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Rainfed areas, constituting the major poverty geography of the country, faced a historical neglect and discrimination in terms of receiving public support and investments; Rainfed-farmer, in particular, is facing the brunt of this neglect. The crisis is no longer an issue of supporting agriculture; with unprecedented levels of farmers’ distress, it has evolved into a livelihood issue affecting millions of farmers.

At present 60 percent of Indian and 80 percent of the world agriculture is un-irrigated. After having developed all water resources, 50 percent of agriculture will still continue to be rainfed. In our country, 86 percent pulses, 77 percent oil seeds and 50 percent cereals are contributed by rainfed agriculture. International trade in oil seeds is escalating thus demands on rainfed agriculture would increase.

Public support in terms of investments, institutions, subsidies in fertilizers and other inputs fostered the paradigm of green-revolution intensively in the well endowed areas of the country. By its very logic, it has by-passed the major poverty stricken rainfed areas and people dependent on them, as major part of the incentives and investments was used by farmers who have access to irrigation.

Recognizing this historical need for restructuring the public policy, support systems and incentives available for rainfed farming, Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), WASSAN and CSA have jointly organized a workshop entitled ‘New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming – Redesigning Support Systems and Incentives’ at New Delhi from 27 th to 29 th September, 2007.

On the basis of the scattered field experiences and research outputs across the country, the workshop deliberated intensively to evolve a framework for establishing appropriate public investments, support systems and incentives for revitalising sustainable rainfed farming systems and livelihoods in rainfed areas.

IARI, NASC Complex, New Delhi

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IARI, NASC Complex, New Delhi Organized by Supported by Proceedings of the National Workshop on New
Proceedings of the National Workshop on New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming Date: 27 th -
Proceedings of the National Workshop
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
27 th - 29 th September, 2007

July 2008

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Proceedings of the National Wokrshop on

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Redesigning Support Systems and Incentives

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27 th - 29 th September, 2007 IARI, NASC Complex, New Delhi

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

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Analysis of current Support Systems and Incentives for Rainfed Farming and

Strategies for enhancing growth in Agriculture during XI plan - Transferring ‘Resources’ to Micro level is the Key by Dr. Abhijit Sen

Welcome and introductory remarks by Dr. Nawab Ali


and Sustainable Development in India by Dr. S.P.Wani


Organic farming through various initiatives in India - From Impoverishment to Empowerment with Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability for Farmers and

Challenges before National Rainfed Area Authority in revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture - Convergence and Prioritization are key issues by Dr. J.S. Samra

Sustainable development of rainfed areas -

Synthesis of innovative experiences for development of rainfed agriculture


millets and pulses by Shri P.V. Satheesh

‘Capitalization on Complementarities’ by Dr. Mangal Rai

the context of emerging crisis by Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu 16in

Beyond Certified Organic Farming: An emerging paradigm for

Building a farmers owned company (Chetna) producing and



Low external input based sustainable agriculture (LEISA) –

Decentralized food security in rainfed areas involving different types of


Policy reforms at national level for enhancing inclusive growth in rainfed areas

Rainfed Agriculture by Dr. N.K. Sanghi


New Paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture for Improving Livelihoods

search of a new paradigm for self-reliant development of rainfed farming -

for a Differentiated Approach by Shri A. Ravindra

to redefine agrarian relations by Shri B.N. Yugandhar

XI Plan by Prof. V.S. Vyas

fair trade-organic products by Shri H Lanting

by Shri Ashok Bang

of field experiences with IPM and INM approaches by Shri W.R. Reddy

of experiences from India and abroad by Dr. Arun Balamatti










New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming


Theme: A. Pest management through non pesticidal methods

Analysis of Existing Support Systems for Water Resource Development in

Theme: D. Separate Policy for Water Resource in Rainfed Areas

Theme: C. Enhancement of Organic Matter in Soils

Theme: B. Seeds in the hands of the Community

Analysis of existing policies and programmes under seed sector –

Analysis of existing policies and programmes for pest management in agriculture –

Theme: E.Self reliant development through sustainable Community based Organizations and reforms in management of Institutional Credit

Theme: F. Self reliant development of Small Ruminants with Resource Poor Families

Analysis of Existing Policies and Schemes for Development of

continuing journey by Dr. M.S. Chari 42a

and infrastructural support by Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu

Sustainable development of Agriculture through SHGs and their Federations – a case study in Andhra Pradesh by Shri T. Vijay Kumar


Community managed seed bank in rainfed areas – need for new mechanisms

Community Managed Development of Small Ruminants –

Social Regulations as an Approach; Field Experiences by Shri SK. Anwar

Small Ruminants by Dr. Piedy Sreeramulu

policy support needed for scale-up by Dr. O.P. Rupela

limitations and opportunities by Shri D.V. Raidu


Pest management through non-pesticidal methods –

Enhancing Soil-Organic Matter in SAT-scientific evidence and

Emerging Experiences on Sustainable Use of Water Resource in Rainfed Areas:

of Support Systems by Dr. A.K. Joseph 89Redesigning

and Irrigated Areas by Dr. K.V. Rao 67Rainfed

Improving Soil Productivity through Enhancement of

Institutional Credit for Rainfed Areas – Issues and Concerns by Shri P.V.S. Surya Kumar

Matter in Soils by Dr. J. Venkateswarlu

and opportunities by Dr. K. Tirupataiah












A New Paradigm: What is emerging? by Shri A. Ravindra

Theme – 1: Agriculture in rainfed areas: soil – pest management by Dr. B. Venkateswarlu

Theme – 3: Re-looking Livestock in rainfed areas by Dr. V. Padma Kumar

2: Water for rainfed areas by Shri K.J. Joy 99Theme



Group Work on Specific Themes - List of Members

Schedule of Agenda

List of participants



do we go forward: Some suggestions by Dr. N.K. Sanghi

to link macro indicators with micro imperatives by Dr. Amita Shah

4: Institutions and credits for rainfed areas development by Dr. Amita Shah









New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Rainfed areas, constituting the major poverty geography of the country, are facing a historical neglect and discrimination in terms of receiving public support and investments. Rainfed-farmers, in particular, are facing the brunt of this neglect. The crisis is no longer an

and incentives available for rainfed farming the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), WASSAN and CSA jointly organized a workshop entitled ‘New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming – Redesigning Support Systems and Incentives’ at New Delhi from 27 th to 29 th

now a livelihood issue affecting millions of farmers.

irrigation water supply, credit, price support etc;) fostered the paradigm of green revolution in the well endowed areas of the country. By its very logic, it has by-passed the major poverty stricken rainfed areas and people dependent on them.

At present 60 percent of Indian and 80 percent of the world agriculture is un-irrigated. After having developed all water resources, 50 percent of agriculture will still continue to be rainfed. In our country, 86 percent pulses, 77 percent oil seeds and 50 percent cereals are contributed by rainfed agriculture. International

unprecedented levels of farmers’ distress, it is

trade in oil seeds is escalating thus demands on rainfed agriculture would increase.

Public support in terms of investments, institutions and subsidies in fertilizers and other inputs (electricity, micro irrigation, horticulture,

restructuring the public policy, support systems









Executive Summary




Present policy framework and reforms envisaged were discussed in the opening and special sessions. It was recognized that there was a serious lacuna in the policy focus on rainfed agriculture as compared to irrigated agriculture. However, there was a considerable clarity about where the things were going wrong and also what could address the problems; It was strongly felt that there was a

workshop deliberated intensively to evolve a

Workshop design

revitalising sustainable rainfed farming systems

investments, support systems and incentives for

On the basis of the scattered field experiences

framework for establishing appropriate public

September, 2007.

and research outputs across the country, the

and livelihoods in rainfed areas.


Understanding the significance of CBOs in institutionalizing the new paradigm and facilitating greater degree of self-reliance in

Arriving at a new developmental paradigm,

Analyzing present scenario in rainfed

Analyzing present framework of support systems and incentives in rainfed areas and

emerging through formal and informal R&D, that has potential of addressing the existing crisis among rainfed farmers

the overall development

existing support systems

emerging farmers’ crisis and relevance of

assessing the need for a differentiated support systems






New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

from rainfed lands, (vi) upscaling successful experiences through sustainable community based organizations.

need to act upon it. Specific pointers were also made related to macro economic policy considerations that include Input and Output Policies, Trade Policy, Credit Policy and Risk Mitigation.

synthesize an alternate paradigm for rainfed farming systems based upon successful experiences. A number of presentations were made on innovative experiences related to rainfed farming systems in session III and IV. Broadly they belong to the following six aspects (i) sustainable rainfed crop production systems using local inputs and marketing through community owned institutions, (ii) social regulation against overexploitation of ground water, (iii) community managed seed bank, (iv) reforms in management of institutional

incentives for upscaling successful experiences. It was felt that there was a need to shift the focus from transfer of specific technology to the overall development of livelihoods; from productivity of a unit crop to the productivity of a unit area and from enhancement of productivity to enhancement of the income. The technological contents and management processes behind many of the successful

An analysis of the existing scenario in rainfed areas and an overview of the emerging paradigm shift were shared in the session II. The need for a separate agricultural policy for rainfed areas and the desired shift in the ways of carrying out research and development in rainfed areas was stressed upon.

In the following sessions, an effort was made to

Based upon these experiences, a need was strongly felt for redesigning support systems and


(v) decentralized food security through millets





experiences were based upon the above shifts which have been arrived at through judicious blend of indigenous and exogenous knowledge systems. Hence support systems and incentives are also to be redesigned if these experiences are to be upscaled.

Dr. Mangal Rai, Director General of ICAR in his inaugural message called for focusing on the practical agenda for evolving a roadmap, operational strategies and options that can contribute specially in building the agenda of rainfed farming in the XI th Five Year Plan.

to realize the full potential of the rainfed agriculture. As input subsidies are ineffective tools of transfer of income, he called upon to reorient input subsidies towards improving productivity. Observing that the minimum support prices though announced for 34 crops, procurement was operational only for paddy and wheat. The governments should honor their commitments and MSP should be governed by the cost of production. Dr. Vyas stressed on the need to move towards ‘total portfolio of income’ and crop cycle of three years as a basis for


of existing schemes / projects may therefore be carried out so that required modification in respective guidelines can be made before designing new schemes. In this regard,

recommendations from group work regarding

Dr. Vyas in his key note address delved upon the need to reorient the pricing, trade, credit and risk mitigation policies to the needs of the rainfed agriculture. Increasing investments in land and water conservation, ensuring adequate supply of credit, protection against risks are key

support systems and incentives under each theme of the workshop

It was also strongly felt that a critical analysis





Addressing the special session, Sri. B.N. Yugandhar, Member, Planning Commission brought out the need for building effective support systems (seed and feed, research, technology, credit, extension etc.) for the poor

political unpopularity. Most of the public investments in irrigated areas are resulting in


and tenant farmers. Though there is a wider recognition of the distortions related to the usage of natural resources, agrarian relations etc., in rainfed areas, there is no concern/ focus on these issues in any of the policy conclaves; this was the main policy paradox at present, he observed. The rainfed areas are

standard deviation of income and output is a great concern and reducing uncertainties in prices and outputs should receive greater attention. It is neither possible nor desirable to

Responding to the presentations in the inaugural sessions, Dr. Abhijit Sen, Member Planning Commission, stressed on the need to stabilize incomes. Though the distortions in fertilizer subsidies are well known, most of the subsidies including MSP tend overwhelmingly towards irrigated agriculture. And any clear solution in this regard is distant as it leads to

extending credit to dryland farmers and the focus must be on implementing credit policy. He observed that there is no proof of risk coverage though weather insurance or other sophisticated tools are superior to crop insurance, if it is administered properly.

revolution’ as an effective solution to the complex rainfed agriculture situations. Thus, Dr. Sen stressed on the need for transferring resources and decision making to ‘below state levels’ after building adequate capacities in addressing the issues related to rainfed areas.

He also emphasized on the need for evolving ‘better design of schemes’.

‘wastage and inefficiencies’.



Reducing the



under-invested and the technologies are becoming the preserve of only the rich and those in the irrigated areas. He called for a focus on ‘empowering and liberating technologies’ for the small and marginal farmers and the need to curtail the divorce between land-ownership and peasantry with productive interests. He stressed on the need for evolving appropriate architecture for a new paradigm.

Against the backdrop of the present serious crisis in agriculture, various large scale experiences emerging across the country provide strong evidence that regenerative and resource conserving approaches to farming can bring both environmental and economical benefits to farmers. Such approaches are diffusing even without government support. A

Dr. Samra, CEO of the National Rainfed Areas Authority (NRAA) elaborated on its purpose and organizational structure. He stressed on the need for bridging the gap between resources and technical expertise and convergence among various players. He felt that integration of forests, crops, water issues, horticulture,

planning processes. Streamlining Capacity Building still remains a challenging task in the watershed development programs.


understanding (theory and knowledge), new ways of doing (practices and products) and new


of understanding, evaluating and supporting such innovations. Participatory mode of knowledge generation and dissemination are much needed than the linear models of


institution), etc. The need is also for new ways

challenging inter-ministerial task. Convergence can be achieved through district and state level

Need for shift in carrying out research and development in rainfed areas
















New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

around high cost external inputs, which have not proved to be sustainable for rainfed farming. These incentives had a negative effect on adoption of many of the successful indigenous technologies/ inputs which are based upon locally available raw material/ biomass. The high cost external inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc) and resultant indebtedness has led to the current farmers’ crisis in Indian agriculture.

plant-pest dynamics to pest-ecology dynamics, seed replacement to seed retention, plant- nutrient relations to soil-plant relations, production per crop area to production per unit of land and centralized to decentralized food security are needed. The community based organisations would provide an appropriate platform for such new paradigm to take roots.

Architecture of Green Revolution ensured development of extensive support structures and systems such as establishment of fertilizer

mechanisms, etc. Such a bold initiate and leadership is lacking in reviving the rainfed farming. Very little of these infrastructure services, subsidies / incentives are accessed by

There is no parity of investment between irrigated and rainfed agriculture both in terms of infrastructure development and for adoption of production systems on recurring basis. Most of the incentives for irrigated farming are built

rainfed farmers.

infrastructure, investment in research and extension system, creation of demand through


technology diffusion.

It was also felt that conceptual shifts such as

Extension of the distorted incentive structures


Need for a Separate Agriculture Policy for Rainfed Areas









be a sustainable instrument both to develop infrastructure and to adopt production technologies on recurring basis.

In spite of recognizing the deteriorating soil health as a major problem, hardly any investments are planned in the XI th Five Year Plan on supporting regeneration of soil health and soil organic matter. If support is available to the extent of what an irrigated farmer gets, large number of farmers would adopt practices that build soil health. The problem is to convert

designed to promote green revolution to rainfed areas is promoting unsustainable trends like over exploitation of groundwater, expansion of irrigation intensive horticulture, mono-cropping etc. A shift towards ‘critical irrigation’ for rainfed crops on a large scale, enhances productivity of rainfed farms substantially and also provides security against droughts. Further social regulation of ground water and moving towards shared / collective bore-wells may provide the much desired stability in incomes.

Watershed development is considered as a critical instrument for development of rainfed areas. A major reform is needed in these projects

The centralized system of national food security built around wheat and paddy changed food consumption patterns in rainfed areas and led to substantive reduction in area under millets. Fodder shortages and labour constraints in maintenance of bullocks during off season, among others, along with the subsidies in diesel and tractors have resulted in sharp decline of bullock power and escalated energy costs.

There is a need to innovate upon ways of supporting local technological options which are otherwise becoming out of focus due to increasing cost of labour. Labour subsidies could

to integrate desired support systems and

appropriate diagnosis into affirmative action.

substantive basis for introducing millets into the mainstream PDS. As the millets also provide better nutrition and soil conservation and increases biodiversity, they must be given adequate price incentives for production. Procurement must also be ensured at the same


investments beyond watershed development, which at present are a miniscule of what the

centralized food security system through irrigated rice and wheat has marginalized the most nutritive millets that people have grown on their rainfed lands. Introduction of rice in to the diet of rainfed areas also increased the fallow lands leading to further degradation. The experience of Deccan Development Society (DDS) in developing a community based public distribution system wherein production, procurement, storage and distribution of millets is carried out at the village level provides

The Indian Public Distribution System (PDS), perhaps the largest welfare measure anywhere in the world, amounts to a food subsidy of Rs

Towards synthesis of a new


Mere ‘district level planning’ would not solve the problem as the mindset of agriculture functionaries and even farmers is set by the ‘dominant paradigm’. In this regard, the incremental changes will not help and hence it

incentives for development of farm production systems and investments on developing community based organisations. This will also


irrigated agriculture is getting.

leadership’ to really tap the potential of rainfed




Decentralized food security through millets from rainfed lands

paradigm based






for rainfed



upon successful











Low external inputs / non-chemical approaches widely practiced in the country are offering a greater promise for risk ridden rainfed farming. These approaches developed through informal research range from low-external inputs (LEISA), non-chemical pest management (NPM), ‘truthfully labeled organic’ and certified organic farming approaches. These approaches shared in the workshop brought out their impacts on risk reduction, low costs, higher employment generation and higher net incomes; in addition, to the ecological benefits. Natural resources management is a key factor in all these approaches. A careful analysis of these promising approaches successfully practiced by millions of farmers across the country provides insights into appropriate policy measures to bring these approaches into the mainstream public programs in rainfed farming. The deliberations pointed out the need for investing on the rainfed areas in terms of infrastructure (storage and primary processing facilities), extension systems based on skill and

incentives for biological and local organic inputs are also needed. Small catchment scale water harvesting, supplemental irrigation and


primarily uses locally available inputs and

This approach taken up on a large scale in Andhra Pradesh, is an integration of all sustainable pest management practices in


improving soil and moisture regimes will have substantial impact.


knowledge of pest-predator complexes. Cost

time. Local community managed grain banks also have immense potential, particularly in the chronic hunger areas such as tribal areas.

Pest Management through Non-Pesticidal Methods (NPM)

Crop production through organic approaches









New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

in the seed sector in rainfed areas. As more than 80% of the seed demand is met through farmer saved / informal sources, the systems of seed-retention by farmers need greater focus. Public investments in seeds for rainfed areas need to focus on ‘large volume and low value’ seeds, village / farmer level exchanges and community seed banks. Expansion of the scope of seed support system to the farmer produced seed used by the community, shifting of recurring seed subsidy into revolving fund at community level, improving the quality of farmer saved seeds are some of the points emphasized in the deliberations.

Ensuring good quality seeds for timely sowing in rainfed farms is a major issue. The private sector is mostly interested in low volume and high value seed, weakening the public sector

research on transgenic and proprietary seed etc., These trends are leading to farmers loosing control over seeds resulting in large scale crisis

contextual relevance. As paraphrased by Dr. V.L.Chopra, “NPM is not just a matter of faith but is applicable in farm” and requires a readjustment in the government policy. The importance of community based organisations in spreading such processes was stressed upon.

reduction ranged from Rs.1000 to 10,000 per acre. The presentations brought out the need to replace the input subsidies by labour subsidies, capacity building inputs, processing

Lack of concerted efforts in improving soil organic matter has resulted in technology fatigue and deceleration in productivity growth. It has also resulted in deficiencies in S, Zn, Fe and other micro nutrients. In the tropics


community organisation. In the context of wide spread distress in rainfed areas, NPM has larger

seed support

Seeds in the Hands of Community

Improving Soil Productivity through Enhancing Organic Matter in Soils


systems, increasing focus in




efficient recycling of organic matter is more important than organic matter build up. In situ application of smaller amounts of organic matter (of about 2 tons per ha annually) is desired in rainfed areas. Together with agriculturally beneficial microorganisms and soil moisture, soil organic matter can meet much of the nutrient needs of crops and can reduce the risks involved in rainfed farming. Focus on enhancing soil biological processes will increase nutrient pool and several biomass based strategies have been successful across the country. These experiences can be up- scaled if the subsidies are extended to in situ organic inputs at par with the chemical inputs like urea. Crop husbandry systems must be changed towards building soil organic matter. Such a shift towards biomass based agriculture is strongly advocated as it gives comparable yields to conventional systems with less external inputs. While this generates large employment, it would also substantially reduce energy costs

support must be extended to create such in situ nutrient banks. Subsidies must be extended to green manures, biomass augmentation, encouraging green manuring legume trees, conservation agriculture etc., and at par with the irrigated agriculture in the quantum of subsidies. This support can be in the form of ‘targeted schemes’. Similarly research must be freed from ‘external led’ agendas to pursue local solutions and investments in such research

must be enhanced. Participatory research and rainfed areas are inseparable and must be pursued to find out effective solutions.

Inspite of the large investments on irrigation, the gap between potential created and utilized is consistently increasing over the Five Year Plans. Per ha investment cost on major irrigation has reached an alarming level of Rs.130,000, while the same in watershed

and cost of imported external inputs.

Special Policy for Water Resources Management in Rainfed Areas


Social regulation on bore wells is much needed to contain the competitive ‘borewell race’. Investments on facilitating evolution of social norms in the usage of ground water such as ban on digging of new borewells and sharing of borewell water with neighboring farmers, conditional support for micro irrigation and pipe

borewells and over exploitation.

In situ conservation measures, mulching, soil organic matter etc., play an important role in Arid and Semi-arid areas. Water use and land use must be seen together. Investments on such aspects and efficient water application methods are necessary for enhancing water productivity. Critical irrigation support to rainfed crops improves water productivity substantially. Investments in improving water resources development in rainfed areas must be

public investment is necessary towards incentivising ‘not-digging’ of new borewells and sharing of water, investing on infrastructure for

critical irrigation, in situ conservation and moisture management, and in social processes to collectively manage ground water. The issues

encouraging collective use of augmented resources in watershed areas. Reversal of this trend is necessary to incentivise collectivization

lines are important support systems. Encour-

development is about Rs.6000. While the cost of augmenting groundwater through watershed approaches was through public investments, the cost of creation of irrigation source was left to individuals resulting in privatizing the access to groundwater. More over, the subsidies in power, sprinklers and drips also flow in to those who ‘own’ bore wells. There

communities to reduce risk in rainfed areas by sharing water during critical periods of rainfall

comprehensive to include all these aspects.

shortages. At present the subsidy regime (water, inputs and power) is incentivising new


of ground water access.










A shift in



The emerging paradigm for rainfed farming consists of a number of elements which are based upon field experience from informal research and development. More often such innovations are unattended for lack of back up support from formal research systems. As in the Indira Kranthi Patham program in Andhra Pradesh, a larger platform of community based organisations (SHGs and their Federations) provides a strong basis for quick up scaling of approaches like community managed sustainable agriculture. Up scaling of NPM program reaching coverage of 1.6 lakh ha across the state in about 4 years time is a case in point. These approaches centered on ‘farmers as scientists’, faster lateral diffusion of knowledge among organised community groups, anchorage by CBOs and facilitation by NGOs has shown higher potential for scaling up knowledge intensive sustainable agriculture programs.

Risky and Under-Invested Rainfed Areas: The Dilemmas of Credit

How banks can reach out to rainfed areas substantially when rainfed production systems face multiple risks- is a key question. The mechanisms of ‘cyclical credit’ and ‘total income portfolio approach’ to farm-credit inclusive of credit needs for livestock and other experiments

multiple-initiatives in production systems,


accountability are the key to ensure greater fund-flow to rainfed areas and reduce the transaction costs. Multiplicity of institutions and


of equity in distribution of conserved water are of utmost importance.

operational modalities. Risk reduction through

are still to be fine-tuned in

organisation is necessary. Group based approaches, investing on community based

Sustainable Community Based Organisations- A Key to sustainability and Up-scaling





terms of their



New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Standardized model like that of green revolution may not be appropriate for rainfed areas due to high degree of heterogeneity and complexity. Therefore it is essential to shift the resources and decision-making process to district level which will promote relevant solutions for concerned rainfed areas. The guidelines of several programs such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Watershed Development, Backward Regions Grant Fund, NREGS etc., can be suitably re-structured to provide necessary


particularly in common lands is of utmost importance. A ‘Drylands Perspective on Livestock Development’ must be formulated and it must guide the development investments

provisions for waivers of loans (interest, part or full principle) must be evolved for rainfed areas. Provision of interest subsidy is crucial for

Grazing based animal husbandry is the dominant livestock production system in rainfed areas (ranging from sedentary to nomadic types), contributing substantially to the incomes of the marginalized and agriculture systems. The small ruminant production systems in spite of their substantial contribution to the rainfed areas and the economy, do not have any support systems. The investments on rainfed livestock support systems are also very low. Disease control and space for community organisations in the delivery of services needs


implementation of the crop insurance scheme

is much awaited.



criticality of investment on institution building

specificities must be built into such perspective.


Rainfed-perspective and Focus on Livestock Development

Decentralised Decision Making and Capacities needed






















between public sector, CBOs, civil society and private sector, in order to rejuvenate rainfed farming in the country. Alternate approaches, as outlined above, are needed with regard to

need to be in place to up scale these experiences.


investments for institutionalizing the support systems and incentives in line with the new paradigm. The newly created autonomous body National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) can provide lead in facilitating such reforms and improving the delivery mechanism at lower level.

priorities in rainfed areas.

particularly with respect to applying the knowledge and solving the problems. In this regard, the deliberations in the workshop provide a basic framework for action. The need is to have a bold new vision to reformulate the

paradigm. A new vision, adequate investments

Appropriate support systems and incentives

The deliberations in the workshop have brought out the need for reformulating the policies and support systems for rainfed areas rather than merely extending the green revolution framework. Parity of investments between irrigated and rainfed areas must be ensured. The

upscale successful experiences and integrating them in the district plans of the centrally sponsored schemes. Capacity building at lower


It is essential to capitalize on complementarities

the workshop from various grass-roots

to be prioritized in line with the emerging

Investments, subsidies etc., in rainfed areas need

development, technology development and extension system. Specific efforts are needed to

experiences emerging across the country.

elements of a new paradigm are synthesized in

and appropriate support systems and incentives

are much needed to revitalize rainfed farming and livelihoods of the people in rainfed areas.









Inaugural Session

Inaugural Session
Inaugural Session
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

he briefly explained the context of rainfed

participants on behalf of ICAR, WASSAN and

Annexures 1 and 2 for further details about

its design which broadly consisted of the

CSA. While delivering the introductory remarks,

following six sessions spread over 3 days (refer

farming; objectives of the workshop and also


agenda and list of participants).

Dr. Nawab Ali, Deputy Director General, ICAR

Session – I:

Session – II:

Session – III:

Session – IV:

Session – VI:

– V: Group work on Support Systems and Incentives with respect to the following four aspectsSession

September 28th, 2007

September 29th, 2007

September 27 th , 2007

Welcome and Introductory Remarks


Analysis of existing scenario in Rainfed Areas

Theme – F:

Theme – E:

Theme – B:

Theme – D:

Theme – A:

Theme – C:

associated with Rainfed Farming

Concluding Session

Critical Support Systems for Upscaling Successful Experiences on 6 major themes

Group – I:

Group – III:

Group – II:

Group – IV:

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Inaugural and Special Session



Sustainable Agriculture in Rainfed Areas including Management of Soils, Pest and Seeds Water for Rainfed Areas Re-looking at Livestock in Rainfed Areas Institutions for Rainfed Areas Development

Pest Management through Non Pesticidal Methods Seeds in the hands of the Community Enhancement of Organic matter in Soils Separate policy for Water Resource in Rainfed Areas Self Reliant development through Sustainable Community based Organizations and Reforms in Management of Institutional Credit Self Reliant Development of Small Ruminants with Resource Poor Families

Dr. Nawab Ali DDG (NRM), ICAR


Credit Self Reliant Development of Small Ruminants with Resource Poor Families Dr. Nawab Ali DDG (NRM),

In his brief opening remarks, Dr. Mangal Rai, Director General, ICAR, emphasised on the need to capitalize on complementarities between ‘research and development’ and called upon the diverse range of participants in the workshop to deliberate on the practical agenda of rainfed farming that can contribute to improving the XI th Five Year Plan.

Though there is an abudance of data, critique, analysis of what is to be done and what not to be done, there is dearth of work on ‘how to do’,

what practical systems and mechanisms to be followed, how to bring about and capitalize on complementarities and how to harness positive

planned in the workshop he suggested that a very basic strategy, options must be evolved. Bringing about “players as partners” would go a long way.

partners to work in synergistic pattern is the key. Evolving a road map, strategy and options are lacking. During the intensive deliberations

particles in the biological sciences, Dr. Rai elaborated on the applications of nano technology in developing slow releasing fertilizers and water using nano-particles to increase the input use efficiency in Indian agriculture. These smaller ones are the most powerful and “we need to address them in the right ernest”.

interaction effect.

Referring to the inherent power in the smaller

In search of a new paradigm for self-reliant development of Rainfed Farming

‘Need to capitalize on complementarities’

How stakeholders play as

Address by Chief Guest

Dr. Mangal Rai Director General, ICAR

water, 2.3 % of land and 11% of livestock of the world, meeting the basic requirements becomes a challenge. How effectively and judiciously we harvest water and increase its use efficiency and


sign; but what we have achieved is minimal. An increase in water use efficicency by 10% i.e. from the present level of 40 to 50% would contribute to almost 40 to 50 tons of additional food grain production, but the question is how do we achieve this?

agriculture. He stated that soil erosion at the rate of 16 tons per ha per year is resulting into a

On the other hand, 40% compound growth rate taking place in sprinkler irrigation is a healthy

Reemphasising on the need for developing

colossal loss.







“At present we are able to harness only 29% of the precipitation. With this how
“At present we are able to harness only 29% of
the precipitation. With this how are we going
to sustain 17% of the world population,” he
With India’s share of 4.2% of
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

healthy competition, effective cooperation and building in complementarities for improving the Indian agriculture situation, the Director General stressed on the need for developing partnership between research and development organisations.

In his address, Prof. Vyas focused on the needed policy initiative for development of Rainfed Agriculture. He mainly dwelt on the lacunae in policy focus on the rainfed agriculture as compared to irrigated areas. His presentation concentrated on the initiatives to

On behalf of ICAR, Dr. Rai extended warm welcome to all the participants of the workshop. He hoped that the two days of intense and productive deliberations would yield ‘rich harvest’ for the rainfed farming in the country.

He called on the participants to be self

Policy reforms at national level for enhancing inclusive growth in rainfed areas during XI Plan

“We know

the where

Key Note Address

only thing

Dr. V. S. Vyas Professor Emeritus, IDS

the things

is to act

be taken on policies related to Pricing, Trade, Credit and Risk Mitigation in the context of the rainfed agriculture.

Of nearly 139.1 million ha net cropped area (in TE ending 2003), nearly 83.9 million ha is the net rain-fed area and the remaining 55.3 million ha is the irrigated area. Thus, rain-fed area account for nearly 60 percent of the cultivated area in the country. The situation is not going to change much and even in coming ten years more than half of the cultivated land will be rain-fed. He also felt that the extension of irrigation facility will not provide the needed solution. The efficiency of irrigation water is low, while the cost of extending surface water is huge, 1.2 lakh rupees per ha (during IX th Plan)

various issues and give the ‘Big Push’ to

utilized. He also hoped that the representatives

in the agricultural policy of XI th Five Year Plan

reflective and contribute towards making

rejuvenate the rainfed farming system in the country.

India, Scientific community and Civil Society

Organisations would intensively deliberate on

from Planning Commission, Government of

effective recommendations to be incorporated

so that the limited resources can be better

are upon


it” wrong

of effective recommendations to be incorporated so that the limited resources can be better are upon

establishing efficient marketing structures, ensuring adequate supply of credit and providing protection against risks. He stressed the need for effective governance and enabling people’s participation as they are the key elements in delivering the needed action to realize the full potential of rainfed agriculture.

According to him, the case of farmers dependent on rain-fed agriculture is not hopeless. There are rain-fed crops, such as pulses, oilseeds, cotton and maize for which the demand is likely to be buoyant. At present, there is a huge gap between the yield obtained and the potential yield of these crops in dry land conditions. There is also a vast scope for increasing supplementary enterprises, especially dairy and dryland horticulture. For this he suggested the needed action in terms of increasing investment in land improvement and water conservation, instituting proper price policy,

While concentrating on the four major policies he opined that Policy is not the beginning and the end of action: investment, technology and organisations are also important. He said that many of these policies are relevant for agriculture as such and some are specific to rainfed farming. Elaborating on the price policy, Prof. Vyas emphasized on addressing the anomalies with regard to Input and Output price policy as the gap between them is widening. The situation is that where ever policy

increased reliance on irrigation from ground water, which in most of the regions of the country is not a viable solution. Increasingly more blocks are being declared as ‘black” in regard to the ground water situation. In this context a large number of farmers will continue

to depend on dry land agriculture where they suffer from depleted land and water resources, uncertain weather, low value crops and low productivity.

and it is continuously increasing.

There is

inefficient use of inputs, leading to loss of productivity in the short as well as long term. He suggested following measures to address this anomaly: economic prices of the inputs

with the procurement price has very negative

hidden subsidies, e.g. in water, power, or nitrogenous fertilizers, it led to imbalanced and

honor their commitments, or else the credibility is at stake. Procurement prices should be flexible, depending on the need for Buffer Stock and for PDS on the one hand, and the size of

percent of the overall trade. It is to be viewed that the main non-cereal crops of rain-fed

With regard to the Trade Policy, it is wrong to assume that WTO provisions will not affect our agriculture in a significant way because only some of our agricultural products enter international trade. In India, at present, the contribution of agricultural trade is less than 9

major crops. Presently, MSP is announced for 34 crops in the country but implemented only in case of wheat and paddy. In addition, a state may announce MSP for 2 or 3 crops specific for the state. The centre as well as the states should

Minimum Support Price (MSP) as synonymous



implications and distortions.

international price on the other. Greater use should be made of the Futures market, and farmers should be made literate to deal in these

use of a given input. He opined that subsidies


In the Output Price policy, he stated that using

subsidy should be given, mainly, with the

should be determined and publicized.

cost of production, while the procurement price

suggested that MSP should be governed by the

should be related to market. For the country as


are not effective tools for transfer of income.

objective of improving productivity with the

whole MSP should be announced for 5 to 6

directed to make inputs cheaper by overt or






Instead he



New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

areas, namely, pulses, oilseeds and cotton as well as dairy products are important from the point of view of international trade. Many more products like maize, fruits and vegetables, which are gaining importance in the rain-fed areas, are also traded in the international markets. To better utilize this potential, some important issues need to be tackled. There is a need for establishing greater correspondence between the domestic price policy and tariff policy. It will be more efficient if the agency which is advising the government on domestic price policy, (viz., CACP or any alternative) also advises on the tariff policy for agricultural commodities. There is a vast gap between what we are allowed and what we are imposing in bounded tariff and we should use it wisely, he opined. Developed countries like USA and European Union are subsidizing farmers who produce commodities in which they want to establish export monopoly. The need is to think of counterveiling measures and Government of India should assist farmers whose products face competition. This can be done without violating WTO obligations.

In respect to Credit Policy, he said that the observations of various committees headed by bankers and experts should be taken seriously and not dismissed. He suggested that the ‘whole portfolio of income’ should be the criteria for extending credit in rainfed areas. This is practiced in industrial credit and should be applied to agriculture also. He also observed

especially for the rain-fed areas: Credit should be made available for a crop cycle of two or three years rather than for one season. As dry land agriculture is diversified, credit should be

that following provisions are

against the total income portfolio rather than only against crops. Keeping in view the dryland farmers who get bulk of their income only in one season, consumption credit should


Areas. Apart from the market induced risks, which are common for all agricultural producers, important problem faced by dry land farmers is the weather induced uncertainties. Farmers in the dryland areas are risk averse as they do not have anything to fall back upon. There are two important risk mitigation measures: MSP and agriculture insurance scheme. The later scheme is covering hardly 10 percent of the farmers. There is a vast scope to improve upon the existing risk mitigation. There is no need to replace the existing Crop Insurance Scheme but it can be further strengthened. The main difficulties in the process are in methods, procedures and governance. Realistic reforms have been suggested by independent researchers and also by the official Working Groups in areas such as extending coverage, determining threshold yields, assessing yield, rationalizing premium, reducing time lag in making payments etc. It is

waiving part of principle, waiving full interest and principle) need to be designed. This policy should not be politically motivated. There is also

provisions for

properly. He concluded by observing that,

Weather Insurance or other sophisticated

programs. For example, in the present

measures are superior to the existing Crop

“… we know where things are going wrong only thing is to act upon it…”

important to act upon these measures rather

than thinking of some untried schemes and

Prof. Vyas called for a ‘concrete policy action’ to address the issue of Risk Mitigation in Rainfed

a need to look at the ways of implementing the Credit Policy.

Insurance Scheme if it is administrated

circumstances it is difficult to prove that

also be made available. Depending on the severity and duration of a calamity, clear

waivers (waiving interest,


Commenting on the MSP, he said that in the beginning of the millennium we had high stocks and high MSP; following which we resorted to low MSP and exports. This has now resulted in low stocks; thus starting another cycle. “There

is tremendous pressure to match the balance in what the Indian producers get and the import

concern, which is also influenced by output prices. The issues such as distortions of subsidies and policies have been discussed time

Dr. Sen, Chairperson of the session, reflecting on the agenda of the workshop felt that much of the work slated for discussion is either technological or institutional; and by its nature it is ‘micro level’ where results can be observed. He emphasized that the concerns raised by Prof. Vyas in his presentation are critical and if they are not addressed at micro level, it would be a ‘grave mistake’. He observed that the, “…concerns on input and output prices and stabilizing them are fundamental issues… but unfortunately they are repeatedly economist

stressed…” Income stability is an

and again but we are far away from any significant solution.

Strategies for enhancing growth in Agriculture during XI th Plan

Transferring ‘Resources’ to Micro level is the Key

Dr. Abhijit Sen Member, Planning Commission


the country. Any hard decisions in this regard would result in huge unpopularity.

Regarding trade policy, he felt that, we have not broken through the main constraint which is MSP. Most of the subsidies tend to go over- whelmingly towards irrigated agriculture. He observed that subsidies are incentives to use resources in a certain way, which should have more effect on rainfed agriculture. Incentives should promote efficient use of resources he suggested. Uncertainties in ‘prices and outputs’ are causing great concern. He called for focusing on reducing these uncertainties at ‘micro’ level. He underlined on some critical elements: the first one is diversification; which

understanding on the ‘distortions’ but the possibility of any clear decision is ‘remote’ in the context of the current political situation in

prices that we are paying …” he observed.

monitoring are necessary elements in this

is the surest way of reducing risk.


incomes and reducing the deviations. Finally, reducing standard deviation of ‘income’ and the ‘outputs’.


tough nut to crack… Weather based insurance

thing is happening in slow manner


Regarding Insurance, he said that, “

Dr. Sen shared that it is impossible to promote

aspect is focusing on stabler and longer period

a standard model like that of Green Revolution as an effective solution to the complex rainfed








but it is a






option. subsidy, Better governance there but it is a is Second some clear and 7 New
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Agriculture focused on ‘technology and natural resources’. At present the public investment in agriculture is very low and has fallen to 2 percent of GDP. But it is hoped that this will rise to 4 percent within two years of the XI th Plan. Prof. Sen disclosed that XI th Plan

not a ‘fairy tale’, but very much ‘achievable’. He said that ‘inclusive growth’ is the framework of the XI th Plan. Education is an escalator for people to move up and out of agriculture. Efforts are also there to put agriculture ‘back

has huge savings; and there are enough

constraints as well as options vary widely. If the interventions are to be made by the government the resources, decision making process, options should be transferred to below


the state level. He stressed upon the need to focus on building capacities at lower level to apply knowledge and solve problems.

Reflecting on the XI th Plan, he told that the economy is seeing huge savings which has

this context, achieving 8 percent growth rate is



demonstrates that resources are available.


















‘compatible’ levels to augment the growth. According to him, there is no dearth of funds at present and what is required is ‘better design’ of schemes. With the ‘Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana’, a new scheme, states would get

provided two conditions are met. The first is

planning’ with a focus on ‘better utilization of

resources and decision making process to

resources available. According to him, the critical question is not the quantum of investment but where it is going.

resources’. According to him shifting of

Dr. Sen underlined the need to reduce public investments in the irrigated areas as this is resulting in ‘huge waste and inefficiencies’. He

rainfed areas and called for restraint in giving a vision like green revolution to such areas.

also cautioned that ‘such large amount of investment’ can not be expected for rainfed areas. He felt that investments should be made

that the States should maintain their share of

funds. Second is the ‘decentralized district level

enough money which they are free to spend,


‘lower’ levels will provide solutions to the





Special Session

Special Session 9 New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Special Session 9 New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

At the outset, Shri Yugandhar pointed out that it may not be appropriate to call what is now happening as ‘paradigm shift’. What all of us are concerned with is the proper architecture for evolving a ‘new paradigm’. He said that despite varied technological options backed up by different policies, there are peculiar ‘incapacities in the system and the whole area of peasant-land relationships has become controversial and confused. Despite rational policies and choices, it is not clear how to deal with this confusion. The ecological foundation of agriculture is essential for sustainable advancement. Soil health, efficient use of water and mobilization of the farming community towards the management of natural resource are all vital issues. Now farming has become a high risk profession and the support from agricultural systems was reaching only to a small minority of farmers.


concentrate on common property resources. However, no code of conduct for management

of common property resources has been seriously formulated and advocated. At any

Sustainable Development of Rainfed Areas



Need to redefine agrarian relations

Shri B.N. Yugandhar Member, Planning Commission


institutions and sub systems (e.g. credit, market support, research, seed and feed linkages, technical and extension support, etc.) are bypassing them and not operating on their behalf. While all the systems are focused on areas with canal irrigation, rainfed areas have become ‘bypassed areas’. ‘If you have one acre of surface irrigated land it receives lot of subsidies through various systems’ he said. According to him, various sub systems of

the first generation Green Revolution farmers, who have benefited from it, have now moved

conclave or discussions among senior policy makers, including even Chief Ministers there is no focus or concern regarding the emerging issues in agriculture on account of unbalanced use of natural resources and distorted agrarian relations. This was the main policy paradox according to Shri Yugandhar.

At present 40-45 percent of land in the country

Rebuilding these sub-systems as relevant to the majority of our peasant community, especially the small and marginal farmers and the tenants, is the real challenge.

community. More than 30 percent of the land is cultivated by tenants. The irony is that major

is cultivated by small and marginal farmers who

He said that though Green Revolution has succeeded in providing desired results, it has also the other side. The paradox is that many of

extension, community based efforts & subsidies etc. either are not operating or have collapsed.












either are not operating or have collapsed. constitute agriculture, 80 such percent as credit, of the

Further dwelling into the issue of land in the hands of poor, he presented the disturbing scenario existing in the country. Emphasizing on land and agrarian reforms, he said that there are several activities that can be undertaken under the present laws such as providing title deeds to small farmers; allocation of ceiling surplus; etc. Referring to Bharat Dogra’s document on Bundelkhand, he said that this region is considered as an epitome of failures of land reforms in the country, wherein the administration was not able to put the land in possession of the poor. In Andhra Pradesh, 55 lakh acres of land is in the hands of the poor, but half of it is not cultivated for various reasons. Systems like extension, research, credit

away from agriculture, but not from land ownership, thus increasing the tenancy. There is a divorce between land ownership and peasantry with production interets. All the subsidies however are targeted to the land owning class. In this context he referred an incident in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh where nearly 200 crore rupees were given as relief for crop loss, which was distributed to the owners on the basis of the records without even bothering to know who the actual cultivator was. He observed that the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) and District Marketing Federations have suffered “crony capture”.

Stating that the country is craving for ‘redesigning of agrarian relations’, Shri Yugandhar said ‘I am not pleading for radical land reforms as in the initial years of

implementing the Law as it now exists. If we cannot push the non-productive interests out of agriculture there can be no paradigm shift.


I do not know how this cat can be belled’.

and marketing are not supportive to the poor





we thinking of only subsistence?

Rainfed areas are under-invested and then there are controversies in technology. There is visible promise in approaches like NPM and organic farming. But the crux of the problem in rainfed areas is improvement of productivity, surpluses and incomes, he emphasized. How to increase small farm incomes is the question at hand. Making small farm diversification yielding surpluses is the real challenge. “… Are

First of them is National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), which provides at least 50-60 crore rupees for each district wherein major share is to be spent as per the

and cautioned against technology becoming the preserve of only the rich and those in irrigated

avenues should be open to the rural youth. Large scale and high productive diary and poultry are out of reach for the poor. “… How can one come out of poverty with a buffalo giving one and half litre milk a day…”, he questioned and hoped that the workshop would come out with ‘empowering and liberating technologies’ for the small and marginal farmers.


appropriate technology, where women and farming communities are coming together to make their own inputs, he informed, for which

areas. He wanted to know whether a son of sheep farmer can dream of becoming an owner of stall fed improved flock of sheep. He wanted technology to come to the help of the small and

Shri Yugandhar stated that there will be no dearth of funding the developmental process, as the Planning Commission is contemplating to make necessary proposals in this regard. In this context, he referred few schemes/programs that are either in implementation or in pipeline.

and there is a dire need of evolving better ‘alternative sub systems’.





he probed



New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

At the outset, Dr. Samra stressed on the convergence between different development programs and the agencies implementing them. The dichotomy is that ‘resources are at one place and the technical expertise is at the other side. There is a big lacuna in bridging the gap between them. How to overcome it? If resources create some assets which ultimately lead to employment guarantee, that will provide some solace to the rainfed areas…’

emphasis is given to agriculture sector and an outlay of 20,000 crore rupees is proposed under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, with

implemented in 250 districts and each such district gets 15 crore rupees. There is an allocation of nearly one crore rupees for capacity building related interventions under this. Thirdly, in the XI th Five Year Plan, much

He elaborated on the present status of rainfed


decisions at the village level. Second is the

Challenges before National Rainfed Area Authority in Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture


Convergence and Prioritization are key issues


Dr. J.S. Samra CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority



budget available under Participatory Watershed

hectares of rainfed area and there will be enough

possible to develop additional 40 million

Integration of forest lands, water management, crops, horticulture, livestock and micro- enterprise is a complex inter-ministerial task. Convergence through district and state level planning for optimizing resource utilization is to be better prioritized. According to him, the guidelines for different programs are mostly ‘common’, but looked at as if they are ‘not common’. The key issues are ‘prioritization and

percent pulses, 77 percent oil seeds and 50 percent cereals are contributed by rainfed agriculture. Export commodities (as non G.M. products) like castor oil, guar gum, seed spices

and 80 percent of the world agriculture is un-irrigated. After having developed all water resources, 50 percent of agriculture will still

is how to influence the people to initiate

and soybean cake are important. International trade in oil seeds is escalating thus demands on rainfed agriculture would increase.

Development Projects. With these funds it is

‘suitable action’ for utilizing these funds more efficiently.

continue to be rainfed.

emphasis on local planning. Finally, there is a

scope for improving livelihoods. The question


At present 60 percent of Indian

In our country, 86

there is a scope for improving livelihoods. The question agriculture. At present 60 percent of Indian

effective implementation’. Proper criteria for prioritization is there but putting it in place is a challenge. Another area of challenge is capacity building. Though some alternatives have been tried out, the experiences are not so encouraging. In the context of present Hariyali guidelines, he stressed on the need to build capacities of Panchayats. “…The challenge is how to build the capacities of Panchayats to play their own role without loosing on

According to Dr. Samra, ‘district’ is the very well defined unit in the country for any policy

challenge to explore….”, he observed. On watershed program, he underlined the importance of concurrent evaluation and impact assessment to make it more effective. His

way out is to ‘redesign’ the Capacity Building process in such a way that every one has role clarity and all the checks and balances are in


points for alternative derivatives?

or development action. The need is to strengthen the delivery system at different levels. ‘… What are the triggering /cardinal

‘technological expertise

he wondered. The

This is a

presentation also elaborated on the rationale,

presentations in the special session. He felt that:

mandate and organizational structure of


Chairperson Prof. Vyas putforth few points to

concentrate in deliberations based on the

Summing up the presentations:

There seems to be a serious ‘disconnection’ between the people who are ‘real farmers’ and ‘those who claim to be farmers’. This disconnection need to be understood properly.

holders’ in the front in addressing issues and

provided to ‘isolate dominant class interest’ from these institutions.

more visible in the composition of National

There is also a need to evolve ‘new’

institutions as ‘old’ institutions have failed.

Rainfed Area Authority. Putting ‘lead stake

Efforts to make ‘Farmer Representation’

Required mechanism should also be

concerns would yield better results.


New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Analysis of Existing Scenario in Rainfed Areas

Dr. Devinder Sharma, Chairman, Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security

Dr. Rita Sharma, Financial Adviser (DARE & ICAR)

Shri P.V.S.S. Surya Kumar, DGM, NABARD





Surya Kumar, DGM, NABARD SESSION - II Co-chairperson Chairperson Rapporteur 15 New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Surya Kumar, DGM, NABARD SESSION - II Co-chairperson Chairperson Rapporteur 15 New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

noted scientist - Dr Albert Einstein, that, ‘…No

process is also making people losing control over

paradigmatic innovation need not necessarily

problem would be solved with the same level of

There are also ecological and economic costs like


technology and capital intensive cultivation specially the green revolution areas in states like

Dr. Ramanjaneyulu, presented the gravity of

the natural resources-seeds, water and land.

Given this situation, he strongly advocated for


thinking that created it in the first place…’

Punjab, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka

evident in the form of migration, unemployment

and Maharashtra. Crisis in agriculture is


of cultivation and decreasing returns. This

agricultural crisis in the country. The paradox

groundwater, loss of diversity, increasing costs

and underemployment and farmers’ suicides.

destroyed soils, exhausted and polluted

new paradigm for facing the crisis. This

that major crisis is located in regions with

Synthesis of innovative experiences for development of Rainfed Agriculture in the context of emerging crisis




Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu Executive Director, CSA

be a technological invention. It can be new ways of understanding (theories, knowledge, etc); new ways of doing (practices, products, etc) and news ways of organizing (partnerships, institutions, etc). He also outlined the nature of

decentralized and technology generation happening at different nodes and horizontal spreading while the conventional systems rely

Community Based Organizations (CBOs) can provide good platform for various innovations to take roots. He elaborated on different experiences in relation to Non Pesticidal

innovation need not narrowly focus on productivity alone, but also on sustaining resources and reducing the costs and risks. He

Adaptation Initiatives.




Dr. Ramanjaneyulu said that there are strong

of Water etc. by various government and non government agencies across the country. There are also other experiences like System of Rice Intensification, Diversity based Cropping Systems, Millet based Cropping Systems,

technologies and practices can bring both environmental and economical benefits for farmers and communities. It is also proved that


Community Seed Banks, Organic Farming, Decentralized Food Security, Social Regulation

evidences across the country which show that

on highly centralized, topdown model.









In rainfed areas the








The presentation started with a quotation from
The presentation started with a quotation from

Most of these experiences are successful even in the absence of public support and it is evident that people are looking for options. He cited the examples of various experiences which are already scaled up in a significant way; (e.g.; Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh is already in 1500 villages; Zero Budget farming is being practiced in more than 10 lakh acres in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. Natural Farming in Punjab and APDS in AP in 9 districts, etc). These experiences have amply demonstrated that Ecological Farming is possible on a scale provided essential support systems are built. Therefore, what is needed is new ways of understanding, evaluating and supporting such innovations, he argued. It is also established that

quoted the example of Andhra Pradesh where in the cotton cropthe major cost is pesticides, for which Non Pesticidal Management (NPM) approach is implemented. This reduced input costs to greater extent and over a period is moving towards ecological agriculture.

He remarked that on pest management, the dominant paradigm is focusing on plant-pest dynamics rather than pest-ecology dynamism. The challenge is to move away from linear ways

Community Managed Systems are essential for strong natural resource management systems.

Economics of NPM cultivation in Andhra Pradesh (2005-06)

Dr. Ramanjaneyulu remarked that Organic farming which was dismissed earlier as unproductive is now gaining popularity because of the market pull. In this regard, he emphasized that organic farming based on approaches to solve production problems is more sustainable rather than being market driven. On production front, the question is how

we move from a plant-nutrient relationship to

private) are catering to only 18% of the seed requirement. Even the seed village programmes initiated by state departments mimick the same industrial model. The way forward is only to emphasise quality seed retention rather than replacement. Diversity based production systems should be in the hands of the community.

He observed that seed is a critical input in agriculture; Governments and industry are showing seed replacement as the only way to improve productivity and making the farmers continuously dependent on the market. Today all the external institutions (public and

collaboration in Andhra Pradesh, the upscaling of NPM approach reached 1500 villages, resulting in reduced cost of cultivation. The learnings are there and the issue is to take them

forward, he opined.






















Cost of Plant protection (Rs./acre)















Saving (Rs/acre)

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

comes from a diversity based cropping systems. In India food subsidies for few irrigated crops have pushed farmers to neglect most of the rainfed crops. And, major part of the current subsidy for food is on transport and storage. Efforts like community grain banks and Alternative Public Distribution system (APDS) have solved most of the problems and established decentralized models of food security. Regarding water problem, he lamented that we are looking at technological options rather than social regulations. Speaking about ecological foot prints of food, he said that 1 kg

In the end, Dr.Ramanjaneyulu presented needed dimensions for scaling up the proven innovations. These are mostly in terms of research and extension: New knowledge on crop ecosystem, efficacy of locally evolved recipes and

of rice needs one tanker of water. “…Either we have to move out of rice or improve the efficiency…”, he strongly felt.

soil-productivity relationship and how to measure system’s productivity rather than yield per unit cropped area. He said that experiences show that rainfed agriculture benefits by organic farming.

led to monocropping systems.

Ramanjaneyulu then spoke about sanskritisation of food habits and practices. Green revolution

Food security

formulations, economics of ecological benefits, new protocols to validate, more participatory methods of knowledge and technology generation from linear top down models and NGOs as partners in knowledge and technology generation than as passive recipients are the needed elements in research area. According to him, extension should be more knowledge centric than product centric. Emphasis should be on

newer partnerships in extension (which are

paid) and also for using, building and protecting local resources.

There is a need to extend public support for

research on ecological farming, promoting

is also essential that the labor should be

Respecting farmer’s knowledge and using successful farmers as resource persons is critical. NGOs and farmers should be treated as equal partners in planning and designing rather than as delivery channels. The focus should be on community managed rather than community paid. As part of institutional approach, it is necessary to organize farmers

for better decision making and practice; and it

community managed rather than community

surveillance, pest management contracts etc.

organized to deliver inputs and services like pest






development and the dominant exploitative production systems generally encouraged by government. Further, there is disconnect between ‘diagnosis of issues’ and action initiated through national planning process.

The data presented from a quick field study from few villages in Mahabubnagar district brought about the disparities in the annual subsidies between the rainfed and irrigated areas to an extent of 1500 to 2000 rupees per ha. The capital cost of developing irrigation potential is

to an extent of Rs.1.30 lakhs per ha. To promote organic horticulture the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) is providing subsidies to an extent of Rs.10,000 per ha. A vermi-compost unit gets about Rs.30,000 per unit as subsidy, a drip irrigation system uner NHM provides about Rs.2000 per ha annual subsidy (capital cost spread over the life span of the system). As against these, the total investments under watershed development program is about Rs.6,000 per ha -one-time investment for five years! Citing these examples, Ravindra presented the inconsistency between the

Shri Ravindra’s presentation focused on analysis of the parity of investments between rainfed and irrigated agriculture; support system needs of rainfed areas; rationale for such support systems and the ways of going about developing such a new architecture.

He observed that the architecture of Green Revolution took care of every minute detail in


Analysis of current Support Systems and Incentives for Rainfed Farming and Need for a Differentiated Approach




Shri A. Ravindra Director, WASSAN

ground water piggy-backs on the water conservation investments in watershed programs resulting in overexploitation of groundwater resources! Similar examples were shown in extension of irrigated horticulture in rainfed areas increasing vulnerability of the farmers and over exploitation of ground water. These trends are not incidental, but are an outcome of the very planning process we have engineered as a part of the dominant paradigm. This is not out of ‘farmer’s ignorance’. While the problem is well acknowledged in several policy works, no corrective efforts are made, he observed.

The private investments to exploit resources like

unfortunately, very little of these subsidies/ investments could be accessed by a rainfed farmer. This disparity is something that we need

to seriously take stock of, he opined.

fostering a change- factories were established to produce fertilizers, infrastructure was created, price support
fostering a change- factories were established
to produce fertilizers, infrastructure was
created, price support mechanisms established,
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

According to Shri Ravindra, most of the farm support is couched into the physical inputs. Ironically, ‘convenience and adminstrability’ have become the guiding factors of providing subsidies rather than the desirability of a particular process! We must find solutions for inconvenient but required processes to be supported. Subsidising Urea rather than nitrogen is one such example and this leaves farmers ‘no choices’ but to use those inputs. By

chosing a particular material input as a driver of change, we are promoting a particular technology and are removing several local technical options/ choices of farmers for achieving the same purpose. People who do not have water, and have marginal lands are left out of the process. We do not also recognize

very basis of sustainability of the production system. There is a role for public policy and public investments to steer the appropriate production systems in rainfed areas.

production system is appropriate for the rainfed situations? We should not dismiss this as a redundant ecological argument but, see it as the









enriching and also builds soil health and improves soil moisture. We must find ways of supporting/ investing on these nutrient building processes. If such support is available large number of farmers would use these desirable processes.

biomass could go into the soil was never a

bund plantation etc., it is possible to generate

for 3 months an year, they would be brought back into farming systems and this could be achieved with investments matching the

With the recent advances in quick composting,

preparation and weeding. Bullocks in this sense


mechanisms is another example of investing on


The Steering Committee of the Planning

Similar are the issues with livestock. We must understand why livestock is moving out of agriculture. If we can take care of the bullocks

innovate upon process related support for

irrigation or vermicompost. We have to

input centred technologies, be it fertilizers, drip


laboratories and soil health cards! How much

that labour can be a substitute for capital and

the national planning is inherently biased

the problem rather than promoting specific

the processes that will reduce pest load by about

to identify a problem and invest on addressing

Commission looking at agriculture in the XI th

Plan identifies deteriorating soil health as one

concern; the problem is in converting an

of agronomic measures, composting, tank silt application etc., if support is available on the scale of an irrigated farmer. This would be more



agriculture. Investing on pest surveilliance

against labour support. What is appropriate is

of the major problems, but only considers

appropriate diagnosis into affirmative action.

to 30 per cent.

kg nitrogen per ha through a combination
























Is there a parity in investments?

Watershed development/ ha for 5 years

Drip irrigation/ ha annually

Bulbulous flowers/ ha

Cut flowers/ ha

Organic Certification/ ha

Promotion of IPM – under NHM/ ha

Vermi composting – under NHM/ unit

Organic farming under NHM/ ha


Major & medium irrigation/ ha

No. Schemes










109,000 to



Streamlining of bullock power would help in timely sowing of crops by small and marginal farmers that in itself improves the productivity by about 20%. Similarly, supporting graziers, value addition of fodder etc. and easing critical small constraints will bring the livestock back into farming systems. Seperating livestock systems from agriculture will cost the economy more as it increases demand on energy and nutrients. We need to protect such integration. Goats and sheep have an economic rate of return equal to IT sector and have very high income generating potential for the poor. But they do not receive any public support as a production system.

efficiency. He also suggested to see water as food consumed. If we could achieve 25% shift in the national food consumed towards millets, we can imagine how much water savings we could achieve. Can this attract investments, he probed.

water differently? He opined that

If we reformulate pest management as increas- ing predator population and reducing the pest load our program would be different as com- pared to looking at pest management as increase in the chemical pesticide consumption. Support for pest surveilliance, subsidizing summer ploughting etc., can reduce the pest manage- ment costs by 40 to 50%. The savings in power subsidy for the 4 irrigations that could be saved

economics are captured properly, building soil moisture through building humus in the soil, might be comparable with drip irrigation in its

scale paradigm we can achieve substantial increase in overall production. We have not in-

in SRI paddy, can pay for all weedings, which seems to be a bottleneck in its promotion.

He posed a pertinet question: Can we see

He felt that we are into an ‘irrigation’ paradigm. If we can shift to a ‘critical irrigation’ on a large

if the


we can look beyond watersheds and build support systems required for rainfed areas rather than extending those available for irrigated agriculture unsustainably. This will also help in rainfed areas getting required investments (beyond watershed development) which at present are a miniscule of what the irrigated agriculture is getting. Subsidise the problem solving but not inputs. There is also very poor research backup for rainfed areas. Recognising support for NRM, NPM, soil fertility improvement etc., as ecosystem improvements rather than production subsidies will improve our competitiveness in the world markets. Cost reduction must be taken as a primary agenda rather than productivity improvement alone.

vested on borewell irrigation other than power subsidy. If we can provide for developing infrastructure in distribution of borewell water it would enable provision of critical irrigation

policy that is suitable for rainfed areas and the

productivity gains are about 40 to 60%.

What percent of investments are going to

Can we differentiate our agriculture policy into irrigated and rainfed agriculture policies, so that

investments, the rainfed areas’ problems are not

rainfed areas? Unless the pronouncements of

Concluding his presentation, Shri Ravindra

elements of such policy support would be as

suggested the needed action to redesign the



going to be solved, he remarked.

Need to ensure parity of investments (per ha or per household) in rainfed and irrigated areas. Need to see beyond

Need to differentiate between Agriculture Policy for Irrigated Areas and Agriculture Policy for Rainfed Areas?











New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

hairperson Dr. Devinder Sharma invited theC lead discussants to make their presentation. Shri Sandip Das (Down to Earth), initiating the discussion, cautioned that we should not repeat the mistake of extending green revolution technology into rainfed areas. We need new system of managing water, for e.g. as in

but not farm-subsidies as these have

watershed projects

Not to restrict the ‘form’ of subsidies


Need to allocate enough investments for

Not to ‘extend’ the support system designs

rainfed areas policies.

rainfed areas and need to move from ‘rhetoric’ to ‘affirmative action’ .

improvement, NPM as eco-system activities

Promoting appropriate community based institutional systems as a back-bone of the


for irrigated areas as rainfed areas needs a


‘special dispensation’

Need to shift from ‘Inputs’ to ‘processes’

‘Input’ based to ‘output’ based

/ labour and







Open Discussion




Dr. Sambhu Prasad (XIMS) stated that the heart of matter is how knowledge is constituted, not just technical but institutional. He sought the need to enquire into the complexities of different knowledge systems and culture of innovations by the research establishments. The next question is how this knowledge is accessed.

help and it requires a ‘paradigm shift and a bold

planning’ would not solve the problem as the

mindsets of agriculture functionaries and even

leadership’ to really tap the potential of rainfed

into the farming system.

Ralegaon Siddhi, where they respect water, he said. He argued that the extension system has


He felt that we are bit silent on the crisis of Indian Agriculture Research. We should accept

Finally, he observed that mere ‘district level

this regard, the incremental changes will not

the way we look at rainfed areas development.

farmers are set by the ‘dominant paradigm’. In

areas. He called for a recast in our thinking and

a differentiating agriculture policy. He favoured an approach of ‘need centric’ rather than ‘input centric’ in extending support to rainfed agriculture and stressed on integrating livestock

A research back-bone for a new paradigm - Need to increase research capacities on the

Making ‘cost reduction’ as a core principle

Re-working on the extension institutional systems – in line with the requirements of ‘knowledge based extension’

for research and action

core needs of rainfed areas than making desperate statements







for research and action core needs of rainfed areas than making desperate statements be revived and

Department. These sort of experiences need to be related to the context of rainfed farming. And for that there should be ‘learning alliances’, he

Development Research) pointed the need to go beyond the dichotomy of irrigated and rainfed agriculture. Stating that we have to have fairly

that the knowledge is not reposited in research alone – but is available in open systems also. We have to make the best of the opportunities in the new architectural structure. In this regard he cited the expansion of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the country. New varieties are being challenged only by SRI. Reinforcing what Ravindra stated earlier he said that the definitions of the problems are clear but all the solutions are not clear. He also emphasized on the need to have ‘creative space’ in evolving necessary policy measures, what he

bankers to consider loans without collateral. He

better utilize the potential.

interventions for small & marginal farmers; as well as organic practices and certification for

Prof. M.R. Sharma (National Horticultural Mission) said that horticulture has more potential in rainfed agriculture and that the Mission is focusing on upgrading some of its components. He urged for convergence among research, extension and policy makers so as to

unified understanding on what type of agriculture we want in the next 5 to 10 years,


interventions. He shared the experience of learning alliance in SRI in Orissa. SRI yields in


Purulia rainfed areas are promising. In Tripura, there is an effort in which SRI was taken up in 14,000 hectares of land within 2-3 years and this was done by the Agricultural Department

the same.

















He wanted the








which needs to be revamped. Shri Gopi Krishna (Jana Jagaran) suggested that we should get out of the water and irrigation paradigm and focus on semi-arid and arid regions rather than confining to rainfed areas, which works in real time paradigm and with more of open type system. He emphasized that we should have systems that can respond to the diverse situations.

he opined that the trend is not irreversible. He said that this does not need revolutionary changes but only revival of traditional institutions of management. He commented that we never had institutions which are pro-poor. He also emphasized on improving the weather forecasting system. Farmers need to know the availability of water for a particular crop at a particular time.

which should be then differentiated according to the ecological regions. She felt that much of what the speakers said is applicable to irrigated agriculture also. She said that what we are talking about is sustainable agriculture. Rainfed farming needs macro policy on pricing and subsidies; creating markets. She concluded by saying that more fund and decentralization will not begin the necessary paradigm shift.

Dr. M.S Chari (Former Director, CTRI, ICAR and Managing Trustee – CSA) observed that even the miniscule subsidies available for farmers in rainfed areas are not reaching them. For example NHM gives Rs. 1,000/ as subsidy in the name of IPM, which will go to the pesticide industry and not the farmer. He also informed that pest surveillance system is available, but the forecasting system is very bad,

Shri Shailendra Tiwari (Seva Mandir) informed that CPRs play a major role in rainfed farming. In Rajasthan, the extent of CPRs is more than the private lands and most of these CPRs are encroached by the village landlords and elite. Stating that this is as a result of ill governance,

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. M.A. Shankar (University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore) questioned whether the paradigm shift is for economical and viable farming or for sustainable farming systems, where the land holding itself is small.

Dr. Pathak (National Horticultural Mission) informed that the subsidy for promotion of IPM under the Mission is increased from Rs 1000/- to Rs 5000/-. He also observed that apart from horticulture, there are number of crops suitable

wasteland should be allocated for horticulture.

Dr. J. Venkateswarlu (Former Director, CAZRI) shared about the experience in Cuba where the organic farming is intensively promoted. He called for change in research from chemical to organic. He stressed the need for revival of traditional cascade of tank systems. He talked about System of Rice Intensification as a concept which is now not limited to paddy but also extended to other crops like castor, sunflower in Gujarat.


time to learn from new experiences and

Ramanjaneyulu (CSA) observed that ‘this is the

for rainfed areas.


He suggested that only




began when NAS said that these areas are

hungry for fertilizer and we only promoted

have set the agenda to re-look at the macro situation.

innovations and also to rethink and change our mindsets’. There is dearth of investment in focused research. The ‘tragedy of India’ is that governments are more willing to invest on foreign trips of MPs and MLAs to ‘learn’, but not interested in taking them to villages to see the ‘grassroot realities’. He also found fault with the existing pattern of promoting external nutrients and ‘packing’ the rainfed areas with hybrid varieties of seeds.

what the industry wanted. He said that there is

Concluding the session Shri Devinder Sharma observed that if you have something to sell then you have funding. Earlier only NPK were

importing earthworms. Citing the example of

inputs. He commended the two speakers who

lot that can be done without the industrialized

cow he said that our mindset is that nothing in


our country is good. Problem of rainfed areas





Dr. Ram Badan Singh, Member, National Commission on Farmers

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. S.P. Wani, Principal Scientist, ICRISAT

Shri Sachin Oza, Executive Director, DSC





Oza, Executive Director, DSC SESSION - III Co-chairperson Chairperson Rapporteur 25 New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Oza, Executive Director, DSC SESSION - III Co-chairperson Chairperson Rapporteur 25 New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

be 60,000 rupees per acre.

of rainfed areas not only caused anemia, but the crop requires high rainfall and flat lands which is quite unsuitable to rainfed areas. Thus, cultivation of paddy in dryland areas in fact increased the fallow land leading to further

Shri Satheesh made the presentation by showing a video film produced by Community Media Trust, Pastapur, Medak in Andhra Pradesh on the concept of decentralized food security. It strongly depicted how an organized village community could take up the challenge and evolve an efficient institutional process for ensuring the food security.

liters of water is required and each acre of irrigated area takes 6 million litres of water. In

criticized the way the external factors are influencing our life patterns. In this context, he commented that the “food’ has now become a ‘media construct’. If they say, eat burger, we eat burger, this is the irony of present situation.

He concluded his presentation by raising few critical issues. Introduction of rice into the diet

economic terms, the cost of this water use would


Decentralized Food Security in Rainfed Areas Involving Different Types Of Millets and Pulses

To grow one kilo of rice, 3000

Shri P.V. Satheesh Director, Deccan Development Society (DDS)

He strongly

bonus, conservation bonus and climate change

bonus. Minimum Support Price for millets

which is the bias of the media and the elite. It creates lot of rural enterprises; whereas Reliance

Shri Satheesh said that through DDS’s effort, women were able to not only cultivate the fallow land but also introduced grain banks in the villages. He pointed out that there are several such experiences which can address food security, ecological balance, gender,

nutritious than rice and he argued that they


regard he made few suggestions for policy shift for rainfed farming. He said that the profile of

dry land crops should be raised on par with irrigated, resource guzzling crops. Dryland farmers in general, millet growers in particular should be honoured as water conservers.


livelihood concerns with dalit focus.

and Wall Mart are the death nail of rural community, he observed. If we consider that each hectare of land can create at least 2 jobs, imagine the potential of 100 million hectares of

He also suggested that the rainfed agriculture

Farmers should be compensated with water

On credit front, Shri Satheesh felt that there

should be recognised as intrinsically biodiverse

should be introduced into PDS, FFW, ICDS, mid

should be enhanced.

and for the way dryland farming fixes Carbon;

opportunities, he questioned.

day meal, social welfare hostels, etc.

should be given conservation incentives. It is livelihood provider and this is not talked about




Millets are 6 times


In this

incentives. It is livelihood provider and this is not talked about area in creating Millets are

need to be a bias towards rainfed farmer.

There are also incidents where the farmers are ‘fired upon’ for seeking quality seeds. In Anantapur in the rush for the seed 7 farmers were trampled to death. Why we are creating such a fuss when there is scope for creating community seed banks, he questioned. It was suggested that State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) can be encouraged to scout for location

Agriculture. Low does not mean no external inputs, and External is in the sense of self reliance. Input is regarding where it comes from and Sustainability is looking at future; Agriculture is not just farming. LEISA aims at improving and stabilising the productivity of the

generating inputs within the village – viable, accessible and acceptable to farmers. Emphasis is on use of local resources which are environmental friendly. Organic farming is not synonymous to LEISA; it is a distant dream for dryland farmers, it is not averse to modern technology but a blend of both indigenous and modern technologies. It is a basket of options

grape farmer gets more than one lakh rupees Bank finance whereas a sorghum farmer gets Rs. 1600 only. With regard to seeds, there is enormous demand for them which is reflected in the agitations in some parts of the country.


for farmers to choose from.


As a concept and approach, LEISA denotes

Low External Input based Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) Synthesis of Experiences from India and Abroad







Dr. Arun Balamatti Executive Director, AME Foundation





AME Foundation has major thrust on dry land farming with LEISA approach. The rain water in the dryland farming is given, but it is possible to retain it for longer time with some simple practices. On-farm natural resource

utilization (NRU) and better utilization of

specific landraces/ varieties and improving them rather than withdrawing from the seed sector. Developing farmer led extension systems and

to develop long term strategy for each agro

there will be dynamic interface between farmers and consumers.

farmer-led research at all SAUs and research


climatic zone based on the specific situations

controlled by small farmers. Community

supported farming need to be promoted where

stations is need of the hour. There is also a need

and create new non corporate organic markets




also a need and create new non corporate organic markets (NRC), natural resource 27 New Paradigm
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

The experience demonstrated that backward and forward linkages are necessary conditions but they alone are not sufficient. As the farmer is the end user of resources, production technologies and development facilities, the need is to build capacities of small and marginal farmers (middle level) in handling natural resources and managing farming as an enterprise.

resources through crop combinations are promoted. Farmer groups are being empowered through participatory processes. Three basic operations of the organization include: Rain water conservation; upgrading soil fertility and crops. It is not merely introducing technologies, the focus is on the capacity building of the farmers and the enablers and the requirements of the two groups are different.

While focusing on the IPM as the holistic approach for sustainable pest management, this presentation elaborated on its different approaches and strategies at different levels.

He commented that we are in a situation where

Overview of Field Experiences with IPM and INM Approaches

Shri W.R. Reddy Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI

Biological forms of management are effective, but are not known to the farmers, Reddy opined. These have proven successful in sugarcane and coconut. He suggested that this technology should be taken to the farmers and made available. IPM is against the calendar based pesticide application. Paddy farmers are

but can provide the models.

moved on to market; now they have to generate the income.

Taking reference of FAO on this approach, Mr. Reddy stated that IPM is not just about management of pests alone but it is a holistic approach of crop production based on sound ecological understanding. Listing the problems of unscientific pest management; he said that IPM gives enhanced income to the farmers.


farming is externalized; even dryland farmers are now dependent on market for seeds. He said that the issue is not only the cost but also reliability. Even in rainfed farming the elite farmers are enterprising, but the majority of the

information. Farming from subsistence has

redefined role of enablers and the extension

responsibility; CSO can never provide the scale;

He suggested a paradigm shift that should

for better utilization of resources (less

consider that the farmers need hand holding

curriculum) and that development is a shared

exploitative). This should also consider the

approaches (PTD and FFS in University






exploitative). This should also consider the approaches (PTD and FFS in University level farmers are starving

undertaking 8 to 9 sprays for BPH; this is weekly/ 10 day scheduled sprays, which can be avoided.

thrust was on component based IPM: the emphasis was on cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical methods with focus on ETL. Later Pest: defender ratio was adopted. Presently the core theme of IPM is Agro

FFS is a community based, practical field study programme where farmers learn together using hands-on methods of discovery learning.

practice of calendar based application of chemical pesticides irrespective of occurrence

is made available for raising crop by trainees. Training is season-long with 2 or 3 small breaks. This is about 150 days for cotton, on site excluding the breaks and it covers all aspects of

uccessful training, the facilitators organized FFSs to train farmers, not just on cotton, but also on other crops. They also developed Farmer Trainers to run Farmer –Farmer Field School.

For developing IPM facilitators, season long trainings are organized with ‘Participatory, Practical, Field Oriented and Discovery based (learning by doing)’ orientation. Non-formal education approaches were used throughout. The focus was on development of confidence to help farmers discover and make decisions; and enable them to organize quality FFSs. The training is fully residential and 2 hectares of land

There are different approaches in IPM. Earlier

interaction between different components of agro-ecosystem including abiotic factors. The strategy for IPM related trainings encompassed developing IPM facilitators, organizing Farmer’s

Field Schools (FFSs) to train farmers and evolving Farmer Facilitators.

trainees in a batch with 4-5 facilitators. On s

Ecosystem Analysis (AESA);


of pests.

management. There would be 30-36

AESA is based on the principle of

This is against

Farmers will be able to identify the harmful and beneficial insects in the field. It is a season long process and meeting is usually once in a week. IPM Facilitators or Farmer facilitators who have undergone season-long training will run FFS. The plant capacity to regenerate is tested by farmers through small experiments such as defoliation. They also compare sprayed and unsprayed plots and discover functions of organisms in the eco-system including crop pest

Concluding the presentation, Mr.Reddy observed that IPM need not exclude pesticides but as far as possible avoid or limit chemical pesticide. He called upon ‘No Pesticide Movement’ not to mislead farmers, but strive for promoting IPM. Seed treatment with IPM is a very good practice, for which there are chemical and biological treatments; their cost is

biological agents and is it available, he

wondered. IPM is much more relevant and

to adopt a particular technology. In the process, FFS farmers will become ‘active evaluators of technology’ instead of ‘passive acceptors of input advice’. At the end it is evaluated by the farmers and the experienced farmers are used for further extension.


participants to think of a system where

making the biological agent available is a

lab or biological lab.

low and will reduce the use of pesticides. He said that taking this approach to the farmers or

ideas and will not try to convince the farmers

required in rainfed farming. Concluding the

they are not provided with ready made

for agriculture graduates to establish say a soil

challenge. Is there a repeat request for


government can support viability gap funding

assisted in solving their problems by themselves;

and their natural enemies.

The facilitators expose farmers to



The farmers are



New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. Wani’s presentation focused on the comprehensive assessment of water for food and reducing poverty. It also stressed on the need to harness the vast potential of rainfed agriculture. It showed how IPM through a blend of chemical and organic application of fertilizers could increase the productivity of the soil. Basing on solid field research, Dr. Wani emphasized on the need to provide substantial economic incentives for promoting organic and biological nutrient sources to benefit rainfed agriculture. This allocation should not only be on area basis but also equity basis. It will lead to sustainable development and enhancing rainwater use efficiency, he argued.

Rainfed Agriculture contributes 60 percent of world’s food from 80 percent of cultivated land. Dr.Wani termed it as ‘home of world’s poor and malnourished people’. The problem is that the yields from rain-fed agriculture are low in semi-arid tropical agro ecosystems. Though the green revolution drove away food shortage of

agriculture and there is no way that we can neglect the rainfed agriculture. He emphasized that small catchment scale water harvesting and

need to change our thinking on water and agriculture; we need to discard the artificial

supplemental irrigation will go a long way. Our emphasis should be on the Water Use Efficiency; otherwise we cannot meet the demand for food.

agriculture accounts for more than 70 percent

of water withdrawals and there are competing

demands for water.


1960’s but, ‘it was at a cost’.

A New Paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture for Improving Livelihoods and Sustainable Development in India



He boldly stated that we


Dr. S.P. Wani Principal Scientist, ICRISAT



by improving access to agricultural water and its use. For that there is a need to enhance water use efficiency and deal with trade-off and make different choices.

a need to change the way we think about water and agriculture; artificial divide between irrigated and rainfed agriculture need to be discarded. Rainfed systems are to be upgraded

We should focus on the trade offs. Last 33 years data on large plots proved that dryland agriculture can produce more, the potential is there and the growth rate is not less than irrigated agriculture. One ha of irrigated agriculture supports only 4 persons, whereas dryland agriculture provides support to 20.

management could be one such effective instruments. He felt that poverty can be ‘fought’


He pointed out that Rainfed agriculture depends on rainfall infiltrated in the soil and green water consumption is almost 3-fold more than blue water consumed for food production (5000 vs 1800 km3 yr-1). In this context there is

Dr. Wani suggested to harness the vast






(5000 vs 1800 km3 yr-1). In this context there is Dr. Wani suggested to harness the

technology can create problems, which are not just economic. In Vidharba more than 1000 farmers have committed suicide, which is continuing. The reasons are debt trap and this

‘untapped’ potential of rainfed agriculture. He said that productivity of rainfed agriculture can be doubled with the available technology, we know what to do but not how to do it.

is happening not only in Vidharba but also in neighbouring states and mostly in rainfed

mechanisms from community-district-state- national level are urgently needed. Enabling policies for sustainable development and use of water and land resources also need to be evolved.

According to Dr. Wani, Indian rainfed soils are ‘Thirsty and Hungry’ as reflected in an analysis

of 3622 soil samples from farmers’ fields in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.

Shri Ashok’s presentation was based on experiences of farmers located in Vidharba of Maharastra, a farmers’ suicide affected area. He

revolutionizing the rainfed agriculture, though there are some issues that need to be addressed.

Convergence of watershed programs in the country and efficient sustainable institutional

In this sense, more investments in rainfed agriculture are needed to cover large area and


started by saying that


Organic Farming through various initiatives in India - from impoverishment to Empowerment with Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability for Farmers and Farming




modern science and


Shri Ashok Bang Director, AARC, Chetana Vikas



be improved substantially with the available

micronutrients and there is also evidential participatory research and demonstration that crop yields would increase substantially with application of Zn, B and S. He suggested that in the short term ‘mapping of nutrient deficiencies’ country wide and measures to rectify deficiencies are needed and in the long-term, state of the art soil analysis laboratories at district level need to be established to provide necessary information to

mechanism in place to ‘translate potential into


investments (a new paradigm) to put suitable

technologies’. It needs serious efforts and

the farmers. Enabling policies for promoting

In conclusion Dr. Wani observed that the

actual yield and income’.

organic sources of fertilizers and bio-pesticides

are also needed.

doubled and livelihoods of small farmers can

‘productivity of Rainfed Agriculture could be





‘productivity of Rainfed Agriculture could be is widespread deficiency of ■ 31 New Paradigm for Rainfed
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

The next cornerstone is 35 different crops in 1 ha which efficiently captures the solar energy of 1200 kg Cal/ day/ sq. ft. This 35 crop mix is carefully planned to give the desired benefits. This includes cash crops, cereals, pulses, etc. The sowing takes one to one and half days. Most of the family needs are met from the farm. Net income from 1 hectare, for which data is available from 7 years, is increasing. Millions of farmers can be brought above poverty line with this model he said. Total net income has increased from Rs. 5000 in 2nd year to Rs.24,000 in the 7th year. It gives better soil fertility, and

The key features of this model are natural resource management, i.e. soil & water conservation; with inside field bunds done by village engineers (trained at the centre). This resulted in 5 week tolerance for rainfall fail. Other features include appropriate seeds which are not high-input-varieties, use of local labour,

rich and nutritious food. This food and nutrition security is affordable and sovereignty lies with the farmer. Apart from 1500 kg of manure there is no external input. On 7

crops for family consumption giving food security, affordable nutrition security and improvement of soil health on various scientific parameters.

The model that he presented was developed under farmers conditions. He exuded confidence that though the model is in stage 1, it helps farmer to go ahead in substantial measures and

skills, wisdom, renewable bullock power and other low-external-input but high-internal- regeneration-of-input techniques, which are

improvement is seen over 5 years. About 100 farmers have adopted this model, most of them

take off is possible.

companion crops (food & cash crops) provided the synergy effect. It gave rich diversity of food

areas. The problems are well known.



Consortium of more than 35





risk for rainfed areas, with several other benefits.

and disease management, appropriate seeds etc. Infrastructure like cattle shed with non- absorbent flooring for urine and droppings, biogas, toilets for recycling of human waste, godown and warehousing, bullocks and

there is a need to ‘help farmers feed themselves with dignity’. Efforts should also be there to support resource centres.

organizing exposure visits etc. need to be facilitated. Improved weather forecast facility with expanded outreach should be provided. In the financial front, establishing Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) and providing crop loan

productivity, profitability, sustainability and low

This presentation provided the necessary statistical data and case studies of some

Shri Ashok Bang suggested some measures and support systems for upscaling this initiative. These include providing recurring inputs for pest

There are some overall policy considerations relating to these aspects. He said that farmers can do most of the things if they are provided remunerative & stable prices for agro-produce and focus to be shifted away from wheat and rice to nutritious cereals and pulses. In this sense

institutional framework consists of Self Help


improved implements, etc.

Groups (SHG) of women and men, of farmers, of consumers for healthy food, Participatory Guarantee Scheme of Certification (PGS) and strengthening local markets and producer- consumer relationship. Capacity Building through different means like improving knowledge, skills, live demonstrations on

for organic manures, wages, bullocks etc. are the implications.

farmers who adopted this model.


are resource poor, including some women.







The needed




Shri Lanting presented his work on organic farming in India which started with small scale agriculture in 1993. He shared that farmers organizations are built called Chetana for marketing organic products. It is a program implemented in 3 states: Andhra Pradesh (Asifabad and Karimnagar), Maharashtra (Vidarbha: Akola, Yavatmal), Tamil Nadu (Dindigul, Tuticorn). The intervention started in May 2004 with 240 farmers and presently there are about 5500 farmers participating in the program. A total of about 20,000 acres is covered and total raw cotton yield is expected to be about 5,000 tons which means about 1,700 tons of lint. Food crop yield will be at least 8000 Metric tons, mainly pulses.

The interventions started with organizing farmers in small groups of 20 who are first trained in aspects of group functioning and thrift operations. These groups are in turn federated into MACS (Mutually Aided Co- operative Societies). Further these societies were integrated into (Producers) a company called ‘CHETANA’. Groups of farmer inspectors were developed to conduct internal inspection. Groups of farmer trainers train new entrants into the program. There are also groups of farmer representatives that can play role in farmers’ organization that is being set-up and enter into agreements with banks, buyers and government. Marketing committees of farmers at society level were set up to interact at farmer - buyer meets and enter into agreements with

Building a Farmers Owned Company (Chetana) Producing and Trading Fair Trade-Organic Products

Shri H. Lanting CEO, ETC Consultants India

Financial interventions include savings and facilitating linkages with banks. Market inventions include linkages with input suppliers and provide training on all market requirements. Interactions between certifying bodies and farmers are facilitated, logistics of

As part of market interventions, linkages were established with input suppliers and trainings provided on aspects like quality, certification

Among the financial interventions, credit and savings system was enabled among farmer groups 6 months ahead of agricultural season. Linkages with rural banks were facilitated for those farmers who wish to avail loans and farmers’ groups were assisted in getting access

marketing are also facilitated.

to government schemes.

supported in setting up their financial


Societies were

input suppliers. An internal approval committee up certification status to member farmers. was set that
certification status to member farmers.
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

with cash paid (preferably 70% of the crop

established among potential buyers. Support for farmers was extended in negotiation process in terms of prices, delivery and payment

Panchgavya and poultry manure were tried. Various organic measures were undertaken for

He observed that the main problem is converting the farmers to fully organic, but no premium price is paid because it is in transition stage in food products. Storage facility is needed,

manure crop.

Lanting said that what started with 240 farmers in 2004 now reached 5500 farmers with 20,000 acres under organic cultivation. Some major benefits observed with this initiative are:

requirements and post harvest handling. Interactions between certifying bodies and the

interventions, drainage and farm ponds are part of technical interventions. As part of biomass generation, Glyricidia was raised on bunds and Sunhemp as border crop. This and use of weeds gave 4 to 5 tonnes of compost per acre from the

farmers is decreasing as they use mainly own inputs. Health of farmers and workers is better due to no exposure to pesticides: a family saves about Rs 1500 per annum on medical expenses. Pest incidence in organic farms is surprisingly low.

Improved seed, seed treatment, enriched

Organic cotton fetches Rs. 2500 instead of Rs. 1800 per quintal. Pest load is low. Risks for

Pest and Disease Management.

third year. Horsegram was sown as green

farmers were facilitated.


schedules and other logistics.


Shri Lanting shared that

Relationships were


by Bt cotton).

having buy-back arrangements in place is also crucial. Government could give a helping hand in the first three years of changing over to organic farming by providing preferred access to markets for the prospective organic farmers,

value) for the stored products. Rural banking should be strengthened and loaning process should be made simpler.

market with at most a market share of say 5%. Building linkages with reliable quality input suppliers and banks is a must. Government schemes for land development and biomass production as well as organic inputs can be

5000. Break-even of the investment can thus be expected within 7 years.

The program demands subsidies to the tune of

Lanting stated that working with small farmers is not viable as the investment in guiding and training per farmer and per Kg of cotton is high. To become popular Organic cotton crop needs that it should be a major crop; it should not be threatened by less labour requiring crops and It should be yielding 4 qtls/ acre (if the yields are higher it will be replaced

then subsidies can be reduced. A farmer will

In the end, Lanting observed that organic fair trade market will remain a relatively small niche

Rs 10,000 per farmer per year (or Rs 2000 per

If buyers are ready to pay for certification costs,

this will reduce drop-out rate.

earn per year an additional income of about Rs

subsidies given on inputs or land development.

acre) for a period of 3 years over and above any


Building linkages with buyers and

dependence on external inputs, credit and extension. The organic farming on the other hand, is an intensive process, mostly limited to

This presentation tried to make a case for the new paradigm (which can be called as ecological farming), which is beyond the certified organic farming as well as the conventional chemical farming.

enhancement in self reliance. The advantages are that it caters to both resource poor and resource rich, the process is simple and external support is needed in terms of exposure visit and little hand holding. It mainly addresses

resource rich farmers, export market and depends heavily on external support in terms of price, market intelligence, certification of produce, etc. Hence the scope of coverage and social relevance of the organic farming is also limited.

Before presenting the key features of the proposed approach, Dr.Sanghi tried to differentiate it from the chemical as well as the

Main objectives of the proposed ecological farming are maintenance of high productivity,

There are 4 major steps in adoption of the ecological farming. These are not sequential but


the needs of local market. The scope of coverage and social relevance is also high.


certified organic farming paradigms. The key

can be overlapped depending upon the circumstances. The first step is the adoption of

Beyond Certified Organic Farming: An Emerging Paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture









Dr. N.K. Sanghi Adviser, WASSAN



non-chemical methods of pest management (NPM). It can be with limited farmers during first year which may lead to a ‘pesticide free village’ in about 3-4 years. The NPM approach has high social relevance as reflected in reduction of suicides and pesticide induced severe sickness (as per the field experience in Punukula village of Khammam district, Andhra Pradesh). The next step, focuses on selling the pesticide free produce in local market at the existing market price during the first year which can be increased subsequently through small value addition. In third step, community managed seed bank can be established with improved varieties (to begin with). During subsequent years hybrids evolved under public sector can be included. The last step is the adoption of Non chemical methods of Nutrient Management (NNM). It can be initiated with limited farmers during initial years depending upon availability of raw materials. Through increase in biomass and livestock population number of farmers can be increased.

This ecological approach is indigenous but

number of farmers can be increased. This ecological approach is indigenous but 35 New Paradigm for
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

based on local resources.

gradually disappearing due to constraints in labour availability. It can now be revived through incentive of labour under NREG scheme. SHGs and their federations can be part of the institutional framework for promoting ecological farming. The services of para workers, successful farmers can be utilized and experienced NGOs and GOs could provide technical support. Financial support for recurring inputs can be extended through revolving fund / institutional credit while the one-time investment on equipments, etc can be made through contributory approach.

Dr.Radihika Rani felt that there is no need for creating alternate institutional mechanism for power sector. What is needed is ensuring 9 hours of uninterrupted power supply to rainfed farmers through the existing institutional, functional framework. She laid emphasis on

options: upscaling the Community Grain Bank model of Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies and involving Panchayat as part of Rural Godown Scheme. Rural Development and Panchayat Raj departments should also be involved in procurement and distribution of food grains as it is happening in states like Karnataka.

tating that the PDS is a failed policy Dr. Ch.S Radhika Rani, NIRD shared the experiences related to decentralized food security system

Commodity Boards. These Boards could be

She suggested to include Pulses and Millets into the Public Distribution System by procuring them at the market rate as this would encourage their production.

Dr.Sanghi suggested certain follow up action /


Decentralized Food Security System: Experiences and Lessons



She stressed on two


Lead Discussion


were among them.

noted Gandhian Nirmala Desh Pande’s lecture emphasizing on ‘Non Violent Agriculture’.

policy considerations for promoting ecological approach. There is a need to document and analyze the successful experiences irrespective

made functional through effective public and private partnership through their involvement for input supply, technical support and output marketing.

level under the purview of Panchayat. Efforts should be made to promote use of organic manure either through SHGs or by individuals. State government should make efforts to

incentives under NREG should be provided for

She made few suggestions regarding effective delivery of services. Strengthening Farmers Clubs and promoting models like E- Choupal

to be formulated for organization of SHGs,