ainfed areas, constituting the major
of the country, faced ahistorical neglect and discrimination in terms of receiving public support andinvestments; Rainfed-farmer, in particular, is facing the brunt of this neglect. Thecrisis is no longer an issue of supporting agriculture; with unprecedented levels offarmers’ 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 isun-irrigated. After having developed all water resources, 50 percent of agriculturewill still continue to be rainfed. In our country, 86 percent pulses, 77 percent oil seedsand 50 percent cereals are contributed by rainfed agriculture. International trade inoil seeds is escalating thus demands on rainfed agriculture would increase.Public support in terms of investments, institutions, subsidies in fertilizers and otherinputs fostered the paradigm of green-revolution intensively in the well endowedareas of the country. By its very logic, it has by-passed the major poverty strickenrainfed areas and people dependent on them, as major part of the incentives andinvestments was used by farmers who have access to irrigation.Recognizing this historical need for restructuring the public policy, support systemsand 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’
atNew Delhi from 27
September, 2007.On the basis of the scattered field experiences and research outputs across thecountry, the workshop deliberated intensively to evolve a framework for establishingappropriate public investments, support systems and incentives for revitalisingsustainable rainfed farming systems and livelihoods in rainfed areas.