Under both scenarios, districts in the North of India tend to experience a decrease in net revenues per acre while an opposed effect is found for districts in the South of the country.