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R ainfed 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 27th to 29th 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.
Proceedings of the National Workshop
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
27th - 29th September, 2007
IARI, NASC Complex, New Delhi
Organized by
Supported by
Proceedings of the National Wokrshop on
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Redesigning Support Systems and Incentives
27th - 29th September, 2007
IARI, NASC Complex, New Delhi
July 2008
No. of Copies: 1000
For Private Circulation only
Compilation and Draft : Ramesh Kumar
Critical Inputs : Dr. Sanghi, Ravindra and
respective authors of various presentations
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Welcome and introductory remarks by Dr. Nawab Ali 2
In search of a new paradigm for self-reliant development of rainfed farming -
‘Capitalization on Complementarities’ by Dr. Mangal Rai 3
Policy reforms at national level for enhancing inclusive growth in rainfed areas
during XI Plan by Prof. V.S. Vyas 4
Strategies for enhancing growth in Agriculture during XI plan -
Transferring ‘Resources’ to Micro level is the Key by Dr. Abhijit Sen 7
Sustainable development of rainfed areas -
Need to redefine agrarian relations by Shri B.N. Yugandhar 10
Challenges before National Rainfed Area Authority in revitalizing
Rainfed Agriculture - Convergence and Prioritization are key issues by Dr. J.S. Samra 12
Synthesis of innovative experiences for development of rainfed agriculture
in the context of emerging crisis by Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu 16
Analysis of current Support Systems and Incentives for Rainfed Farming and
Need for a Differentiated Approach by Shri A. Ravindra 19
Decentralized food security in rainfed areas involving different types of
millets and pulses by Shri P.V. Satheesh 26
Low external input based sustainable agriculture (LEISA) –
Synthesis of experiences from India and abroad by Dr. Arun Balamatti 27
Overview of field experiences with IPM and INM approaches by Shri W.R. Reddy 28
A New Paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture for Improving Livelihoods
and Sustainable Development in India by Dr. S.P.Wani 30
Organic farming through various initiatives in India - From Impoverishment to
Empowerment with Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability for Farmers and
Farming by Shri Ashok Bang 31
Building a farmers owned company (Chetna) producing and
trading fair trade-organic products by Shri H Lanting 33
Beyond Certified Organic Farming: An emerging paradigm for
Rainfed Agriculture by Dr. N.K. Sanghi 35
Theme: A. Pest management through non pesticidal methods
Pest management through non-pesticidal methods –
a continuing journey by Dr. M.S. Chari 42
Analysis of existing policies and programmes for pest management in agriculture –
limitations and opportunities by Shri D.V. Raidu 45
Theme: B. Seeds in the hands of the Community
Community managed seed bank in rainfed areas – need for new mechanisms
and infrastructural support by Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu 51
Analysis of existing policies and programmes under seed sector –
limitations and opportunities by Dr. K. Tirupataiah 53
Theme: C. Enhancement of Organic Matter in Soils
Improving Soil Productivity through Enhancement of
Organic Matter in Soils by Dr. J. Venkateswarlu 58
Enhancing Soil-Organic Matter in SAT-scientific evidence and
policy support needed for scale-up by Dr. O.P. Rupela 60
Theme: D. Separate Policy for Water Resource in Rainfed Areas
Analysis of Existing Support Systems for Water Resource Development in
Rainfed and Irrigated Areas by Dr. K.V. Rao 67
Emerging Experiences on Sustainable Use of Water Resource in Rainfed Areas:
Social Regulations as an Approach; Field Experiences by Shri SK. Anwar 70
Theme: E.Self reliant development through sustainable Community based Organizations
and reforms in management of Institutional Credit
Sustainable development of Agriculture through SHGs and their Federations –
a case study in Andhra Pradesh by Shri T. Vijay Kumar 78
Institutional Credit for Rainfed Areas – Issues and Concerns by Shri P.V.S. Surya Kumar 82
Theme: F. Self reliant development of Small Ruminants with Resource Poor Families
Analysis of Existing Policies and Schemes for Development of
Small Ruminants by Dr. Piedy Sreeramulu 86
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Community Managed Development of Small Ruminants –

Redesigning of Support Systems by Dr. A.K. Joseph 89
Theme – 1: Agriculture in rainfed areas: soil – pest management by Dr. B. Venkateswarlu 98
Theme – 2: Water for rainfed areas by Shri K.J. Joy 99
Theme – 3: Re-looking Livestock in rainfed areas by Dr. V. Padma Kumar 100
Theme – 4: Institutions and credits for rainfed areas development by Dr. Amita Shah 102
A New Paradigm: What is emerging? by Shri A. Ravindra 108
Need to link macro indicators with micro imperatives by Dr. Amita Shah 109
How do we go forward: Some suggestions by Dr. N.K. Sanghi 110
Schedule of Agenda 115
List of participants 121
Group Work on Specific Themes - List of Members 130
Glossary 131

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Executive Summary
Context September, 2007.
R ainfed areas, constituting the major poverty On the basis of the scattered field experiences
geography of the country, are facing a historical and research outputs across the country, the
neglect and discrimination in terms of workshop deliberated intensively to evolve a
receiving public support and investments. framework for establishing appropriate public
Rainfed-farmers, in particular, are facing the investments, support systems and incentives for
brunt of this neglect. The crisis is no longer an revitalising sustainable rainfed farming systems
issue of supporting agriculture. With and livelihoods in rainfed areas.
unprecedented levels of farmers’ distress, it is
now a livelihood issue affecting millions of Objectives:
farmers. ● Analyzing present scenario in rainfed
At present 60 percent of Indian and 80 percent areas with particular reference to
of the world agriculture is un-irrigated. After emerging farmers’ crisis and relevance of
having developed all water resources, 50 existing support systems
percent of agriculture will still continue to be ● Arriving at a new developmental paradigm,
rainfed. In our country, 86 percent pulses, 77 emerging through formal and informal
percent oil seeds and 50 percent cereals are R&D, that has potential of addressing the
contributed by rainfed agriculture. International existing crisis among rainfed farmers
trade in oil seeds is escalating thus demands on
● Analyzing present framework of support
rainfed agriculture would increase.
systems and incentives in rainfed areas and
Public support in terms of investments, assessing the need for a differentiated
institutions and subsidies in fertilizers and other support systems
inputs (electricity, micro irrigation, horticulture, ● Understanding the significance of CBOs in
irrigation water supply, credit, price support institutionalizing the new paradigm and
etc;) fostered the paradigm of green revolution facilitating greater degree of self-reliance in
in the well endowed areas of the country. By its the overall development
very logic, it has by-passed the major poverty
stricken rainfed areas and people dependent on Workshop design

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Present policy framework and reforms
Recognizing this historical need for envisaged were discussed in the opening and
restructuring the public policy, support systems special sessions. It was recognized that there
and incentives available for rainfed farming the was a serious lacuna in the policy focus on
Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), rainfed agriculture as compared to irrigated
WASSAN and CSA jointly organized a agriculture. However, there was a considerable
workshop entitled ‘New Paradigm for Rainfed clarity about where the things were going
Farming – Redesigning Support Systems and wrong and also what could address the
Incentives’ at New Delhi from 27 th to 29 th problems; It was strongly felt that there was a
need to act upon it. Specific pointers were also experiences were based upon the above shifts
made related to macro economic policy which have been arrived at through judicious
considerations that include Input and Output blend of indigenous and exogenous knowledge
Policies, Trade Policy, Credit Policy and Risk systems. Hence support systems and incentives
Mitigation. are also to be redesigned if these experiences
are to be upscaled.
An analysis of the existing scenario in rainfed
areas and an overview of the emerging It was also strongly felt that a critical analysis
paradigm shift were shared in the session II. of existing schemes / projects may therefore be
The need for a separate agricultural policy for carried out so that required modification in
rainfed areas and the desired shift in the ways respective guidelines can be made before
of carrying out research and development in designing new schemes. In this regard,
rainfed areas was stressed upon. participants outlined some critical
recommendations from group work regarding
In the following sessions, an effort was made to
support systems and incentives under each
synthesize an alternate paradigm for rainfed
theme of the workshop
farming systems based upon successful
experiences. A number of presentations were Proceedings
made on innovative experiences related to
rainfed farming systems in session III and IV. Dr. Mangal Rai, Director General of ICAR in
Broadly they belong to the following six aspects his inaugural message called for focusing on the
(i) sustainable rainfed crop production systems practical agenda for evolving a roadmap,
using local inputs and marketing through operational strategies and options that can
community owned institutions, (ii) social contribute specially in building the agenda of
regulation against overexploitation of ground rainfed farming in the XIth Five Year Plan.
water, (iii) community managed seed bank, Dr. Vyas in his key note address delved upon
(iv) reforms in management of institutional the need to reorient the pricing, trade, credit
credit for rainfed farming system, and risk mitigation policies to the needs of the
(v) decentralized food security through millets rainfed agriculture. Increasing investments in
from rainfed lands, (vi) upscaling successful land and water conservation, ensuring adequate
experiences through sustainable community supply of credit, protection against risks are key
based organizations. to realize the full potential of the rainfed
Based upon these experiences, a need was agriculture. As input subsidies are ineffective
strongly felt for redesigning support systems and tools of transfer of income, he called upon to
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

incentives for upscaling successful experiences. reorient input subsidies towards improving
It was felt that there was a need to shift the productivity. Observing that the minimum
focus from transfer of specific technology to the support prices though announced for 34 crops,
overall development of livelihoods; from procurement was operational only for paddy
productivity of a unit crop to the productivity and wheat. The governments should honor their
of a unit area and from enhancement of commitments and MSP should be governed by
productivity to enhancement of the income. The the cost of production. Dr. Vyas stressed on the
technological contents and management need to move towards ‘total portfolio of income’
processes behind many of the successful and crop cycle of three years as a basis for
extending credit to dryland farmers and the under-invested and the technologies are
focus must be on implementing credit policy. becoming the preserve of only the rich and those
He observed that there is no proof of risk in the irrigated areas. He called for a focus on
coverage though weather insurance or other ‘empowering and liberating technologies’ for the
sophisticated tools are superior to crop small and marginal farmers and the need to
insurance, if it is administered properly. curtail the divorce between land-ownership
and peasantry with productive interests. He
Responding to the presentations in the
stressed on the need for evolving appropriate
inaugural sessions, Dr. Abhijit Sen, Member
architecture for a new paradigm.
Planning Commission, stressed on the need to
stabilize incomes. Though the distortions in Dr. Samra, CEO of the National Rainfed Areas
fertilizer subsidies are well known, most of the Authority (NRAA) elaborated on its purpose
subsidies including MSP tend overwhelmingly and organizational structure. He stressed on the
towards irrigated agriculture. And any clear need for bridging the gap between resources and
solution in this regard is distant as it leads to technical expertise and convergence among
political unpopularity. Most of the public various players. He felt that integration of
investments in irrigated areas are resulting in forests, crops, water issues, horticulture,
‘wastage and inefficiencies’. Reducing the livestock, micro-enterprises etc., is a
standard deviation of income and output is a challenging inter-ministerial task. Convergence
great concern and reducing uncertainties in can be achieved through district and state level
prices and outputs should receive greater planning processes. Streamlining Capacity
attention. It is neither possible nor desirable to Building still remains a challenging task in the
promote ‘standard’ models like ‘green watershed development programs.
revolution’ as an effective solution to the
complex rainfed agriculture situations. Thus, Need for shift in carrying out research
and development in rainfed areas
Dr. Sen stressed on the need for transferring
resources and decision making to ‘below state Against the backdrop of the present serious
levels’ after building adequate capacities in crisis in agriculture, various large scale
addressing the issues related to rainfed areas. experiences emerging across the country
He also emphasized on the need for evolving provide strong evidence that regenerative and
‘better design of schemes’. resource conserving approaches to farming can
bring both environmental and economical
Addressing the special session, Sri. B.N.
benefits to farmers. Such approaches are
Yugandhar, Member, Planning Commission
diffusing even without government support. A

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

brought out the need for building effective
need was felt to evolve new ways of
support systems (seed and feed, research,
understanding (theory and knowledge), new
technology, credit, extension etc.) for the poor
ways of doing (practices and products) and new
and tenant farmers. Though there is a wider
ways of organizing (partnership and
recognition of the distortions related to the
institution), etc. The need is also for new ways
usage of natural resources, agrarian relations
of understanding, evaluating and supporting
etc., in rainfed areas, there is no concern/
such innovations. Participatory mode of
focus on these issues in any of the policy
knowledge generation and dissemination are
conclaves; this was the main policy paradox at
much needed than the linear models of
present, he observed. The rainfed areas are
technology diffusion. designed to promote green revolution to rainfed
areas is promoting unsustainable trends like over
It was also felt that conceptual shifts such as
exploitation of groundwater, expansion of
plant-pest dynamics to pest-ecology dynamics,
irrigation intensive horticulture, mono-cropping
seed replacement to seed retention, plant-
etc. A shift towards ‘critical irrigation’ for
nutrient relations to soil-plant relations,
rainfed crops on a large scale, enhances
production per crop area to production per unit
productivity of rainfed farms substantially and
of land and centralized to decentralized food
also provides security against droughts. Further
security are needed. The community based
social regulation of ground water and moving
organisations would provide an appropriate
towards shared / collective bore-wells may
platform for such new paradigm to take roots.
provide the much desired stability in incomes.
Need for a Separate Agriculture Policy The centralized system of national food
for Rainfed Areas
security built around wheat and paddy
Architecture of Green Revolution ensured changed food consumption patterns in rainfed
development of extensive support structures areas and led to substantive reduction in area
and systems such as establishment of fertilizer under millets. Fodder shortages and labour
industry, irrigation, storage and other constraints in maintenance of bullocks during
infrastructure, investment in research and off season, among others, along with the
extension system, creation of demand through subsidies in diesel and tractors have resulted in
PDS, price support and procurement sharp decline of bullock power and escalated
mechanisms, etc. Such a bold initiate and energy costs.
leadership is lacking in reviving the rainfed
In spite of recognizing the deteriorating soil
farming. Very little of these infrastructure
health as a major problem, hardly any
services, subsidies / incentives are accessed by
investments are planned in the XIth Five Year
rainfed farmers.
Plan on supporting regeneration of soil health
There is no parity of investment between and soil organic matter. If support is available
irrigated and rainfed agriculture both in terms to the extent of what an irrigated farmer gets,
of infrastructure development and for adoption large number of farmers would adopt practices
of production systems on recurring basis. Most that build soil health. The problem is to convert
of the incentives for irrigated farming are built appropriate diagnosis into affirmative action.
around high cost external inputs, which have
There is a need to innovate upon ways of
not proved to be sustainable for rainfed
supporting local technological options which are
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

farming. These incentives had a negative effect

otherwise becoming out of focus due to
on adoption of many of the successful
increasing cost of labour. Labour subsidies could
indigenous technologies/ inputs which are
be a sustainable instrument both to develop
based upon locally available raw material/
infrastructure and to adopt production
biomass. The high cost external inputs
technologies on recurring basis.
(pesticides, fertilizers, etc) and resultant
indebtedness has led to the current farmers’ Watershed development is considered as a
crisis in Indian agriculture. critical instrument for development of rainfed
areas. A major reform is needed in these projects
Extension of the distorted incentive structures
to integrate desired support systems and
incentives for development of farm production time. Local community managed grain banks
systems and investments on developing also have immense potential, particularly in the
community based organisations. This will also chronic hunger areas such as tribal areas.
help in rainfed areas getting required
Crop production through organic
investments beyond watershed development,
which at present are a miniscule of what the
irrigated agriculture is getting. Low external inputs / non-chemical approaches
widely practiced in the country are offering a
Mere ‘district level planning’ would not solve greater promise for risk ridden rainfed
the problem as the mindset of agriculture farming. These approaches developed through
functionaries and even farmers is set by the informal research range from low-external
‘dominant paradigm’. In this regard, the inputs (LEISA), non-chemical pest management
incremental changes will not help and hence it (NPM), ‘truthfully labeled organic’ and
requires a ‘paradigm shift and a bold certified organic farming approaches. These
leadership’ to really tap the potential of rainfed approaches shared in the workshop brought out
areas. their impacts on risk reduction, low costs, higher
employment generation and higher net
Towards synthesis of a new incomes; in addition, to the ecological benefits.
paradigm for rainfed farming Natural resources management is a key factor
systems based upon successful in all these approaches. A careful analysis of
experiences these promising approaches successfully
practiced by millions of farmers across the
Decentralized food security through country provides insights into appropriate
millets from rainfed lands policy measures to bring these approaches into
The Indian Public Distribution System (PDS), the mainstream public programs in rainfed
perhaps the largest welfare measure anywhere farming. The deliberations pointed out the need
in the world, amounts to a food subsidy of Rs for investing on the rainfed areas in terms of
23,828 crores per year (2006-07). The infrastructure (storage and primary processing
centralized food security system through facilities), extension systems based on skill and
irrigated rice and wheat has marginalized the knowledge transfer, appropriate
most nutritive millets that people have grown mechanization. Appropriate economic
on their rainfed lands. Introduction of rice in to incentives for biological and local organic
the diet of rainfed areas also increased the inputs are also needed. Small catchment scale
fallow lands leading to further degradation. The water harvesting, supplemental irrigation and
experience of Deccan Development Society improving soil and moisture regimes will have

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

(DDS) in developing a community based substantial impact.
public distribution system wherein production,
Pest Management through
procurement, storage and distribution of
Non-Pesticidal Methods (NPM)
millets is carried out at the village level provides
substantive basis for introducing millets into the This approach taken up on a large scale in
mainstream PDS. As the millets also provide Andhra Pradesh, is an integration of all
better nutrition and soil conservation and sustainable pest management practices in
increases biodiversity, they must be given harmony with natural processes; and
adequate price incentives for production. primarily uses locally available inputs and
Procurement must also be ensured at the same knowledge of pest-predator complexes. Cost
reduction ranged from Rs.1000 to 10,000 per efficient recycling of organic matter is more
acre. The presentations brought out the need important than organic matter build up. In situ
to replace the input subsidies by labour application of smaller amounts of organic
subsidies, capacity building inputs, processing matter (of about 2 tons per ha annually) is
equipment, sharing of knowledge and desired in rainfed areas. Together with
community organisation. In the context of wide agriculturally beneficial microorganisms and
spread distress in rainfed areas, NPM has larger soil moisture, soil organic matter can meet much
contextual relevance. As paraphrased by of the nutrient needs of crops and can reduce
Dr. V.L.Chopra, “NPM is not just a matter of the risks involved in rainfed farming. Focus on
faith but is applicable in farm” and requires a enhancing soil biological processes will increase
readjustment in the government policy. The nutrient pool and several biomass based
importance of community based organisations strategies have been successful across the
in spreading such processes was stressed upon. country. These experiences can be up- scaled if
the subsidies are extended to in situ organic
Seeds in the Hands of Community inputs at par with the chemical inputs like urea.
Ensuring good quality seeds for timely sowing Crop husbandry systems must be changed
in rainfed farms is a major issue. The private towards building soil organic matter. Such a
sector is mostly interested in low volume and shift towards biomass based agriculture is
high value seed, weakening the public sector strongly advocated as it gives comparable yields
seed support systems, increasing focus in to conventional systems with less external
research on transgenic and proprietary seed etc., inputs. While this generates large employment,
These trends are leading to farmers loosing it would also substantially reduce energy costs
control over seeds resulting in large scale crisis and cost of imported external inputs. Policy
in the seed sector in rainfed areas. As more than support must be extended to create such in situ
80% of the seed demand is met through farmer nutrient banks. Subsidies must be extended to
saved / informal sources, the systems of green manures, biomass augmentation,
seed-retention by farmers need greater focus. encouraging green manuring legume trees,
Public investments in seeds for rainfed areas conservation agriculture etc., and at par with
need to focus on ‘large volume and low value’ the irrigated agriculture in the quantum of
seeds, village / farmer level exchanges and subsidies. This support can be in the form of
community seed banks. Expansion of the scope ‘targeted schemes’. Similarly research must be
of seed support system to the farmer produced freed from ‘external led’ agendas to pursue
seed used by the community, shifting of local solutions and investments in such research
recurring seed subsidy into revolving fund at must be enhanced. Participatory research and
community level, improving the quality of rainfed areas are inseparable and must be
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

farmer saved seeds are some of the points pursued to find out effective solutions.
emphasized in the deliberations.
Special Policy for Water Resources
Improving Soil Productivity through Management in Rainfed Areas
Enhancing Organic Matter in Soils Inspite of the large investments on irrigation,
Lack of concerted efforts in improving soil the gap between potential created and utilized
organic matter has resulted in technology is consistently increasing over the Five Year
fatigue and deceleration in productivity growth. Plans. Per ha investment cost on major
It has also resulted in deficiencies in S, Zn, Fe irrigation has reached an alarming level of
and other micro nutrients. In the tropics Rs.130,000, while the same in watershed
development is about Rs.6000. While the cost of equity in distribution of conserved water are
of augmenting groundwater through watershed of utmost importance.
approaches was through public investments,
the cost of creation of irrigation source was left Sustainable Community Based
to individuals resulting in privatizing the Organisations- A Key to sustainability
access to groundwater. More over, the and Up-scaling
subsidies in power, sprinklers and drips also The emerging paradigm for rainfed farming
flow in to those who ‘own’ bore wells. There consists of a number of elements which are based
are no explicit support systems for upon field experience from informal research
encouraging collective use of augmented and development. More often such innovations
resources in watershed areas. Reversal of this are unattended for lack of back up support from
trend is necessary to incentivise collectivization formal research systems. As in the Indira Kranthi
of ground water access. Patham program in Andhra Pradesh, a larger
In situ conservation measures, mulching, soil platform of community based organisations
organic matter etc., play an important role in (SHGs and their Federations) provides a strong
Arid and Semi-arid areas. Water use and land basis for quick up scaling of approaches like
use must be seen together. Investments on such community managed sustainable agriculture.
aspects and efficient water application Up scaling of NPM program reaching coverage
methods are necessary for enhancing water of 1.6 lakh ha across the state in about 4 years
productivity. Critical irrigation support to time is a case in point. These approaches
rainfed crops improves water productivity centered on ‘farmers as scientists’, faster lateral
substantially. Investments in improving water diffusion of knowledge among organised
resources development in rainfed areas must be community groups, anchorage by CBOs and
comprehensive to include all these aspects. facilitation by NGOs has shown higher
potential for scaling up knowledge intensive
Social regulation on bore wells is much needed sustainable agriculture programs.
to contain the competitive ‘borewell race’.
Investments on facilitating evolution of social Risky and Under-Invested Rainfed
norms in the usage of ground water such as Areas: The Dilemmas of Credit
ban on digging of new borewells and sharing
How banks can reach out to rainfed areas
of borewell water with neighboring farmers,
substantially when rainfed production systems
conditional support for micro irrigation and pipe
face multiple risks- is a key question. The
lines are important support systems. Encour-
mechanisms of ‘cyclical credit’ and ‘total income
aging such processes also enables the
portfolio approach’ to farm-credit inclusive of
communities to reduce risk in rainfed areas by
credit needs for livestock and other experiments

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

sharing water during critical periods of rainfall
are still to be fine-tuned in terms of their
shortages. At present the subsidy regime
operational modalities. Risk reduction through
(water, inputs and power) is incentivising new
multiple-initiatives in production systems,
borewells and over exploitation. A shift in
financial instruments and community
public investment is necessary towards
organisation is necessary. Group based
incentivising ‘not-digging’ of new borewells and
approaches, investing on community based
sharing of water, investing on infrastructure for
institutions, building on institutional
critical irrigation, in situ conservation and
accountability are the key to ensure greater
moisture management, and in social processes
fund-flow to rainfed areas and reduce the
to collectively manage ground water. The issues
transaction costs. Multiplicity of institutions and
criticality of investment on institution building investments for institutionalizing the support
in this process is emphasized in the systems and incentives in line with the new
deliberations. Appropriate norms and paradigm. The newly created autonomous body
provisions for waivers of loans (interest, part or National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) can
full principle) must be evolved for rainfed provide lead in facilitating such reforms and
areas. Provision of interest subsidy is crucial for improving the delivery mechanism at lower
rainfed farmers. Strengthening of level.
implementation of the crop insurance scheme
It is essential to capitalize on complementarities
is much awaited.
between public sector, CBOs, civil society and
Rainfed-perspective and Focus on private sector, in order to rejuvenate rainfed
Livestock Development farming in the country. Alternate approaches,
as outlined above, are needed with regard to
Grazing based animal husbandry is the production systems, natural resource
dominant livestock production system in rainfed development, technology development and
areas (ranging from sedentary to nomadic extension system. Specific efforts are needed to
types), contributing substantially to the incomes upscale successful experiences and integrating
of the marginalized and agriculture systems. them in the district plans of the centrally
The small ruminant production systems in spite sponsored schemes. Capacity building at lower
of their substantial contribution to the rainfed level would therefore become critical,
areas and the economy, do not have any particularly with respect to applying the
support systems. The investments on rainfed knowledge and solving the problems. In this
livestock support systems are also very low. regard, the deliberations in the workshop
Disease control and space for community provide a basic framework for action. The need
organisations in the delivery of services needs is to have a bold new vision to reformulate the
high priority. Improving fodder base, priorities in rainfed areas.
particularly in common lands is of utmost
importance. A ‘Drylands Perspective on Conclusion
Livestock Development’ must be formulated
The deliberations in the workshop have brought
and it must guide the development investments
out the need for reformulating the policies and
in livestock in rainfed areas; regional
support systems for rainfed areas rather than
specificities must be built into such perspective.
merely extending the green revolution
Decentralised Decision Making and framework. Parity of investments between
Capacities needed irrigated and rainfed areas must be ensured. The
elements of a new paradigm are synthesized in
Standardized model like that of green the workshop from various grass-roots
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

revolution may not be appropriate for rainfed experiences emerging across the country.
areas due to high degree of heterogeneity and Appropriate support systems and incentives
complexity. Therefore it is essential to shift the need to be in place to up scale these experiences.
resources and decision-making process to Investments, subsidies etc., in rainfed areas need
district level which will promote relevant to be prioritized in line with the emerging
solutions for concerned rainfed areas. The paradigm. A new vision, adequate investments
guidelines of several programs such as Rashtriya and appropriate support systems and incentives
Krishi Vikas Yojana, Watershed Development, are much needed to revitalize rainfed farming
Backward Regions Grant Fund, NREGS etc., can and livelihoods of the people in rainfed areas.
be suitably re-structured to provide necessary ■
Inaugural Session
Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Dr. Nawab Ali
D r. Nawab Ali, Deputy Director General, ICAR
(Engineering and NRM) welcomed the
participants on behalf of ICAR, WASSAN and
CSA. While delivering the introductory remarks,
he briefly explained the context of rainfed
farming; objectives of the workshop and also
its design which broadly consisted of the
following six sessions spread over 3 days (refer
Annexures 1 and 2 for further details about
agenda and list of participants). ■
September 27th, 2007
Session – I: Inaugural and Special Session
Session – II: Analysis of existing scenario in Rainfed Areas
Session – III: New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
September 28th, 2007
Session – IV: Critical Support Systems for Upscaling Successful Experiences on 6 major themes
associated with Rainfed Farming
Theme – A: Pest Management through Non Pesticidal Methods
Theme – B: Seeds in the hands of the Community
Theme – C: Enhancement of Organic matter in Soils
Theme – D: Separate policy for Water Resource in Rainfed Areas
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
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

September 29th, 2007

Session – V: Group work on Support Systems and Incentives with respect to the following four aspects
Group – I: Sustainable Agriculture in Rainfed Areas including Management of Soils,
Pest and Seeds
Group – II: Water for Rainfed Areas
Group – III: Re-looking at Livestock in Rainfed Areas
Group – IV: Institutions for Rainfed Areas Development
Session – VI: Concluding Session
Address by Chief Guest
In search of a new paradigm for self-reliant
development of Rainfed Farming
‘Need to capitalize on complementarities’
Dr. Mangal Rai
Director General, ICAR
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 XIth Five Year Plan.
Referring to the inherent power in the smaller
particles in the biological sciences, Dr. Rai
elaborated on the applications of nano “At present we are able to harness only 29% of
technology in developing slow releasing the precipitation. With this how are we going
fertilizers and water using nano-particles to to sustain 17% of the world population,” he
increase the input use efficiency in Indian questioned. With India’s share of 4.2% of
agriculture. These smaller ones are the most water, 2.3 % of land and 11% of livestock of the
powerful and “we need to address them in the world, meeting the basic requirements becomes
right ernest”. a challenge. How effectively and judiciously we
harvest water and increase its use efficiency and
Though there is an abudance of data, critique,
productivity is the key in the rainfed
analysis of what is to be done and what not to
agriculture. He stated that soil erosion at the
be done, there is dearth of work on ‘how to do’,
rate of 16 tons per ha per year is resulting into a
what practical systems and mechanisms to be
colossal loss.
followed, how to bring about and capitalize on

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

complementarities and how to harness positive On the other hand, 40% compound growth rate
interaction effect. How stakeholders play as taking place in sprinkler irrigation is a healthy
partners to work in synergistic pattern is the sign; but what we have achieved is minimal.
key. Evolving a road map, strategy and options An increase in water use efficicency by 10% i.e.
are lacking. During the intensive deliberations from the present level of 40 to 50% would
planned in the workshop he suggested that a contribute to almost 40 to 50 tons of additional
very basic strategy, options must be evolved. food grain production, but the question is how
Bringing about “players as partners” would go do we achieve this?
a long way.
Reemphasising on the need for developing
healthy competition, effective cooperation and reflective and contribute towards making
building in complementarities for improving the effective recommendations to be incorporated
Indian agriculture situation, the Director in the agricultural policy of XIth Five Year Plan
General stressed on the need for developing so that the limited resources can be better
partnership between research and development utilized. He also hoped that the representatives
organisations. from Planning Commission, Government of
India, Scientific community and Civil Society
On behalf of ICAR, Dr. Rai extended warm
Organisations would intensively deliberate on
welcome to all the participants of the workshop.
various issues and give the ‘Big Push’ to
He hoped that the two days of intense and
rejuvenate the rainfed farming system in the
productive deliberations would yield ‘rich
harvest’ for the rainfed farming in the country.
He called on the participants to be self ■
Key Note Address
Policy reforms at national level for enhancing
inclusive growth in rainfed areas during XI Plan
“We know where the things are going wrong..
the only thing is to act upon it”
Dr. V. S. Vyas
Professor Emeritus, IDS
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
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

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
I n his address, Prof. Vyas focused on the ten years more than half of the cultivated land
needed policy initiative for development of will be rain-fed. He also felt that the extension
Rainfed Agriculture. He mainly dwelt on the of irrigation facility will not provide the needed
lacunae in policy focus on the rainfed solution. The efficiency of irrigation water is
agriculture as compared to irrigated areas. His low, while the cost of extending surface water
presentation concentrated on the initiatives to is huge, 1.2 lakh rupees per ha (during IXth Plan)
and it is continuously increasing. There is is directed to make inputs cheaper by overt or
increased reliance on irrigation from ground hidden subsidies, e.g. in water, power, or
water, which in most of the regions of the nitrogenous fertilizers, it led to imbalanced and
country is not a viable solution. Increasingly inefficient use of inputs, leading to loss of
more blocks are being declared as ‘black” in productivity in the short as well as long term.
regard to the ground water situation. In this He suggested following measures to address
context a large number of farmers will continue this anomaly: economic prices of the inputs
to depend on dry land agriculture where they should be determined and publicized. Overt
suffer from depleted land and water resources, subsidy should be given, mainly, with the
uncertain weather, low value crops and low objective of improving productivity with the
productivity. use of a given input. He opined that subsidies
are not effective tools for transfer of income.
According to him, the case of farmers
dependent on rain-fed agriculture is not In the Output Price policy, he stated that using
hopeless. There are rain-fed crops, such as Minimum Support Price (MSP) as synonymous
pulses, oilseeds, cotton and maize for which the with the procurement price has very negative
demand is likely to be buoyant. At present, there implications and distortions. Instead he
is a huge gap between the yield obtained and suggested that MSP should be governed by the
the potential yield of these crops in dry land cost of production, while the procurement price
conditions. There is also a vast scope for should be related to market. For the country as
increasing supplementary enterprises, especially a whole MSP should be announced for 5 to 6
dairy and dryland horticulture. For this he major crops. Presently, MSP is announced for
suggested the needed action in terms of 34 crops in the country but implemented only
increasing investment in land improvement and in case of wheat and paddy. In addition, a state
water conservation, instituting proper price policy, may announce MSP for 2 or 3 crops specific for
establishing efficient marketing structures, the state. The centre as well as the states should
ensuring adequate supply of credit and providing honor their commitments, or else the credibility
protection against risks. He stressed the need for is at stake. Procurement prices should be
effective governance and enabling people’s flexible, depending on the need for Buffer Stock
participation as they are the key elements in and for PDS on the one hand, and the size of
delivering the needed action to realize the full the crop and the ruling national and
potential of rainfed agriculture. international price on the other. Greater use
should be made of the Futures market, and
While concentrating on the four major policies
farmers should be made literate to deal in these

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

he opined that Policy is not the beginning and
the end of action: investment, technology and
organisations are also important. He said that With regard to the Trade Policy, it is wrong to
many of these policies are relevant for assume that WTO provisions will not affect our
agriculture as such and some are specific to agriculture in a significant way because only
rainfed farming. Elaborating on the price policy, some of our agricultural products enter
Prof. Vyas emphasized on addressing the international trade. In India, at present, the
anomalies with regard to Input and Output contribution of agricultural trade is less than 9
price policy as the gap between them is percent of the overall trade. It is to be viewed
widening. The situation is that where ever policy that the main non-cereal crops of rain-fed
areas, namely, pulses, oilseeds and cotton as also be made available. Depending on the
well as dairy products are important from the severity and duration of a calamity, clear
point of view of international trade. Many more provisions for waivers (waiving interest,
products like maize, fruits and vegetables, which waiving part of principle, waiving full interest
are gaining importance in the rain-fed areas, and principle) need to be designed. This policy
are also traded in the international markets. To should not be politically motivated. There is also
better utilize this potential, some important a need to look at the ways of implementing the
issues need to be tackled. There is a need for Credit Policy.
establishing greater correspondence between
Prof. Vyas called for a ‘concrete policy action’
the domestic price policy and tariff policy. It
to address the issue of Risk Mitigation in Rainfed
will be more efficient if the agency which is
Areas. Apart from the market induced risks,
advising the government on domestic price
which are common for all agricultural
policy, (viz., CACP or any alternative) also
producers, important problem faced by dry land
advises on the tariff policy for agricultural
farmers is the weather induced uncertainties.
commodities. There is a vast gap between what
Farmers in the dryland areas are risk averse as
we are allowed and what we are imposing in
they do not have anything to fall back upon.
bounded tariff and we should use it wisely, he
There are two important risk mitigation
opined. Developed countries like USA and
measures: MSP and agriculture insurance
European Union are subsidizing farmers who
scheme. The later scheme is covering hardly 10
produce commodities in which they want to
percent of the farmers. There is a vast scope to
establish export monopoly. The need is to think
improve upon the existing risk mitigation. There
of counterveiling measures and Government of
is no need to replace the existing Crop
India should assist farmers whose products face
Insurance Scheme but it can be further
competition. This can be done without
strengthened. The main difficulties in the
violating WTO obligations.
process are in methods, procedures and
In respect to Credit Policy, he said that the governance. Realistic reforms have been
observations of various committees headed by suggested by independent researchers and also
bankers and experts should be taken seriously by the official Working Groups in areas such as
and not dismissed. He suggested that the ‘whole extending coverage, determining threshold
portfolio of income’ should be the criteria for yields, assessing yield, rationalizing premium,
extending credit in rainfed areas. This is reducing time lag in making payments etc. It is
practiced in industrial credit and should be important to act upon these measures rather
applied to agriculture also. He also observed than thinking of some untried schemes and
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

that following provisions are important programs. For example, in the present
especially for the rain-fed areas: Credit should circumstances it is difficult to prove that
be made available for a crop cycle of two or Weather Insurance or other sophisticated
three years rather than for one season. As dry measures are superior to the existing Crop
land agriculture is diversified, credit should be Insurance Scheme if it is administrated
against the total income portfolio rather than properly. He concluded by observing that,
only against crops. Keeping in view the “… we know where things are going wrong.. the
dryland farmers who get bulk of their income only thing is to act upon it…”
only in one season, consumption credit should ■
Strategies for enhancing growth in Agriculture during XIth Plan
Transferring ‘Resources’ to Micro level is the Key
Dr. Abhijit Sen
Member, Planning Commission
prices that we are paying …” he observed.
On fertilizer subsidy, there is clear
understanding on the ‘distortions’ but the
possibility of any clear decision is ‘remote’ in
the context of the current political situation in
the country. Any hard decisions in this regard
would result in huge unpopularity.
Regarding Insurance, he said that, “... some
thing is happening in slow manner.. but it is a
tough nut to crack… Weather based insurance
D r. Sen, Chairperson of the session, reflecting
is one option. Better governance and
on the agenda of the workshop felt that much
monitoring are necessary elements in this
of the work slated for discussion is either
technological or institutional; and by its nature
it is ‘micro level’ where results can be observed. Regarding trade policy, he felt that, we have
He emphasized that the concerns raised by Prof. not broken through the main constraint which
Vyas in his presentation are critical and if they is MSP. Most of the subsidies tend to go over-
are not addressed at micro level, it would be a whelmingly towards irrigated agriculture. He
‘grave mistake’. He observed that the, observed that subsidies are incentives to use
“…concerns on input and output prices and resources in a certain way, which should have
stabilizing them are fundamental issues… but more effect on rainfed agriculture. Incentives
unfortunately they are repeatedly economist should promote efficient use of resources he
stressed…” Income stability is an important suggested. Uncertainties in ‘prices and outputs’
concern, which is also influenced by output are causing great concern. He called for
prices. The issues such as distortions of focusing on reducing these uncertainties at
subsidies and policies have been discussed time ‘micro’ level. He underlined on some critical

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

and again but we are far away from any elements: the first one is diversification; which
significant solution. is the surest way of reducing risk. Second
aspect is focusing on stabler and longer period
Commenting on the MSP, he said that in the
incomes and reducing the deviations. Finally,
beginning of the millennium we had high stocks
reducing standard deviation of ‘income’ and the
and high MSP; following which we resorted to
low MSP and exports. This has now resulted in
low stocks; thus starting another cycle. “There Dr. Sen shared that it is impossible to promote
is tremendous pressure to match the balance in a standard model like that of Green Revolution
what the Indian producers get and the import as an effective solution to the complex rainfed
agriculture where crops, technological resources available. According to him, the
constraints as well as options vary widely. If critical question is not the quantum of
the interventions are to be made by the investment but where it is going.
government the resources, decision making
Dr. Sen underlined the need to reduce public
process, options should be transferred to below
investments in the irrigated areas as this is
the state level. He stressed upon the need to
resulting in ‘huge waste and inefficiencies’. He
focus on building capacities at lower level to
also cautioned that ‘such large amount of
apply knowledge and solve problems.
investment’ can not be expected for rainfed
Reflecting on the XIth Plan, he told that the areas. He felt that investments should be made
economy is seeing huge savings which has at a ‘meaningful’, ‘maintainable’ and
reached to a level of 30 percent. This ‘compatible’ levels to augment the growth.
demonstrates that resources are available. In According to him, there is no dearth of funds
this context, achieving 8 percent growth rate is at present and what is required is ‘better
not a ‘fairy tale’, but very much ‘achievable’. design’ of schemes. With the ‘Rashtriya Krishi
He said that ‘inclusive growth’ is the framework Vikas Yojana’, a new scheme, states would get
of the XIth Plan. Education is an escalator for enough money which they are free to spend,
people to move up and out of agriculture. provided two conditions are met. The first is
Efforts are also there to put agriculture ‘back that the States should maintain their share of
on track’ and the Steering Group on funds. Second is the ‘decentralized district level
Agriculture focused on ‘technology and planning’ with a focus on ‘better utilization of
natural resources’. At present the public resources’. According to him shifting of
investment in agriculture is very low and has resources and decision making process to
fallen to 2 percent of GDP. But it is hoped that ‘lower’ levels will provide solutions to the
this will rise to 4 percent within two years of rainfed areas and called for restraint in giving
the XIth Plan. Prof. Sen disclosed that XIth Plan a vision like green revolution to such areas.
has huge savings; and there are enough ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Special Session

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Sustainable Development of Rainfed Areas
Need to redefine agrarian relations
Shri B.N. Yugandhar
Member, Planning Commission
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
is cultivated by small and marginal farmers who
constitute 80 percent of the farming
A t the outset, Shri Yugandhar pointed out that community. More than 30 percent of the land
it may not be appropriate to call what is now is cultivated by tenants. The irony is that major
happening as ‘paradigm shift’. What all of us institutions and sub systems (e.g. credit,
are concerned with is the proper architecture market support, research, seed and feed
for evolving a ‘new paradigm’. He said that linkages, technical and extension support, etc.)
despite varied technological options backed up are bypassing them and not operating on their
by different policies, there are peculiar behalf. While all the systems are focused on
‘incapacities in the system and the whole area areas with canal irrigation, rainfed areas have
of peasant-land relationships has become become ‘bypassed areas’. ‘If you have one acre
controversial and confused. Despite rational of surface irrigated land it receives lot of
policies and choices, it is not clear how to deal subsidies through various systems’ he said.
with this confusion. The ecological foundation According to him, various sub systems of
of agriculture is essential for sustainable agriculture, such as credit, marketing,
advancement. Soil health, efficient use of extension, community based efforts & subsidies
water and mobilization of the farming etc. either are not operating or have collapsed.
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

community towards the management of Rebuilding these sub-systems as relevant to the

natural resource are all vital issues. Now majority of our peasant community, especially
farming has become a high risk profession and the small and marginal farmers and the
the support from agricultural systems was tenants, is the real challenge.
reaching only to a small minority of farmers.
Natural resource management should He said that though Green Revolution has
concentrate on common property resources. succeeded in providing desired results, it has
However, no code of conduct for management also the other side. The paradox is that many of
of common property resources has been the first generation Green Revolution farmers,
seriously formulated and advocated. At any who have benefited from it, have now moved
away from agriculture, but not from land and there is a dire need of evolving better
ownership, thus increasing the tenancy. There ‘alternative sub systems’.
is a divorce between land ownership and
Rainfed areas are under-invested and then
peasantry with production interets. All the
there are controversies in technology. There is
subsidies however are targeted to the land
visible promise in approaches like NPM and
owning class. In this context he referred an
organic farming. But the crux of the problem in
incident in Anantapur district of Andhra
rainfed areas is improvement of productivity,
Pradesh where nearly 200 crore rupees were
surpluses and incomes, he emphasized. How
given as relief for crop loss, which was
to increase small farm incomes is the question
distributed to the owners on the basis of the
at hand. Making small farm diversification
records without even bothering to know who
yielding surpluses is the real challenge. “… Are
the actual cultivator was. He observed that the
we thinking of only subsistence?...”, he probed
Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies
and cautioned against technology becoming the
(PACS) and District Marketing Federations
preserve of only the rich and those in irrigated
have suffered “crony capture”.
areas. He wanted to know whether a son of
Stating that the country is craving for sheep farmer can dream of becoming an owner
‘redesigning of agrarian relations’, Shri of stall fed improved flock of sheep. He wanted
Yugandhar said ‘I am not pleading for radical technology to come to the help of the small and
land reforms as in the initial years of marginal farmers. There is low cost
independence; I am pleading for appropriate technology, where women and
implementing the Law as it now exists. If we farming communities are coming together to
cannot push the non-productive interests out make their own inputs, he informed, for which
of agriculture there can be no paradigm shift. avenues should be open to the rural youth.
I do not know how this cat can be belled’. Large scale and high productive diary and
poultry are out of reach for the poor. “… How
Further dwelling into the issue of land in the
can one come out of poverty with a buffalo
hands of poor, he presented the disturbing
giving one and half litre milk a day…”, he
scenario existing in the country. Emphasizing
questioned and hoped that the workshop would
on land and agrarian reforms, he said that there
come out with ‘empowering and liberating
are several activities that can be undertaken
technologies’ for the small and marginal
under the present laws such as providing title
deeds to small farmers; allocation of ceiling
surplus; etc. Referring to Bharat Dogra’s Shri Yugandhar stated that there will be no

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

document on Bundelkhand, he said that this dearth of funding the developmental process,
region is considered as an epitome of failures of as the Planning Commission is contemplating
land reforms in the country, wherein the to make necessary proposals in this regard. In
administration was not able to put the land in this context, he referred few schemes/programs
possession of the poor. In Andhra Pradesh, 55 that are either in implementation or in pipeline.
lakh acres of land is in the hands of the poor, First of them is National Rural Employment
but half of it is not cultivated for various Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), which provides
reasons. Systems like extension, research, credit at least 50-60 crore rupees for each district
and marketing are not supportive to the poor wherein major share is to be spent as per the
decisions at the village level. Second is the emphasis on local planning. Finally, there is a
Backward Regions Grant Fund, being budget available under Participatory Watershed
implemented in 250 districts and each such Development Projects. With these funds it is
district gets 15 crore rupees. There is an possible to develop additional 40 million
allocation of nearly one crore rupees for hectares of rainfed area and there will be enough
capacity building related interventions under scope for improving livelihoods. The question
this. Thirdly, in the XIth Five Year Plan, much is how to influence the people to initiate
emphasis is given to agriculture sector and an ‘suitable action’ for utilizing these funds more
outlay of 20,000 crore rupees is proposed efficiently.
under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, with ■
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
agriculture. 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. Export commodities (as non G.M.
products) like castor oil, guar gum, seed spices
and soybean cake are important. International
A t the outset, Dr. Samra stressed on the trade in oil seeds is escalating thus demands on
convergence between different development rainfed agriculture would increase.
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

programs and the agencies implementing them. Integration of forest lands, water management,
The dichotomy is that ‘resources are at one place crops, horticulture, livestock and micro-
and the technical expertise is at the other side. enterprise is a complex inter-ministerial task.
There is a big lacuna in bridging the gap Convergence through district and state level
between them. How to overcome it? If resources planning for optimizing resource utilization is
create some assets which ultimately lead to to be better prioritized. According to him, the
employment guarantee, that will provide some guidelines for different programs are mostly
solace to the rainfed areas…’ ‘common’, but looked at as if they are ‘not
He elaborated on the present status of rainfed common’. The key issues are ‘prioritization and
effective implementation’. Proper criteria for presentation also elaborated on the rationale,
prioritization is there but putting it in place is a mandate and organizational structure of
challenge. Another area of challenge is NRAA.
capacity building. Though some alternatives
have been tried out, the experiences are not so Summing up the presentations:
encouraging. In the context of present Hariyali Chairperson Prof. Vyas putforth few points to
guidelines, he stressed on the need to build concentrate in deliberations based on the
capacities of Panchayats. “…The challenge is presentations in the special session. He felt that:
how to build the capacities of Panchayats to
● There seems to be a serious ‘disconnection’
play their own role without loosing on
between the people who are ‘real farmers’
‘technological expertise...?” he wondered. The
and ‘those who claim to be farmers’. This
way out is to ‘redesign’ the Capacity Building
disconnection need to be understood
process in such a way that every one has role
clarity and all the checks and balances are in
place. ● There is also a need to evolve ‘new’
institutions as ‘old’ institutions have failed.
According to Dr. Samra, ‘district’ is the very Required mechanism should also be
well defined unit in the country for any policy provided to ‘isolate dominant class interest’
or development action. The need is to from these institutions.
strengthen the delivery system at different
● Efforts to make ‘Farmer Representation’
levels. ‘… What are the triggering /cardinal
more visible in the composition of National
points for alternative derivatives?... This is a
Rainfed Area Authority. Putting ‘lead stake
challenge to explore….”, he observed. On
holders’ in the front in addressing issues and
watershed program, he underlined the
concerns would yield better results.
importance of concurrent evaluation and
impact assessment to make it more effective. His ■

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Analysis of Existing Scenario in Rainfed Areas

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. Rita Sharma, Financial Adviser (DARE & ICAR)
Dr. Devinder Sharma, Chairman, Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security
Shri P.V.S.S. Surya Kumar, DGM, NABARD
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
this paradigm which is more diverse,
decentralized and technology generation
happening at different nodes and horizontal
spreading while the conventional systems rely
on highly centralized, topdown model.
T he presentation started with a quotation from Dr. Ramanjaneyulu said that there are strong
noted scientist - Dr Albert Einstein, that, ‘…No evidences across the country which show that
problem would be solved with the same level of regenerative and resource-conserving
thinking that created it in the first place…’ technologies and practices can bring both
Relying on scientific research, environmental and economical benefits for
Dr. Ramanjaneyulu, presented the gravity of farmers and communities. It is also proved that
agricultural crisis in the country. The paradox Community Based Organizations (CBOs) can
is that major crisis is located in regions with provide good platform for various innovations
technology and capital intensive cultivation to take roots. He elaborated on different
specially the green revolution areas in states like experiences in relation to Non Pesticidal
Punjab, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka Management, Farmers Field Schools,
and Maharashtra. Crisis in agriculture is Community Seed Banks, Organic Farming,
evident in the form of migration, unemployment Decentralized Food Security, Social Regulation
and underemployment and farmers’ suicides. of Water etc. by various government and non
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

There are also ecological and economic costs like government agencies across the country. There
destroyed soils, exhausted and polluted are also other experiences like System of Rice
groundwater, loss of diversity, increasing costs Intensification, Diversity based Cropping
of cultivation and decreasing returns. This Systems, Millet based Cropping Systems,
process is also making people losing control over Innovative use of Labor and Drought
the natural resources-seeds, water and land. Adaptation Initiatives. In rainfed areas the
Given this situation, he strongly advocated for innovation need not narrowly focus on
a new paradigm for facing the crisis. This productivity alone, but also on sustaining
paradigmatic innovation need not necessarily resources and reducing the costs and risks. He
quoted the example of Andhra Pradesh where of thinking and working. With SERP
in the cotton cropthe major cost is pesticides, collaboration in Andhra Pradesh, the upscaling
for which Non Pesticidal Management (NPM) of NPM approach reached 1500 villages,
approach is implemented. This reduced input resulting in reduced cost of cultivation. The
costs to greater extent and over a period is learnings are there and the issue is to take them
moving towards ecological agriculture. forward, he opined.
Most of these experiences are successful even He observed that seed is a critical input in
in the absence of public support and it is agriculture; Governments and industry are
evident that people are looking for options. He showing seed replacement as the only way to
cited the examples of various experiences which improve productivity and making the farmers
are already scaled up in a significant way; (e.g.; continuously dependent on the market.
Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture Today all the external institutions (public and
in Andhra Pradesh is already in 1500 villages; private) are catering to only 18% of the seed
Zero Budget farming is being practiced in more requirement. Even the seed village programmes
than 10 lakh acres in Maharashtra, Karnataka, initiated by state departments mimick the same
Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. Natural Farming industrial model. The way forward is only to
in Punjab and APDS in AP in 9 districts, etc). emphasise quality seed retention rather than
These experiences have amply demonstrated replacement. Diversity based production
that Ecological Farming is possible on a scale systems should be in the hands of the
provided essential support systems are built. community.
Therefore, what is needed is new ways of
Dr. Ramanjaneyulu remarked that Organic
understanding, evaluating and supporting such
farming which was dismissed earlier as
innovations, he argued. It is also established that
unproductive is now gaining popularity
Community Managed Systems are essential for
because of the market pull. In this regard, he
strong natural resource management systems.
emphasized that organic farming based on
He remarked that on pest management, the approaches to solve production problems is
dominant paradigm is focusing on plant-pest more sustainable rather than being market
dynamics rather than pest-ecology dynamism. driven. On production front, the question is how
The challenge is to move away from linear ways we move from a plant-nutrient relationship to
Economics of NPM cultivation in Andhra Pradesh (2005-06)

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Crop Cost of Plant protection (Rs./acre) Saving (Rs/acre)
Conventional NPM
Cotton 5000 1000 4000
Chillies 15000 2000 13000
Redgram 1500 300 1200
Groundnut 1500 300 1200
Castor 2000 400 1600
Paddy 2000 225 1775
soil-productivity relationship and how to formulations, economics of ecological benefits, new
measure system’s productivity rather than yield protocols to validate, more participatory methods
per unit cropped area. He said that experiences of knowledge and technology generation from
show that rainfed agriculture benefits by linear top down models and NGOs as partners in
organic farming. knowledge and technology generation than as
passive recipients are the needed elements in
Ramanjaneyulu then spoke about sanskritisation
research area. According to him, extension
of food habits and practices. Green revolution
should be more knowledge centric than
led to monocropping systems. Food security
product centric. Emphasis should be on
comes from a diversity based cropping systems.
approaches like Farmer Field Schools.
In India food subsidies for few irrigated crops
Respecting farmer’s knowledge and using
have pushed farmers to neglect most of the
successful farmers as resource persons is
rainfed crops. And, major part of the current
critical. NGOs and farmers should be treated
subsidy for food is on transport and storage.
as equal partners in planning and designing
Efforts like community grain banks and
rather than as delivery channels. The focus
Alternative Public Distribution system (APDS)
should be on community managed rather than
have solved most of the problems and
community paid. As part of institutional
established decentralized models of food
approach, it is necessary to organize farmers
security. Regarding water problem, he lamented
for better decision making and practice; and it
that we are looking at technological options
is also essential that the labor should be
rather than social regulations. Speaking about
organized to deliver inputs and services like pest
ecological foot prints of food, he said that 1 kg
surveillance, pest management contracts etc.
of rice needs one tanker of water. “…Either we
There is a need to extend public support for
have to move out of rice or improve the
research on ecological farming, promoting
efficiency…”, he strongly felt.
newer partnerships in extension (which are
In the end, Dr.Ramanjaneyulu presented community managed rather than community
needed dimensions for scaling up the proven paid) and also for using, building and
innovations. These are mostly in terms of protecting local resources.
research and extension: New knowledge on crop
ecosystem, efficacy of locally evolved recipes and ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Analysis of current Support Systems and
Incentives for Rainfed Farming and
Need for a Differentiated Approach
Shri A. Ravindra
Director, WASSAN
S hri 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.
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 fostering a change- factories were established
capital cost of developing irrigation potential is to produce fertilizers, infrastructure was
to an extent of Rs.1.30 lakhs per ha. To created, price support mechanisms established,
promote organic horticulture the National etc. Nothing was left to chance. But,
Horticulture Mission (NHM) is providing unfortunately, very little of these subsidies/
subsidies to an extent of Rs.10,000 per ha. A investments could be accessed by a rainfed
vermi-compost unit gets about Rs.30,000 per unit farmer. This disparity is something that we need
as subsidy, a drip irrigation system uner NHM to seriously take stock of, he opined.
provides about Rs.2000 per ha annual subsidy The private investments to exploit resources like
(capital cost spread over the life span of the ground water piggy-backs on the water
system). As against these, the total investments conservation investments in watershed
under watershed development program is about programs resulting in overexploitation of
Rs.6,000 per ha -one-time investment for five groundwater resources! Similar examples were
years! Citing these examples, Ravindra shown in extension of irrigated horticulture in

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

presented the inconsistency between the rainfed areas increasing vulnerability of the
‘conservation approach’ in watershed farmers and over exploitation of ground water.
development and the dominant exploitative These trends are not incidental, but are an
production systems generally encouraged by outcome of the very planning process we have
government. Further, there is disconnect engineered as a part of the dominant paradigm.
between ‘diagnosis of issues’ and action This is not out of ‘farmer’s ignorance’. While
initiated through national planning process. the problem is well acknowledged in several
He observed that the architecture of Green policy works, no corrective efforts are made, he
Revolution took care of every minute detail in observed.
that labour can be a substitute for capital and
Is there a parity in investments?
the national planning is inherently biased
No. Schemes Rs.
against labour support. What is appropriate is
1 Major & medium irrigation/ ha 109,000 to to identify a problem and invest on addressing
the problem rather than promoting specific
2 Organic farming under NHM/ ha 10,000 input centred technologies, be it fertilizers, drip
3 Vermi composting – 30,000 irrigation or vermicompost. We have to
under NHM/ unit innovate upon process related support for
4 Promotion of IPM – 1,000 agriculture. Investing on pest surveilliance
under NHM/ ha mechanisms is another example of investing on
5 Organic Certification/ ha 10,000 the processes that will reduce pest load by about
6 Cut flowers/ ha 23,100 20 to 30 per cent.
7 Bulbulous flowers/ ha 45,000 The Steering Committee of the Planning
8 Drip irrigation/ ha annually 2,000 Commission looking at agriculture in the XIth
9 Watershed development/ 6,000 Plan identifies deteriorating soil health as one
ha for 5 years of the major problems, but only considers
investing on establishing soil testing
The question we need to ask is what laboratories and soil health cards! How much
production system is appropriate for the rainfed biomass could go into the soil was never a
situations? We should not dismiss this as a concern; the problem is in converting an
redundant ecological argument but, see it as the appropriate diagnosis into affirmative action.
very basis of sustainability of the production With the recent advances in quick composting,
system. There is a role for public policy and bund plantation etc., it is possible to generate
public investments to steer the appropriate 80 kg nitrogen per ha through a combination
production systems in rainfed areas. of agronomic measures, composting, tank silt
According to Shri Ravindra, most of the farm application etc., if support is available on the
support is couched into the physical inputs. scale of an irrigated farmer. This would be more
Ironically, ‘convenience and adminstrability’ enriching and also builds soil health and
have become the guiding factors of providing improves soil moisture. We must find ways of
subsidies rather than the desirability of a supporting/ investing on these nutrient
particular process! We must find solutions for building processes. If such support is available
inconvenient but required processes to be large number of farmers would use these
supported. Subsidising Urea rather than desirable processes.
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

nitrogen is one such example and this leaves Similar are the issues with livestock. We must
farmers ‘no choices’ but to use those inputs. By understand why livestock is moving out of
chosing a particular material input as a driver agriculture. If we can take care of the bullocks
of change, we are promoting a particular for 3 months an year, they would be brought
technology and are removing several local back into farming systems and this could be
technical options/ choices of farmers for achieved with investments matching the
achieving the same purpose. People who do not subsidy on diesel consumed for land
have water, and have marginal lands are left preparation and weeding. Bullocks in this sense
out of the process. We do not also recognize might compete with mechanization.
Streamlining of bullock power would help in vested on borewell irrigation other than power
timely sowing of crops by small and marginal subsidy. If we can provide for developing
farmers that in itself improves the productivity infrastructure in distribution of borewell water
by about 20%. Similarly, supporting graziers, it would enable provision of critical irrigation
value addition of fodder etc. and easing critical support to rainfed crops where the
small constraints will bring the livestock back productivity gains are about 40 to 60%.
into farming systems. Seperating livestock
Can we differentiate our agriculture policy into
systems from agriculture will cost the economy
irrigated and rainfed agriculture policies, so that
more as it increases demand on energy and
we can look beyond watersheds and build
nutrients. We need to protect such integration.
support systems required for rainfed areas
Goats and sheep have an economic rate of
rather than extending those available for
return equal to IT sector and have very high
irrigated agriculture unsustainably. This will
income generating potential for the poor. But
also help in rainfed areas getting required
they do not receive any public support as a
investments (beyond watershed development)
production system.
which at present are a miniscule of what the
He posed a pertinet question: Can we see irrigated agriculture is getting. Subsidise the
water differently? He opined that if the problem solving but not inputs. There is also
economics are captured properly, building soil very poor research backup for rainfed areas.
moisture through building humus in the soil, Recognising support for NRM, NPM, soil
might be comparable with drip irrigation in its fertility improvement etc., as ecosystem
efficiency. He also suggested to see water as improvements rather than production subsidies
food consumed. If we could achieve 25% shift will improve our competitiveness in the world
in the national food consumed towards millets, markets. Cost reduction must be taken as a
we can imagine how much water savings we primary agenda rather than productivity
could achieve. Can this attract investments, he improvement alone.
What percent of investments are going to
If we reformulate pest management as increas- rainfed areas? Unless the pronouncements of
ing predator population and reducing the pest support are backed up by substantive
load our program would be different as com- investments, the rainfed areas’ problems are not
pared to looking at pest management as increase going to be solved, he remarked.
in the chemical pesticide consumption. Support
Concluding his presentation, Shri Ravindra
for pest surveilliance, subsidizing summer
suggested the needed action to redesign the

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

ploughting etc., can reduce the pest manage-
policy that is suitable for rainfed areas and the
ment costs by 40 to 50%. The savings in power
elements of such policy support would be as
subsidy for the 4 irrigations that could be saved
in SRI paddy, can pay for all weedings, which
seems to be a bottleneck in its promotion. ● Need to differentiate between Agriculture
Policy for Irrigated Areas and Agriculture
He felt that we are into an ‘irrigation’ paradigm. Policy for Rainfed Areas?
If we can shift to a ‘critical irrigation’ on a large
● Need to ensure parity of investments (per
scale paradigm we can achieve substantial
ha or per household) in rainfed and
increase in overall production. We have not in-
irrigated areas. Need to see beyond
watershed projects ● Re-working on the extension institutional
● Not to ‘extend’ the support system designs systems – in line with the requirements of
for irrigated areas as rainfed areas needs a ‘knowledge based extension’
‘special dispensation’ ● A research back-bone for a new paradigm
● Not to restrict the ‘form’ of subsidies - Need to increase research capacities on the
core needs of rainfed areas than making
• Need to shift from ‘Inputs’ to ‘processes’
desperate statements
/ labour and
● Making ‘cost reduction’ as a core principle
• ‘Input’ based to ‘output’ based
for research and action
● Need to allocate enough investments for
rainfed areas and need to move from Finally, he observed that mere ‘district level
‘rhetoric’ to ‘affirmative action’ . planning’ would not solve the problem as the
mindsets of agriculture functionaries and even
● Need to recognise soil fertility
farmers are set by the ‘dominant paradigm’. In
improvement, NPM as eco-system activities
this regard, the incremental changes will not
but not farm-subsidies as these have
help and it requires a ‘paradigm shift and a bold
enormous gains in the context of
leadership’ to really tap the potential of rainfed
areas. He called for a recast in our thinking and
● Promoting appropriate community based the way we look at rainfed areas development.
institutional systems as a back-bone of the
rainfed areas policies. ■
Open Discussion
Ralegaon Siddhi, where they respect water, he
said. He argued that the extension system has
to be revived and that we need 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
into the farming system.
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. Sambhu Prasad (XIMS) stated that the heart

of matter is how knowledge is constituted, not
C hairperson Dr. Devinder Sharma invited the just technical but institutional. He sought the
lead discussants to make their presentation. Shri need to enquire into the complexities of
Sandip Das (Down to Earth), initiating the different knowledge systems and culture of
discussion, cautioned that we should not repeat innovations by the research establishments. The
the mistake of extending green revolution next question is how this knowledge is accessed.
technology into rainfed areas. We need new He felt that we are bit silent on the crisis of
system of managing water, for e.g. as in Indian Agriculture Research. We should accept
that the knowledge is not reposited in research which should be then differentiated according
alone – but is available in open systems also. to the ecological regions. She felt that much of
We have to make the best of the opportunities what the speakers said is applicable to irrigated
in the new architectural structure. In this agriculture also. She said that what we are
regard he cited the expansion of System of Rice talking about is sustainable agriculture. Rainfed
Intensification (SRI) in the country. New farming needs macro policy on pricing and
varieties are being challenged only by SRI. subsidies; creating markets. She concluded by
Reinforcing what Ravindra stated earlier he said saying that more fund and decentralization will
that the definitions of the problems are clear not begin the necessary paradigm shift.
but all the solutions are not clear. He also
Shri Shailendra Tiwari (Seva Mandir) informed
emphasized on the need to have ‘creative space’
that CPRs play a major role in rainfed farming.
in evolving necessary policy measures, what he
In Rajasthan, the extent of CPRs is more than
termed as creating cultures of micro
the private lands and most of these CPRs are
interventions. He shared the experience of
encroached by the village landlords and elite.
learning alliance in SRI in Orissa. SRI yields in
Stating that this is as a result of ill governance,
Purulia rainfed areas are promising. In Tripura,
he opined that the trend is not irreversible. He
there is an effort in which SRI was taken up in
said that this does not need revolutionary
14,000 hectares of land within 2-3 years and
changes but only revival of traditional
this was done by the Agricultural Department
institutions of management. He commented
in convergence with Panchayat Raj
that we never had institutions which are
Department. These sort of experiences need to
pro-poor. He also emphasized on improving the
be related to the context of rainfed farming. And
weather forecasting system. Farmers need to
for that there should be ‘learning alliances’, he
know the availability of water for a particular
crop at a particular time.
Prof. M.R. Sharma (National Horticultural
Dr. M.S Chari (Former Director, CTRI, ICAR
Mission) said that horticulture has more
and Managing Trustee – CSA) observed that
potential in rainfed agriculture and that the
even the miniscule subsidies available for
Mission is focusing on upgrading some of its
farmers in rainfed areas are not reaching them.
components. He urged for convergence among
For example NHM gives Rs. 1,000/ as subsidy
research, extension and policy makers so as to
in the name of IPM, which will go to the
better utilize the potential. He wanted the
pesticide industry and not the farmer. He also
bankers to consider loans without collateral. He
informed that pest surveillance system is
said that NHM has focused on the

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

available, but the forecasting system is very bad,
interventions for small & marginal farmers; as
which needs to be revamped. Shri Gopi Krishna
well as organic practices and certification for
(Jana Jagaran) suggested that we should get out
the same.
of the water and irrigation paradigm and focus
Dr. Amita Shah (Gujarat Institute of on semi-arid and arid regions rather than
Development Research) pointed the need to go confining to rainfed areas, which works in real
beyond the dichotomy of irrigated and rainfed time paradigm and with more of open type
agriculture. Stating that we have to have fairly system. He emphasized that we should have
unified understanding on what type of systems that can respond to the diverse
agriculture we want in the next 5 to 10 years, situations.
Dr. J. Venkateswarlu (Former Director, CAZRI) innovations and also to rethink and change our
shared about the experience in Cuba where the mindsets’. There is dearth of investment in
organic farming is intensively promoted. He focused research. The ‘tragedy of India’ is that
called for change in research from chemical to governments are more willing to invest on
organic. He stressed the need for revival of foreign trips of MPs and MLAs to ‘learn’, but
traditional cascade of tank systems. He talked not interested in taking them to villages to see
about System of Rice Intensification as a the ‘grassroot realities’. He also found fault with
concept which is now not limited to paddy but the existing pattern of promoting external
also extended to other crops like castor, nutrients and ‘packing’ the rainfed areas with
sunflower in Gujarat. hybrid varieties of seeds.
Dr. Pathak (National Horticultural Mission) Concluding the session Shri Devinder Sharma
informed that the subsidy for promotion of IPM observed that if you have something to sell then
under the Mission is increased from Rs 1000/- you have funding. Earlier only NPK were
to Rs 5000/-. He also observed that apart from commercial commodities; now we are
horticulture, there are number of crops suitable importing earthworms. Citing the example of
for rainfed areas. He suggested that only cow he said that our mindset is that nothing in
wasteland should be allocated for horticulture. our country is good. Problem of rainfed areas
Dr. M.A. Shankar (University of Agricultural began when NAS said that these areas are
Sciences, Bangalore) questioned whether the hungry for fertilizer and we only promoted
paradigm shift is for economical and viable what the industry wanted. He said that there is
farming or for sustainable farming systems, lot that can be done without the industrialized
where the land holding itself is small. inputs. He commended the two speakers who
have set the agenda to re-look at the macro
Responding to the discussion, Dr.
Ramanjaneyulu (CSA) observed that ‘this is the
time to learn from new experiences and ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. Ram Badan Singh, Member, National Commission on Farmers
Dr. S.P. Wani, Principal Scientist, ICRISAT
Shri Sachin Oza, Executive Director, DSC
Decentralized Food Security in Rainfed Areas
Involving Different Types Of Millets and Pulses
Shri P.V. Satheesh
Director, Deccan Development Society (DDS)
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,
livelihood concerns with dalit focus. In this
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
S hri Satheesh made the presentation by irrigated, resource guzzling crops. Dryland
showing a video film produced by Community farmers in general, millet growers in particular
Media Trust, Pastapur, Medak in Andhra should be honoured as water conservers.
Pradesh on the concept of decentralized food Farmers should be compensated with water
security. It strongly depicted how an organized bonus, conservation bonus and climate change
village community could take up the challenge bonus. Minimum Support Price for millets
and evolve an efficient institutional process for should be enhanced. Millets are 6 times
ensuring the food security. nutritious than rice and he argued that they
should be introduced into PDS, FFW, ICDS, mid
He concluded his presentation by raising few
day meal, social welfare hostels, etc.
critical issues. Introduction of rice into the diet
of rainfed areas not only caused anemia, but He also suggested that the rainfed agriculture
the crop requires high rainfall and flat lands should be recognised as intrinsically biodiverse
which is quite unsuitable to rainfed areas. Thus, and for the way dryland farming fixes Carbon;
cultivation of paddy in dryland areas in fact it should be given conservation incentives. It is
increased the fallow land leading to further a livelihood provider and this is not talked about
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

degradation. To grow one kilo of rice, 3000 which is the bias of the media and the elite. It
liters of water is required and each acre of creates lot of rural enterprises; whereas Reliance
irrigated area takes 6 million litres of water. In and Wall Mart are the death nail of rural
economic terms, the cost of this water use would community, he observed. If we consider that
be 60,000 rupees per acre. He strongly each hectare of land can create at least 2 jobs,
criticized the way the external factors are imagine the potential of 100 million hectares of
influencing our life patterns. In this context, he rainfed area in creating employment
commented that the “food’ has now become a opportunities, he questioned.
‘media construct’. If they say, eat burger, we On credit front, Shri Satheesh felt that there
eat burger, this is the irony of present situation.
need to be a bias towards rainfed farmer. A specific landraces/ varieties and improving them
grape farmer gets more than one lakh rupees rather than withdrawing from the seed sector.
Bank finance whereas a sorghum farmer gets Developing farmer led extension systems and
Rs. 1600 only. With regard to seeds, there is farmer-led research at all SAUs and research
enormous demand for them which is reflected stations is need of the hour. There is also a need
in the agitations in some parts of the country. to develop long term strategy for each agro
There are also incidents where the farmers are climatic zone based on the specific situations
‘fired upon’ for seeking quality seeds. In and create new non corporate organic markets
Anantapur in the rush for the seed 7 farmers controlled by small farmers. Community
were trampled to death. Why we are creating supported farming need to be promoted where
such a fuss when there is scope for creating there will be dynamic interface between
community seed banks, he questioned. It was farmers and consumers.
suggested that State Agricultural Universities
(SAUs) can be encouraged to scout for location ■
Low External Input based Sustainable Agriculture
Synthesis of Experiences from India and Abroad
Dr. Arun Balamatti
Executive Director, AME Foundation
A s a concept and approach, LEISA denotes
Low External Input based Sustainable
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

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

farming system, and reducing cost by
generating inputs within the village – viable,
accessible and acceptable to farmers. Emphasis
is on use of local resources which are AME Foundation has major thrust on dry land
environmental friendly. Organic farming is not farming with LEISA approach. The rain water
synonymous to LEISA; it is a distant dream for in the dryland farming is given, but it is
dryland farmers, it is not averse to modern possible to retain it for longer time with some
technology but a blend of both indigenous and simple practices. On-farm natural resource
modern technologies. It is a basket of options conservation (NRC), natural resource
for farmers to choose from. utilization (NRU) and better utilization of
resources through crop combinations are farming is externalized; even dryland farmers
promoted. Farmer groups are being empowered are now dependent on market for seeds. He said
through participatory processes. Three basic that the issue is not only the cost but also
operations of the organization include: Rain reliability. Even in rainfed farming the elite
water conservation; upgrading soil fertility and farmers are enterprising, but the majority of the
crops. It is not merely introducing technologies, middle level farmers are starving for
the focus is on the capacity building of the information. Farming from subsistence has
farmers and the enablers and the requirements moved on to market; now they have to
of the two groups are different. generate the income.
The experience demonstrated that backward He suggested a paradigm shift that should
and forward linkages are necessary conditions consider that the farmers need hand holding
but they alone are not sufficient. As the farmer for better utilization of resources (less
is the end user of resources, production exploitative). This should also consider the
technologies and development facilities, the redefined role of enablers and the extension
need is to build capacities of small and approaches (PTD and FFS in University
marginal farmers (middle level) in handling curriculum) and that development is a shared
natural resources and managing farming as an responsibility; CSO can never provide the scale;
enterprise. but can provide the models.
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
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
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

of unscientific pest management; he said that

IPM gives enhanced income to the farmers.
Biological forms of management are effective,
but are not known to the farmers, Reddy
opined. These have proven successful in
W hile focusing on the IPM as the holistic sugarcane and coconut. He suggested that this
approach for sustainable pest management, this technology should be taken to the farmers and
presentation elaborated on its different made available. IPM is against the calendar
approaches and strategies at different levels. based pesticide application. Paddy farmers are
undertaking 8 to 9 sprays for BPH; this is Farmers will be able to identify the harmful and
weekly/ 10 day scheduled sprays, which can beneficial insects in the field. It is a season long
be avoided. process and meeting is usually once in a week.
IPM Facilitators or Farmer facilitators who have
There are different approaches in IPM. Earlier
undergone season-long training will run FFS.
thrust was on component based IPM: the
The plant capacity to regenerate is tested by
emphasis was on cultural, mechanical,
farmers through small experiments such as
biological and chemical methods with focus on
defoliation. They also compare sprayed and
ETL. Later Pest: defender ratio was adopted.
unsprayed plots and discover functions of
Presently the core theme of IPM is Agro
organisms in the eco-system including crop pest
Ecosystem Analysis (AESA); This is against
and their natural enemies. The farmers are
practice of calendar based application of
assisted in solving their problems by themselves;
chemical pesticides irrespective of occurrence
they are not provided with ready made
of pests. AESA is based on the principle of
solutions. The facilitators expose farmers to
interaction between different components of
ideas and will not try to convince the farmers
agro-ecosystem including abiotic factors. The
to adopt a particular technology. In the
strategy for IPM related trainings encompassed
process, FFS farmers will become ‘active
developing IPM facilitators, organizing Farmer’s
evaluators of technology’ instead of ‘passive
Field Schools (FFSs) to train farmers and
acceptors of input advice’. At the end it is
evolving Farmer Facilitators.
evaluated by the farmers and the experienced
For developing IPM facilitators, season long farmers are used for further extension.
trainings are organized with ‘Participatory,
Concluding the presentation, Mr.Reddy
Practical, Field Oriented and Discovery based
observed that IPM need not exclude pesticides
(learning by doing)’ orientation. Non-formal
but as far as possible avoid or limit chemical
education approaches were used throughout.
pesticide. He called upon ‘No Pesticide
The focus was on development of confidence
Movement’ not to mislead farmers, but strive
to help farmers discover and make decisions;
for promoting IPM. Seed treatment with IPM is
and enable them to organize quality FFSs. The
a very good practice, for which there are
training is fully residential and 2 hectares of land
chemical and biological treatments; their cost is
is made available for raising crop by trainees.
low and will reduce the use of pesticides. He
Training is season-long with 2 or 3 small breaks.
said that taking this approach to the farmers or
This is about 150 days for cotton, on site
making the biological agent available is a
excluding the breaks and it covers all aspects of
challenge. Is there a repeat request for

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

crop management. There would be 30-36
biological agents and is it available, he
trainees in a batch with 4-5 facilitators. On s
wondered. IPM is much more relevant and
uccessful training, the facilitators organized
required in rainfed farming. Concluding the
FFSs to train farmers, not just on cotton, but
presentation, Mr. Reddy wanted the
also on other crops. They also developed Farmer
participants to think of a system where
Trainers to run Farmer –Farmer Field School.
government can support viability gap funding
FFS is a community based, practical field study for agriculture graduates to establish say a soil
programme where farmers learn together lab or biological lab.
using hands-on methods of discovery learning. ■
A New Paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture for
Improving Livelihoods and Sustainable
Development in India
Dr. S.P. Wani
Principal Scientist, ICRISAT
D r. 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
We should focus on the trade offs. Last 33 years
agriculture. This allocation should not only be
data on large plots proved that dryland
on area basis but also equity basis. It will lead
agriculture can produce more, the potential is
to sustainable development and enhancing
there and the growth rate is not less than
rainwater use efficiency, he argued.
irrigated agriculture. One ha of irrigated
Rainfed Agriculture contributes 60 percent of agriculture supports only 4 persons, whereas
world’s food from 80 percent of cultivated land. dryland agriculture provides support to 20.
Dr.Wani termed it as ‘home of world’s poor and
He pointed out that Rainfed agriculture
malnourished people’. The problem is that the
depends on rainfall infiltrated in the soil and
yields from rain-fed agriculture are low in
green water consumption is almost 3-fold more
semi-arid tropical agro ecosystems. Though the
than blue water consumed for food production
green revolution drove away food shortage of
(5000 vs 1800 km3 yr-1). In this context there is
1960’s but, ‘it was at a cost’. Irrigated
a need to change the way we think about
agriculture accounts for more than 70 percent
water and agriculture; artificial divide between
of water withdrawals and there are competing
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

irrigated and rainfed agriculture need to be

demands for water. He boldly stated that we
discarded. Rainfed systems are to be upgraded
need to change our thinking on water and
in a holistic way. Small catchment
agriculture; we need to discard the artificial
management could be one such effective
divide between rainfed and irrigated
instruments. He felt that poverty can be ‘fought’
agriculture and there is no way that we can
by improving access to agricultural water and
neglect the rainfed agriculture. He emphasized
its use. For that there is a need to enhance
that small catchment scale water harvesting and
water use efficiency and deal with trade-off and
supplemental irrigation will go a long way. Our
make different choices.
emphasis should be on the Water Use Efficiency;
otherwise we cannot meet the demand for food. Dr. Wani suggested to harness the vast
‘untapped’ potential of rainfed agriculture. He There is widespread deficiency of
said that productivity of rainfed agriculture can micronutrients and there is also evidential
be doubled with the available technology, we participatory research and demonstration that
know what to do but not how to do it. crop yields would increase substantially with
Community watersheds are silently application of Zn, B and S. He suggested that
revolutionizing the rainfed agriculture, though in the short term ‘mapping of nutrient
there are some issues that need to be addressed. deficiencies’ country wide and measures to
In this sense, more investments in rainfed rectify deficiencies are needed and in the
agriculture are needed to cover large area and long-term, state of the art soil analysis
adopt holistic livelihood approach. laboratories at district level need to be
Convergence of watershed programs in the established to provide necessary information to
country and efficient sustainable institutional the farmers. Enabling policies for promoting
mechanisms from community-district-state- organic sources of fertilizers and bio-pesticides
national level are urgently needed. Enabling are also needed.
policies for sustainable development and use of
In conclusion Dr. Wani observed that the
water and land resources also need to be
‘productivity of Rainfed Agriculture could be
doubled and livelihoods of small farmers can
According to Dr. Wani, Indian rainfed soils are be improved substantially with the available
‘Thirsty and Hungry’ as reflected in an analysis technologies’. It needs serious efforts and
of 3622 soil samples from farmers’ fields in investments (a new paradigm) to put suitable
Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, mechanism in place to ‘translate potential into
Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. actual yield and income’. ■
Organic Farming through various initiatives in
India - from impoverishment to Empowerment with
Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability for
Farmers and Farming
Shri Ashok Bang
Director, AARC, Chetana Vikas
S hri Ashok’s presentation was based on

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

experiences of farmers located in Vidharba of
Maharastra, a farmers’ suicide affected area. He
started by saying that modern science and
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
is happening not only in Vidharba but also in
neighbouring states and mostly in rainfed
areas. The problems are well known. are resource poor, including some women.
The model that he presented was developed This presentation provided the necessary
under farmers conditions. He exuded confidence statistical data and case studies of some
that though the model is in stage 1, it helps farmers who adopted this model. This
farmer to go ahead in substantial measures and experience in essence assures higher
take off is possible. productivity, profitability, sustainability and low
risk for rainfed areas, with several other
The key features of this model are natural
resource management, i.e. soil & water
conservation; with inside field bunds done by Shri Ashok Bang suggested some measures and
village engineers (trained at the centre). This support systems for upscaling this initiative.
resulted in 5 week tolerance for rainfall fail. These include providing recurring inputs for pest
Other features include appropriate seeds which and disease management, appropriate seeds etc.
are not high-input-varieties, use of local labour, Infrastructure like cattle shed with non-
skills, wisdom, renewable bullock power and absorbent flooring for urine and droppings,
other low-external-input but high-internal- biogas, toilets for recycling of human waste,
regeneration-of-input techniques, which are godown and warehousing, bullocks and
organic. Consortium of more than 35 improved implements, etc. The needed
companion crops (food & cash crops) provided institutional framework consists of Self Help
the synergy effect. It gave rich diversity of food Groups (SHG) of women and men, of farmers,
crops for family consumption giving food of consumers for healthy food, Participatory
security, affordable nutrition security and Guarantee Scheme of Certification (PGS) and
improvement of soil health on various scientific strengthening local markets and producer-
parameters. consumer relationship. Capacity Building
through different means like improving
The next cornerstone is 35 different crops in 1
knowledge, skills, live demonstrations on
ha which efficiently captures the solar energy
resource centers and farmers’ fields,
of 1200 kg Cal/ day/ sq. ft. This 35 crop mix is
organizing exposure visits etc. need to be
carefully planned to give the desired benefits.
facilitated. Improved weather forecast facility
This includes cash crops, cereals, pulses, etc. The
with expanded outreach should be provided.
sowing takes one to one and half days. Most of
In the financial front, establishing Price
the family needs are met from the farm. Net
Stabilization Fund (PSF) and providing crop loan
income from 1 hectare, for which data is
for organic manures, wages, bullocks etc. are
available from 7 years, is increasing. Millions of
the implications.
farmers can be brought above poverty line with
this model he said. Total net income has There are some overall policy considerations
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

increased from Rs. 5000 in 2nd year to Rs.24,000 relating to these aspects. He said that farmers
in the 7th year. It gives better soil fertility, and can do most of the things if they are provided
rich and nutritious food. This food and remunerative & stable prices for agro-produce
nutrition security is affordable and sovereignty and focus to be shifted away from wheat and
lies with the farmer. Apart from 1500 kg of rice to nutritious cereals and pulses. In this sense
manure there is no external input. On 7 there is a need to ‘help farmers feed themselves
different parameters the soil health with dignity’. Efforts should also be there to
improvement is seen over 5 years. About 100 support resource centres.
farmers have adopted this model, most of them ■
Building a Farmers Owned Company (Chetana)
Producing and Trading Fair Trade-Organic
Shri H. Lanting
CEO, ETC Consultants India
S hri 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 input suppliers. An internal approval
the program. A total of about 20,000 acres is committee was set up that allocates
covered and total raw cotton yield is expected certification status to member farmers.
to be about 5,000 tons which means about 1,700
tons of lint. Food crop yield will be at least 8000 Among the financial interventions, credit and
Metric tons, mainly pulses. savings system was enabled among farmer
groups 6 months ahead of agricultural season.
The interventions started with organizing Linkages with rural banks were facilitated for
farmers in small groups of 20 who are first those farmers who wish to avail loans and
trained in aspects of group functioning and farmers’ groups were assisted in getting access
thrift operations. These groups are in turn to government schemes. Societies were
federated into MACS (Mutually Aided Co- supported in setting up their financial
operative Societies). Further these societies were administration.
integrated into (Producers) a company called
‘CHETANA’. Groups of farmer inspectors were Financial interventions include savings and

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

developed to conduct internal inspection. facilitating linkages with banks. Market
Groups of farmer trainers train new entrants inventions include linkages with input
into the program. There are also groups of suppliers and provide training on all market
farmer representatives that can play role in requirements. Interactions between certifying
farmers’ organization that is being set-up and bodies and farmers are facilitated, logistics of
enter into agreements with banks, buyers and marketing are also facilitated.
government. Marketing committees of farmers As part of market interventions, linkages were
at society level were set up to interact at farmer established with input suppliers and trainings
- buyer meets and enter into agreements with provided on aspects like quality, certification
requirements and post harvest handling. value) for the stored products. Rural banking
Interactions between certifying bodies and the should be strengthened and loaning process
farmers were facilitated. Relationships were should be made simpler.
established among potential buyers. Support
Lanting stated that working with small
for farmers was extended in negotiation
farmers is not viable as the investment in
process in terms of prices, delivery and payment
guiding and training per farmer and per Kg of
schedules and other logistics.
cotton is high. To become popular Organic
Improved seed, seed treatment, enriched cotton crop needs that it should be a major crop;
compost, intercropping, watershed it should not be threatened by less labour
interventions, drainage and farm ponds are part requiring crops and It should be yielding 4 qtls/
of technical interventions. As part of biomass acre (if the yields are higher it will be replaced
generation, Glyricidia was raised on bunds and by Bt cotton).
Sunhemp as border crop. This and use of weeds
In the end, Lanting observed that organic fair
gave 4 to 5 tonnes of compost per acre from the
trade market will remain a relatively small niche
third year. Horsegram was sown as green
market with at most a market share of say 5%.
manure crop. Shri Lanting shared that
Building linkages with reliable quality input
Panchgavya and poultry manure were tried.
suppliers and banks is a must. Government
Various organic measures were undertaken for
schemes for land development and biomass
Pest and Disease Management.
production as well as organic inputs can be
Lanting said that what started with 240 availed. Building linkages with buyers and
farmers in 2004 now reached 5500 farmers with having buy-back arrangements in place is also
20,000 acres under organic cultivation. Some crucial. Government could give a helping hand
major benefits observed with this initiative are: in the first three years of changing over to
Organic cotton fetches Rs. 2500 instead of organic farming by providing preferred access
Rs. 1800 per quintal. Pest load is low. Risks for to markets for the prospective organic farmers,
farmers is decreasing as they use mainly own this will reduce drop-out rate.
inputs. Health of farmers and workers is better
The program demands subsidies to the tune of
due to no exposure to pesticides: a family saves
Rs 10,000 per farmer per year (or Rs 2000 per
about Rs 1500 per annum on medical expenses.
acre) for a period of 3 years over and above any
Pest incidence in organic farms is surprisingly
subsidies given on inputs or land development.
If buyers are ready to pay for certification costs,
He observed that the main problem is then subsidies can be reduced. A farmer will
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

converting the farmers to fully organic, but no earn per year an additional income of about Rs
premium price is paid because it is in transition 5000. Break-even of the investment can thus be
stage in food products. Storage facility is needed, expected within 7 years.
with cash paid (preferably 70% of the crop ■
Beyond Certified Organic Farming: An Emerging
Paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture
Dr. N.K. Sanghi
Adviser, WASSAN
T his 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.
Before presenting the key features of the
proposed approach, Dr.Sanghi tried to
differentiate it from the chemical as well as the
certified organic farming paradigms. The key
features of chemical farming are high
non-chemical methods of pest management
dependence on external inputs, credit and
(NPM). It can be with limited farmers during
extension. The organic farming on the other
first year which may lead to a ‘pesticide free
hand, is an intensive process, mostly limited to
village’ in about 3-4 years. The NPM approach
resource rich farmers, export market and
has high social relevance as reflected in
depends heavily on external support in terms
reduction of suicides and pesticide induced
of price, market intelligence, certification of
severe sickness (as per the field experience in
produce, etc. Hence the scope of coverage and
Punukula village of Khammam district, Andhra
social relevance of the organic farming is also
Pradesh). The next step, focuses on selling the
pesticide free produce in local market at the
Main objectives of the proposed ecological existing market price during the first year which
farming are maintenance of high productivity, can be increased subsequently through small
reduction in cost of production and value addition. In third step, community
enhancement in self reliance. The advantages managed seed bank can be established with
are that it caters to both resource poor and improved varieties (to begin with). During
resource rich, the process is simple and subsequent years hybrids evolved under public

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

external support is needed in terms of exposure sector can be included. The last step is the
visit and little hand holding. It mainly addresses adoption of Non chemical methods of Nutrient
the needs of local market. The scope of Management (NNM). It can be initiated with
coverage and social relevance is also high. limited farmers during initial years depending
upon availability of raw materials. Through
There are 4 major steps in adoption of the
increase in biomass and livestock population
ecological farming. These are not sequential but
number of farmers can be increased.
can be overlapped depending upon the
circumstances. The first step is the adoption of This ecological approach is indigenous but
gradually disappearing due to constraints in policy considerations for promoting ecological
labour availability. It can now be revived approach. There is a need to document and
through incentive of labour under NREG analyze the successful experiences irrespective
scheme. SHGs and their federations can be part of source of innovation. A new scheme needs
of the institutional framework for promoting to be formulated for organization of SHGs,
ecological farming. The services of para federations and CIGs on a large scale. Labour
workers, successful farmers can be utilized and incentives under NREG should be provided for
experienced NGOs and GOs could provide shifting towards ecological farming. Financial
technical support. Financial support for assistance as revolving fund need to be provided
recurring inputs can be extended through to build corpus at federation of SHGs. He
revolving fund / institutional credit while the concluded his presentation by referring to the
one-time investment on equipments, etc can be noted Gandhian Nirmala Desh Pande’s lecture
made through contributory approach. emphasizing on ‘Non Violent Agriculture’.
Dr.Sanghi suggested certain follow up action / ■
Lead Discussion
Decentralized Food Security System: Experiences and Lessons
S tating that the PDS is a failed policy Dr. Ch.
Radhika Rani, NIRD shared the experiences
related to decentralized food security system
based on local resources. She stressed on two
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. made functional through effective public and
She suggested to include Pulses and Millets into private partnership through their involvement
the Public Distribution System by procuring for input supply, technical support and output
them at the market rate as this would marketing.
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

encourage their production.

She made few suggestions regarding effective
Dr.Radihika Rani felt that there is no need for delivery of services. Strengthening Farmers
creating alternate institutional mechanism for Clubs and promoting models like E- Choupal
power sector. What is needed is ensuring 9 hours were among them. She also suggested to
of uninterrupted power supply to rainfed establish primary processing facilities at village
farmers through the existing institutional, level under the purview of Panchayat. Efforts
functional framework. She laid emphasis on should be made to promote use of organic
formation of Commodity Groups and manure either through SHGs or by individuals.
Commodity Boards. These Boards could be State government should make efforts to
distribute the organic manure to farmers trade policy, she felt that there should be proper
through Panchayats on subsidy basis. It was correspondence between domestic trade and
also suggested to promote SHGs to take up lease tariff policy and there is a need to involve CACP
farming. She favoured land reforms to be in in the process.
favour of legalizing tenancy towards SHGs. On ■
Kalahandi Anchalika Gramya Bank -
A grain bank promoted by NABARD
S hri D. K. Routray, AGM, NABARD presented
about one of Bank’s initiatives in Kalahandi
district of Orissa to address the issue of food
security. Thuamul Rampur is the third most
under developed block among 314 blocks of
Orissa. This tribal dominated block is a malaria
endemic zone with innumerable problems.
These increased the tribals vulnerability. 63%
households face food stress for about 6 months
and another 23% face the same for 3-5 months.
Only 3% of households had food security for
with an innovative approach where the SHGs
entire year. People take loan in the form of cash
played the vital role. It proved that the
and grains from the local money lenders which
commercial banks also have role in sustaining
ultimately led most of them into loan trap. Loan
the grain banks. The characteristics of this
for food used to be taken for 70 days in a year.
initiative are: synergy between SHGs and Grain
Crop diversity, forest based economy and bank, monetizing the grain savings and stock
Kutumb Panthi (Traditional village bank of for bank linkage, decentralized and flexible
grains) were part of the traditional coping norms for operation, adoption of traditional
mechanism. Factors like depletion of forest cover, storage system, easy repayments and linkages
introduction of cash crops, free grazing, with seed bank, PDS and government programs.
natural calamities and punitive law/regulations
This project covered 17 tribal dominated villages
restricting access to land resources gradually led
in two Gram Panchayats consisting of 353
to food insecurity among the tribals. Kutumb
vulnerable families, predominantly STs. 29
Panthi also got destroyed in course of time. Some
SHGs (all women) were formed which had

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

grain banks established by NGO’s which became
Rs.162230/- as cash savings and 1886 Kgs of
defunct due to various reasons. Grain banks
grain savings. These SHGs were provided with
were promoted with support from ITDA also.
ITDA Revolving fund and also linked with
Matching support in terms of grain & storage
banks. 20 quintals of rice was given to each
facilities made these grain banks functional with
Gram Panchayat as matching grant. 3 Central
monitoring done by the NGOs. But they were
Grain Banks (Maltipadar, Sikerguda, Silet) were
also plagued with repayment issues.
established and storage houses were
In these circumstances, NABARD promoted constructed. All SHG members were covered
Kalahandi Anchalika Gramya Bank - a grain bank under S S scheme of LIC India.
Operationalizing this was not a smooth affair. both the community and NABARD. SHGs
It consisted of enough challenges in terms of became distinct platforms for socio – cultural &
monetising the economy, developing banking economic development and they could avail
habit and managerial skills, substituting loan in the form of cash and grain from the same
moneylenders in an effective manner, point. Women empowerment process got
providing grain and money under single strengthened and exploitation by money
window. Establishing market linkages for the lenders reduced. Community got fair price for
SHG products was a difficult task. It was their produce and distress sale was reduced.
difficult for the community to sustain the grain Linkages were established with Bank and other
bank in the face of threats from the money Institutions and Bank expanded its clientele. An
lenders. Sustaining the community feeling & peer innovative banking system was developed and
pressure and integrating with other income reinforcement through grain bank led to better
generating programs was another challenge. recovery of loans.
Inspite of these issues, there were benefits to ■
Jaivik Krishi
Farming, Rishi Krishi, Homa Organic farming,
Nateuco Farming, Natural Farming etc. The
uniqueness of this approach lies in its
adherence to an agricultural calendar. He
explained about seed treatment with Bija Mitra,
preparation of bio-enhancer Ziwa Mitra,
Mulching, Nutrient Management with legumes
and bio enhancers like Zeevamrita/ Panchagavya
/ Vermi wash etc, pest and disease management
with organic pesticides, herbicides and
D r. R. K. Pathak, Chief Consultant- National appropriate crop rotation. He concluded his
Horticulture Mission (NHM) explained about presentation by observing that “…if under
this innovative organic production system. It is taken with organic mind set, ‘Jaivik Krishi’ is a
an integration of selected techniques from ray of hope to sustain soil fertility and quality
different existing organic production systems of life on this planet…”
like Biodynamic Farming, Panchagavya ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Open Discussion
A t the outset, there were observations that Dr. J. Venkateswarlu pointed out that
agronomical measures were not given enough ecological farming is not just about crops but
attention in the presentations. Some also also includes livestock and biomass components.
enquired about the validation parameters for Shri Ashok Bang observed that ‘soil should be
approaches like Jaivik Krishi and it was seen not as static or dead entity but as a
observed that ‘over universalization inspite of dynamic living process’. Focusing on the labour
spatial variability’ is to be dealt with caution. intensity aspect Dr. Bandi Venkateshwarlu
questioned about the kind of ‘mechanization’ question, Dr. Wani observed that, “….the choice
that can be included and possible collaboration should be left to the patient after making the
between technical knowledge and field needs. diagnosis. Let the farmer decide if he wants to
add organic matter for addressing the
There were heated moments on the discussion
deficiencies of soil...”. Ram Badan Singh felt that
about soil nutrient management whether it
the spurious inputs should be controlled; the
should be with external fertilizers or with
first thing is to fight corruption. ■
internal organic matter. Responding to a
Rainfed Areas must get centre stage
Dr. Ram Badan Singh
Member, National Commission on Farmers
C hairperson Dr. Ram Badan Singh (Member,
National Commission on Farmers) concluded
the session with his remarks on the
presentations and subsequent discussion. On
soil nutrient management, he remarked that
“Soils are thirsty and hungry ... if a child is
hungry, he should be fed today… not
tomorrow.” The need is to have a corrective
system that addresses the issue scientifically. It
should be ‘friendly’ to the soil and not ‘harm’ it.
Since rainfed areas had low soil nutrients and Resource allocation must be at least on par with
inadequate, erratic rainfall, the focus of allocation to the irrigational areas. Till date
intervention should be on improving the soil emphasis was given to improve irrigated
and moisture regime. Further the per hectare agriculture by spending huge investments, but
availability of cultivable land was also still 2/3 of area in the country is under rainfed
shrinking, therefore it is all the more important conditions. Policies and programs should try
that the results of interventions are measured and see how productivity in this vast area could
on ‘crop per drop’ basis i.e. how much water is be increased.
used for cultivating a particular crop and how As the rainfed areas are marked by high
the water use efficiency can be improved. He poverty, the focus of attention should be to

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

also felt that since about 225 million people were ensure livelihood security he emphasized. Thus,
dependent on these areas for food security, there a total farming systems approach that entails
was a need to have a balance between organic the comprehensive livelihoods framework,
and chemical inputs. The ICRISAT study did which included livestock and horticulture, is
show that it was possible to increase most important component in the rainfed and
productivity per hectare without harming the semi-arid areas. Since rainfed areas have
environment. fragile ecosystem, eco-friendly agricultural
He observed that rainfed areas must get centre practices need to be adopted. He suggested
stage in social, economical and political scene. that the new paradigm may be termed as ‘green
agriculture’, ‘eco-friendly approach’, etc. and National Horticulture Mission that can be
allocated to address the concerns of theses
Dr. Singh said that in rainfed areas soil and
rainfed areas. The focus of this investment
water are critical - water without soil is no use
should not be only on increasing productivity
and soil without water, there can be no
but also on agro processing, dairying etc which
agriculture. In that sense, there is a dire need of
would create off – farm employment thereby
judicious management of both these critical
reducing the pressure on the land. Funds can
elements. He felt that the farmers in dryland
be allocated for community grain banks and
areas had very little idea of the technological
access to food can be enhanced through
developments in agriculture, which indicates
employment generation. There are many such
the need to strengthen the extension
examples and if this is done farming can be seen
mechanisms. He stressed on the ‘knowledge
as ‘productive, income generating and an
based agriculture’ and observed that we have
effective livelihood process.’ There is a need for
failed in effective knowledge transfer in many
a more comprehensive management of the
aspects like IPM, water use efficiency etc.
resources in rainfed areas. Policies and
Farmers’ awareness and knowledge is very
programs at the national and state level urgently
much important for rainfed areas and if the
need to focus on increasing the growth rate of
farmer is given knowledge, the vulnerability of
agriculture which is at present less than 2%.
rainfed areas can be addressed. He called upon
He called upon the workshop to strongly
the concerned to “... Go to the grass root and
advocate for social thinking and capital
empower the farmers as they are the people
build-up to work upon bettering rainfed areas
who use research.”
and make recommendations that addresses the
Dr. Singh also emphasized on the need for concerns related to the farmer, from plough to
confluence of national ongoing programs for plate.
investment in rainfed areas. There is enough
money in programs like Bharat Nirman, NREG ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Parallel Sessions
Critical Support Systems for Upscaling Successful Experiences
on 6 major themes associated with Rainfed Farming
Theme - A: Pest Management through Non Pesticidal Methods

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. V.L. Chopra, Member, Planning Commission
Shri H. Lanting, CEO, ETC
Shri G. Chandrasekhar, CSA
Pest Management through NPM -
A Continuing Journey
Dr. M.S. Chari
Former Director (CTRI), ICAR
came into picture with promised reduction in
pest incidence and pesticides costs. The
farmers are slowly coming back to Green
Revolution era by spraying 12-34 times on some
crops like Bt cotton. It has reached a state where
in about Rs.700 crores worth of pesticides were
used in Punjab alone. In coconut, Europhyd
mite has become a major problem – state
governments recommended root injection of
pesticide but it did not work. Aerial spraying
was recommended to control the same, which
D r Chari started his presentation by giving a was opposed. The pest has come from Srilanka
due to quarantine problem. Spodoptera pest,
quotation from Dr. M. S. Swaminathan on the
present agrarian crisis: “If Farm Ecology and which can be seen walking on roads, is
Economics go wrong nothing else will go right in attacking crops in large numbers.
agriculture. This is the principal message of the Dr. Chari stated that pesticide use in India is
current agrarian crisis.” still high, environmental load of pesticides is
He stated that the crisis in agriculture is due to maximum in Punjab, Haryana, Andhra
ever increasing expenditure on agricultural Pradesh and Tamilnadu. Indian pesticide
production; unfavourable agricultural Pricing industry is the largest in Asia and 12th largest
Policy; limitations of Watershed Development; in the world. The production of pesticides is
non-availability of inputs at right time (NPM/ 90,000 MT per year and it is valued at Rs. 4500
IPM); poor seed replacement ratio and non crores per annum. While America is using 16
availability of timely credit. He gave statistics kgs of pesticides per acre it is about 800 gm/
of farmers’ suicides in Andhra Pradesh, which acre in the country. He gave statistics of
was 221 in the year 1998 which increased to pesticides consumptions in few states of the
2115 in 2004. According to him, the crisis in country. He also statistically showed that use
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

agriculture can be felt in various aspects. One of pesticides is gradually coming down. This
major concern is that minor pests in various might be due shift to low volume high value
crops are becoming major pests. In Punjab and pesticides. He gave pesticide usage in different
Gujarat there is resurgence of mealy bug and crops vis a vis their cropped area. Listing the
white fly in Bt cotton. Spider mites have become major pesticides used in the country he stated
major pests because of excessive use of carbaryl that internationally banned pesticides like
in Gujarat decades back. Apart from these stem Monocrotophos are yet to be banned in the
borer, stem weevil, spodoptera have become country.
major pests in Bt cotton. This has benefited the He observed that brinjal crop is sprayed with
pesticides companies and dealers. Bt cotton 34 pesticide sprays during one crop season.
Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) has skills, local resources. Instead of resorting to
developed NPM technology for this crop with control measures during damaging stage, pest
support from Natural Resources Institute. should be managed so that it does not reach to
Similarly, another organization developed trap damaging proportions. It involves increasing the
technology for cabbage moth. Chillies exports knowledge base of the farmers to identify the
are going down and they are being turned down stage in which pest can be easily controlled and
by receiving countries because of high pesticidal increasing the technical skills of the farmers to
residues. use the locally available materials. For NPM to
be successful the community has to be
He gave the FAO definition for IPM: “… it
organized for group action on large scale which
means a pest management system that, in the
multiplies the effectiveness of the pest
context of the associated environment and the
management practices. Listing the issues in
population dynamics of the pest species, utilizes
NPM, Dr. Chari stated the need for promoting
all suitable techniques and methods in as
sustainability of crop production by
compatible manner as possible and maintains
developing and adopting low cost systems of
the pest populations at levels below those
NPM. As 75% of the farm holdings are small
causing economically unacceptable damage or
and marginal, the resource-poor farmers would
loss”. He stated that IPM needs group action
need simple, economic and effective methods
and then listed various components of the
of pest management suited to their farm
programme. Dr. Chari then went on to list the
constraints in IPM in a government programme:
lack of group action in the village; aggressive Dr. Chari recalled how NPM was started by
marketing of pesticides; absence of Centre for World solidarity (CWS) in 1989-93
decentralized decision making process, non with management of Red Hairy Catterpillar in
favorable government policies, poor extension Castor. The loss due to this pest in castor crop
service system and non-availability of inputs. alone was Rs. 12 – 14 crores during that time.
The NPM approach was successful and was
Dr. Chari gave the definition of Non Pesticidal
implemented in about 4561 hectares and the
Management (NPM) as: “ …. a system that, in
farmers gained substantially. Punukala village
the context of the associated environment &
is in the forefront of NPM movement from that
population dynamics of the pest species, utilizes
time itself. Starting with 8 members in 2001-02
all sustainable techniques in as compatible
the entire village became pesticide free in 2003-
manner as possible and maintains the pest
04. Effective monitoring by facilitating
population at levels below those causing
organizations, participation of women,
economic injury level as per farmers
involvement of Panchayat and utilization of
knowledge”. He further emphasized this by
local resources are behind this success. As a

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

saying that it is simply not the juxta-position or
result there is savings not only in cost of
super-imposition of two or more control
cultivation but also in health related
techniques but the integration of all suitable
expenditure. Migration has gone down. Since
management techniques in a harmonious
the success, there is continuous flow of visitors
manner with natural regulating elements of the
from various walks of life to learn from this
unique experiment.
Dr. Chari emphasized that farmers need to be
Since then NPM has spread fast and now it is a
educated regarding pests and predators. He
state wide movement with more than 1.5 lakh
stated that NPM involves replacing external
acres with 90,000 farmers under NPM with
chemical products with farmers knowledge,
Mandal Mahila Samakyas and Indira Kranthi
Patham providing the platform for the same. shift from input centric to knowledge centric
Several NGOs are involved as facilitating/ agriculture. Farmers manage the pests by
anchor organizations at the district level with knowledge, management skills, labour and
CSA providing the state level coordination and community action. Natural processes and
technical support. From castor it is now natural products are used to the fullest
undertaken in other crops like cotton, redgram, potential. Farmers understand the pest
groundnut, paddy, chillies, etc. behaviour and manage it before it reaches
damaging stage and proportion. The life cycle
Dr. Chari stated that the savings to the farmers
of the insects is understood in detail and
as a result of adopting NPM practices ranges
effective pest surveillance and crop
from around Rs. 1000 for redgram and
management practices are followed.
groundnut and more than Rs. 10,000 for
chillies. Due to this and as a result of better yields Dr. Chari stated that Non Pesticidal
there are higher returns for farmers in all the Management is an approach to crop protection
crops. He remarked that NPM is essentially a based on ecosystem management which
Salient differences between NPM and IPM
● Adopted by Small and Marginal farmers ● Rich and Big Farmers with large land holdings
● Deep Summer ploughing ● Deep Summer ploughing
● Tolerant varieties ● GM varieties/hybrids
● Random planting of sorghum ● Not followed
● Crop Rotation ● Monocropping, mostly
● Intercrop ● Intercrop
● Trap crop ● Trap crop
● NSKE 5% (locally prepared) by farmers/SHGs ● Neem commercial compounds
● Neem oil 3%(Locally prepared) ● Neem commercial compounds
● Chilli Garlic Extract (IK available with farmers) ● Not Accepted as no branded product is available
in the market
● Cattle dung Urine (Indigenous Knowledge) ● Not recommended by Scientists
● Pheromone traps @5/ha ● Pheromone traps @5/ha
● Release of Trichogramma ● Release of Trichogramma
● Bird perches @25/ha ● Bird perches @25/ha
● Yellow sticky plates @5/ha ● Yellow sticky plates @5/ha
● NPV 500 LE/ha ● NPV 500 LE/ha
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

● Shaking method (IK) ● Not recommended

● No use of Pesticides as pests never reach ● Loaded with Pesticides
damaging level
● No pest Resurgence reported ● Pest Resurgence is very common
● Decision making by family (farmer and wife) ● Top down approach (ICAR, NCIPM, PPA and
State Govts)
● Group Action at Village level (cropping system) ● Individual farmers/crop based
● NGO based knowledge empowerment/SERP ● Government based extension service system at
State level/GOI
maintains natural equilibrium and reduces the needed through political will at State and
risk of crop damage by pests. He listed the key National level. Crop protection research and
issues and challenges of NPM. It was strongly extension schemes should be reformed so that
proposed that participatory NPM is the most they give more support to farmers initiatives on
effective option for large scale introduction in NPM. There should be increased coordination
watershed programmes. For this local NGOs and cooperation among governments and
adopting NPM needs to be supported and NGOs. NPM policies should be integrated into
encouraged. NPM should be incorporated in rainfed agriculture.
ongoing programme/ projects related to
Dr. Chari concluded by stating that it is time to
Agriculture, Rural Development, Community
go for organic. He quoted G. Arun Kumar (as
Development and Poverty Alleviation. National
reported in Times of India, September 19,2007):
NPM programmes should be further developed
“I am Wondering why you get frequent stom-
so that participatory NPM training is available
ach upsets despite following the most nutritious
to larger number of farmers. Involvement of
diet possible? Your health is in your hands
women should be improved by incorporating
and pesticides free food is the ‘prescription’ to
explicit gender strategies at all stages of
keep you hale and hearty.” ■
development. Better policy environment is
Analysis of Existing Policies and Programmes for
Pest Management in Agriculture – Limitations and
Shri D.V. Raidu
IAS (Retd), State Project Adviser (NPM), SERP
S hri Raidu stated that Andhra Pradesh has
largest network of women SHGs. Women, apart
from their myriad activities, were into
marketing operations and they requested for
intervention in cultivation of redgram to reduce
cost of cultivation. After successful piloting and
experimentation, SERP decided to upscale the
pilots .

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Shri Raidu made an analysis of various existing
schemes in GoI on pest management starting
with Technology Mission on Cotton. The insecticide resistance management; seed
components of this scheme are FFS (with treatment with pesticides including Tri-
different sub-components such as Agro-Eco choderma; surveillance and monitoring of
System Analysis by regular field visits, growing diseases and pests; distribution of pheromone
healthy crop, conserving natural enemies due traps/ light traps, bio-agents/ bio-pesticides
to which farmer becomes expert in decision and human resource development. He observed
making); season long training of facilitators; that some of these schemes provide pesticides
on subsidy, which is contrary to the mulch/ biomass. Stating that the usage of
philosophy. pesticides runs contrary to conservation of
natural enemies of crop pests and distorts
Shri Raidu then listed the components of
agro-ecosystem, he recommended its
controlling red hairy caterpillar: deep summer
discontinuation in the various schemes.
ploughing, community bonfires within 48 hours
of first showers, light traps, mechanical Dealing the financial and institutional
removal and destruction of eggs, growing trap components of these schemes, he said that these
crops, distribution of milkweed (Calotropis)/ are presently individual based and it can be
castor twigs, digging trenches around field and through CBOs. Can the input subsidy go for
dusting chemicals, spraying insecticides, poison Capacity Building either as revolving fund or
baiting with rice bran + jaggery + quinalphos. as grant, he queried. Instead of giving subsidy
He commented that several of these on pesticides he argued that the money should
components are in accordance with NPM, but go to develop neem plantations. Support is also
digging trenches around field and dusting needed for purchasing bullocks, neem
chemicals, pesticides and poison baits are not pulveriser, spraying equipment, mini dal mills,
necessary. He opined that these need to be implements etc, to be made available to the
replaced. community on custom hire basis. He also
argued that the money should be invested in
Components of Integrated Scheme of Pulses,
community for sharing/ transfer of knowledge,
Oilseeds, Maize (ISOPOM) provides for (apart
particularly below the mandal level. He
from the other regular components) 50%
wondered what would happen once the
subsidy on pesticides, involvement of private
subsidy or the programme is withdrawn (by the
sector including NGOs, farmers’ organisations,
cooperative bodies, public sector agencies in
seed production, supply of inputs, extension Shri Raidu elaborated on the alternate
support, block and frontline demonstrations. He experiences that have a different story to tell.
stated that the states can take up innovative Experiences of controlling red hairy caterpillar
measures and additional components to the in 1990s showed that with technical
extent of 10% of the existent allocation. backstopping by KVKs, Department of
Agriculture and social mobilization by NGOs;
Analysing the various schemes, Shri Raidu
in 3 – 4 years of sustained efforts, the pest was
commented that the technical components are
done away with in about 40 villages by
not focusing on farmers’ livelihoods. He argued
involving the community. Further, there was
that this should involve women and small and
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

no reduction in yield due to this non-chemical

marginal farmers. He recommended that these
approach. It was proactive; educating on the
technical components should be agriculture
life cycle of the pest, interrupting at pupae,
labour oriented in the rainfed areas. He
adult, egg and early instar stages.
questioned whether the factors tried are in
congruence with natural processes and Another experience was of Punukula village in
natural cycles. Dwelling on weeds, he said that Khammam district, which was facing fatigue
there is a need for a paradigm shift in our of pesticides. Pesticide cost was going up and
concept and approach. Weeds should be seen net farm incomes were coming down. Health
as uncultivated food/ medicine/ fodder/ hazards to farm women and labour were
common. At least two pesticide poisoning cases There is a strong CBO movement nurtured by
were reported every week. Community with the SERP over past 15 years with the Poorest of the
facilitation of an NGO banned the usage of Poor, Poor, small and marginal farmers. The
pesticides and their entry into the village. Sustainable Agriculture programme has
Capacity building of the farmers in particular practicing farmer as village facilitator, one
and community in general was undertaken on cluster facilitator for a group of 5 villages,
pest life cycles and intervention in early stages. community resource person from SHG. CBOs
NGO, SHGs and sarpanch were the key own the programme and manage them and
players in adopting Non-Pesticidal NPM sub committees are formed. Sasya Mitra
Management (NPM). Traditional knowledge groups conduct periodical review.
was used, including botanicals. As a result of Community seed banks need to be established
these interventions, ecology is getting restored where the community decides upon the variety
and the count of beneficial insects is going up. to be multiplied, and after multiplication
Also cost of cultivation and health expenditure distributes the seed. He stated that presently
are reduced. With increased incomes farmers they are being implemented in 70 villages and
brought back their mortgaged land. Now small that will be upscaled in all the 18 districts in
farmers are taking land on lease from big phases. This is being integrated with NREGS.
farmers. Presently marketing is done without any
There are several challenges in upscaling these premium price and integrated in to food
experiences into the mainstream programme. security program of CBOs. The objective is to
Knowledge transfer should take place (on pest taking forward NPM in rainfed areas to Organic
and disease life cycles and on beneficial farming with group certification and without
organisms) and CBOs should be involved. yield reduction. He also shared with the
Technical backstopping should be done at participants that an MoU was signed with GOI
farmer level. For successful implementation it for Rs. 182 crores for 5 years for implementing
needs bias towards small and marginal organic farming in rainfed areas in AP.
farmers and farm women. The other challenges Shri Raidu suggested that there could be
are: lack of employment opportunities for convergence with Department of Agriculture,
agriculture labour leading to migration; where Mandal Agriculture Officers would work
neutralising influence of market forces; erosion as technical facilitators on NPM/ Ecological
of traditional technical know-how; depletion of farming. Research validation of certain
natural resource base and bio-diversity; traditional/ popular treatments (panchagavya,
prevalence of high energy intensive agriculture

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

amrutpani, brahmastram, gobanam, etc.) is
models; etc. required. The topics on ecological farming
Shri Raidu also listed the opportunities for should be made part of course curriculum in
upscaling the NPM approach. He said that schools. Demonstration centres at KVKs should
whereas the Department of Agriculture has be developed as model ecological farms and
technical manpower above mandal level, SERP seed development centres.
has strength in below mandal to farm gate level. ■
Open Discussion
how to sell the process in place of physical
Shri Routray was curious about the impact on
yield in transition phase. To this Dr. Chari
responded that initially there was scare in the
farmers that the yields would be low. However,
there was gradual change in this fear and it was
established that there is no reduction in yields.
He stated that not a single farmer complained
about yield loss in the last 20 years.
S tarting the discussion Chairperson Dr. V L
Chopra shared his experiences. He recalled the Responding to the queries, Shri Raidu stated
emergence of IPM with the objective of keeping that KVK, Kurnool and independent scientists
the pesticide use at a minimal level. However, are doing adaptation rate analysis. The
in actual practice it couldn’t be so due to emphasis during the first year is on
various reasons and the objectives were not understanding life cycles and botanicals for pest
achieved. In this background NPM came into management. The next year other practices
picture. He stated that NPM is not just a matter were introduced. The question is whether we
of faith but is applicable on farm; it is should flash the various options available to the
sustainable and up-scalable. But this needs farmer or give a prescriptive recommendation.
incisive knowledge, cooperative action of The adaptation rate depends on this factor. He
farmers and the community, readjustment of further stated that the NPM approach is being
the policy of the government; a remunerative adopted in 11-12 crops. Due to this, healthy
price for such produce. In this context he posed food and cotton is being produced. He disclosed
certain queries: what are the messages that we that farmer-wise database is available, of which
give to research community for their package 70-80% are small and marginal farmers. Chilly
of practices; how they move from individual to crop is a major pesticide consumer wherein
group action. He also emphasized on asserting NPM is successful. He observed that while
political influence to bring in knowledge touring in rural areas interactions with the
society. community is not needed as tell tale signs of
NPM such as pheromone traps, sticker plates,
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Shri Narasimha Reddy wanted to know the

border crops are visible everywhere.
continuation of the NPM practices by the
farmers. He also wanted to know the number Dr. Chopra opined that more is said on
of crops in which NPM approach is adopted philosophical basis rather than empirical basis,
and whether the approach towards small and and requested that this should be resolved.
marginal farmers was successful. Dr. Amita Central to NPM/ IPM is a requirement of
Shah queried whether there is a case for farmers’ organization which is totally
making output price support. Shri M.V. community based. Are we in a position to
Ramchandrudu wanted the emphasis to be on ensure that we will be able to organize the
community, at cluster level of villages, where
the entire community will take one direction,
he queried. Raidu informed about the SHG
structure, which is implementing various
programmes since 3 to 5 years. He also said that
whole village concept will start in one year and
upscaling is taking place from 60 to 350 acres
and to whole village.
Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu said that it is not just
extension but also technical support that the various practices and not prohibit any; so
farmers need. Farmer’s organization is not a uniform thought is difficult, he opined.
prerequisite, he opined and said that if it is there
Making the concluding remarks Dr. Chopra
it would be good. He felt that farmers organize
commented that by organizing the community
on their needs and not on our rationale; if they
one can kill hundred birds with one stone.
see benefit they will get organized. He suggested
Agreeing that there is a case for public support;
that the Government should put in money for
he said that is why production subsidies are
organizing the farmers. He suggested for
given but this creates distortions. He felt that if
looking at innovative ways of custom hiring,
the subsidies go on community basis then it
and organizing biomass production centres.
would be better and that this would
Co-chairperson Mr. Lanting said that insects revolutionise agriculture. He also shared about
that are coming from sprayed fields to the district level planning process wherein
non-sprayed fields is very less, with one excep- agricultural subsidies would be routed from
tion in Guntur. IKP says it can only promote existing schemes. ■

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Parallel Session
Theme - B: Seeds in the Hands of the Community
Shri S.L.Bhat, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture,
Government of India
Dr.N.D.Jambhale, ADG (Seeds), ICAR
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Shri D.K. Routray, AGM, NABARD
Making the opening remarks, Chairperson Dr. S L Bhat stated that seed is a very important issue.
The concern about seed availability has got national focus, which is reflected in the discussions
over the meetings of National Development Council and the Planning Commission.
Analysis of Existing Policies and Programmes
under Seed sector – Limitations and Opportunities
Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu
Executive Director, CSA
in many ways. The paradox is that no one is
ready to look at traditional varieties. The present
thrust of the government led extension is on seed
replacement ratio. However, what is needed is
the retention of good quality seed by the
farmers in the villages. This should have been
the campaign. He shared that only 18% of the
seed requirement is supplied by the seed
industry and public sector. Dr. Ramanjaneyulu
suggested that we should look at how the
D r. G.V.Ramanjaneyulu presented the remaining seed need is being met. Even for
analysis under the title ‘Seed – Out of Control: private sector the farmers produce the seeds,
Dynamics of Technology and Policies’. He while they do only packaging and selling. He
explained about the present situation in which opined that this can be done by any other agency
the farmers have to fight to get the seed. They at more favorable terms to the farmers.
stand in long queues to get seeds for their fields. Unfortunately there is no seed control
The institutional set up is not able to provide mechanism in Andhra Pradesh and farmers are
seeds in adequate quantities to the farmers. Thus being advised to go to consumer courts, where
the focus shifted to the private sector as the several cases are pending. He remarked that
major supplier of seeds. Most policies and Consumer Protection Act is inadequate and
legislations starting from the late 1980s shows farmer-unfriendly. MoU system is without any
a clear favoring of private sector entry and legal teeth; even where punishments were
expansion – several rights and incentives awarded, they were not executed.
bestowed on private sector, including exclusive
Seed industry in Andhra Pradesh is of Rs. 440
marketing rights. Research & Development is
crores and subsidy is to the tune of Rs. 180 crores,

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

focusing on hybrids and transgenic and the
most of it is for groundnut. This is distorting
research on varieties has decreased in crops like
the farmer seed retention practice; as they need
cotton and castor. Transgenic are more
to pay less for the subsidized seed. The share of
proprietary controlled, and the interest of the
public sector in seed production in the state is
private seed industry is focused on them. More
only to an extent of 17-20% and its market
and more laws are in the Intellectual Property
share is 21.5%. The seed production is
Rights framework.
concentrated among 10,000 dealers. There are
Dr. Ramanjaneyulu said that yield is seen as more than 440 seed producing companies/ firms
productivity; and he opined that it can be seen operating in the state. There are about 300
registered processing plants. There are more dominated by private sector. Mono-crop to
than one lakh seed producing farmers. The seed mono variety to mono genes has lead to
produced in the state is marketed in other states. monopoly of markets; which can be an
60% to 95% of the seed requirement for crops ecological disaster. Using MRTP, Andhra
like cotton, sorghum, pearl millet, sunflower, Pradesh government has reduced the cotton
hybrid rice, etc. in the country is met from price, however the seed producers got cotton
Andhra Pradesh. The state is presently removed from the essential commodities list.
adopting seed village programme on a Thus the price regulation is not applicable to it
commercial basis. The seed produced in the now. He raised the issue of technology vs. policy
programme is purchased and sold at another and the question of farmers’ rights. He observed
place. The margin in seed production is high, that the laws are protecting the interest of the
where neither the seed producers nor the industry and not the farmers. There is no
consumers are winners. He gave an example of technology focus on how to revive the seeds.
cotton hybrid seed where farmer gets 220 per The new Seed Bill is still pending.
kg, whereas packed seed is sold at 800 rupees
Stressing the need for farmer-centric seed
for 500 gm. He stated that the problem of
systems, he observed that quality, quantity,
spurious seed is enormous and that there is no
price, timely availability, access and
automatic monitoring. He also observed that
accountability seem to be issues in all the places.
public sector is weakened, being turned into
Dwelling on the alternatives he took the
procurement and distribution agency rather
examples of Mulkanoor Seed Producers
than seed production agency. Private sector is
Cooperative; DDS’s Community Gene Fund
interested in low volume and high value seed
project; CSA’s Seed Village Network
and not vice versa. While the public sector is
programme; Government’s Seed Village
striving for timely supply of quality seeds
Programme; Community Seed Banks of the
(paddy, groundnut etc.) on the other hand the
Rural Development Department; SERP
private sector is engaged in artificial shortfall
Community Seed Banks.
and black-marketing. There is no clear seed
production plan. He emphasized the need for Adding to the presentation, Shri Lanting
focusing on alternative mechanisms. observed that in cotton there is drive towards
long staple cotton varieties and that there are
Ensuring good quality seeds for timely sowing
no varieties for this even with CICR, Nagpur.
of rainfed farmer is the issue. Stating that there
Market is driving the seed development process
is lack of political will in enforcing regulations,
he lamented, and as a result farmers are finally
Dr.Ramanjaneyulu observed that the seed
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

losing control. Dr. Ramanjaneyulu reminded

prices are constantly rising. There is large and
that American cotton varieties were introduced
aggressive marketing. Presenting the cotton
to suit the spinning mills and 190 varieties were
scenario he said that now there is no public
withdrawn. ■
sector seed available and is completely
Community Managed Seed Bank in Rainfed Areas
– Need for New Mechanisms and Infrastructure
Dr. K. Tirupataiah
Special Commissioner,
Dept. of Rural Development, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
dominated by private agencies. The role of the
public sector seed agencies has been
marginalized and as a result quality and
accountability are at stake. There is inadequate
supply of seed when compared to the demand
aggravated by inordinate delays.
Systems were built around green revolution
with HYV as nucleus. But the rainfed areas did
not have the same nucleus to build around.
There is huge diversity in terms of crops and
D r. Tirupataiah started his presentation by
varieties cultivated and there is no fall back in
cases of non-germination of the seed. The
saying that seed is the origin of the life and
systems in irrigated areas and centralized
quoted ‘Yadha Beejam Tatha Phalam’ (You reap
systems are easy to operate with big farmers, as
as you sow). He said that seed is the most
they would show the results. However, in
important determinant of agricultural
dryland areas the issues are different. Seed
production potential in which the efficacy of
suppliers are not interested in high volume and
other agricultural inputs are dependent. The
low value and self pollinated crops which is the
National Seed Policy-2002 has arisen out of this
case with most of the rainfed crops. Seed
concern. He stressed that timely supply of seed
replacement ratio for pulses and oil seeds is very
is essential for sustained increase in agriculture
low (5-10%).
He referred about the alternative experiences
The presentation focused on three aspects:
in community based seed management of
i) seed replacement vs. retention; ii) efficient
Mulkanoor Cooperative Society, Karimnagar;
systems for timely supply of seeds and iii) need

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Seed Village Network of NGOs led by Centre
for the community seed banks. With most
for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), Hyderabad
favorable conditions for seed production,
and Community Gene Fund of Deccan
Andhra Pradesh has become the capital of seed
Development Society, Zaheerabad.
production in India. He gave the statistics of
the percentage of seed produced in the state for He then shared the experience of APRLP
crops like cotton, oil seeds, bajra, jowar, etc. (supported by DFID) with women groups in
Giving the data from the year 1953-54, he said establishing community seed banks. For this
that the quantity of certified seed produced in purpose the provision for productivity
the state is doubling every decade since 1980s. enhancement investment in the programme
But the present system is centralised and was used. Village Organisations (federation of
women SHGs) operated as producers, & variety wise seed requirement of watershed
financiers, managers and users, which is a shift village. DWMA facilitated procurement of
from vertically organized structure to breeder/ foundation seed from Agricultural
horizontal. The focus was on cost reduction and Research Stations.
timely availability of seed. The experience that
Farmers interested in seed multiplication were
started with 500 seed banks in watersheds is
identified and an agreement was made to
now upscaled to 3200 villages by Department
supply graded seed after harvest for further
of Agriculture. The budget provision of
multiplication. Seed is thus produced and
watershed is broken into productivity
shared within the village. Trainings were given
enhancement and livelihoods, which is made
to seed growing farmers for 3 days during the
available as grant for establishing the seed
crop period (sowing, flowering and harvesting
banks. Watershed villages served as nucleus
stages). Graded seed from farmers was procured
villages for seed production. Satellite villages
and stored by VO for distribution to farmers
were established for multiplication and scaling
during next season. VO was trained in grading
up. Technical support including training and
and proper storing of the seed.
visits were provided by ICRISAT consortium
and DWMA staff. The consortium provides The initiative has provided “seed independence”
hand holding through various stages and in and had a tremendous economic impact on the
every watershed there is an agriculture small and marginal farmers. It provided a
paraworker. There is no subsidy in the sustainable alternative seed system as well as
programme and the money is used as revolving livelihoods opportunities. This experience has
fund. Infrastructure and storage facilities are given the future direction to seed systems and
provided as part of the programme. threw up the needs for upscaling. He said that
thrust should be given to “third –tier” of seed
Dr. Tirupataiah said that the impacts of the
production system. Research should provide
programme are already visible: seed costs have
support to the seed village programme. The seed
gone down, it is available in time and there is
produced at village level is not for commercial
faith in the seed. But there are certain issues
purpose but for farmer to farmer exchange.
that need to be addressed. The two way
Thus there is a need to exempt it from licensing
transportation costs of the seed can be reduced.
and registration requirements. He stated that
He opined that if capital, infrastructure,
there should be recognition for decentralized
technological support and hand holding issues
seed production system.
are addressed the programme can be easily
upscaled. Dr. Tirupataiah recommended that drought
and other related funds should be channeled
Dr. Tirupataiah said that in this pilot with more
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

as seed subsidy in the form of revolving fund to

than 7000 farmers about 5000 quintals of seed
VO/CBOs to run the seed bank. He also
was produced, which would cover an area of
recommended that infrastructure support for
20,000 acres. He then captured the entire
storage facilities should be provided through
experience in the following process steps:
PM’s special package, etc. Concluding his
Village Organization (VO) was the presentation he said that the focus during the
implementing agency for watersheds and one last 3 years was on seeds for dryland farms and
agricultural para- worker was positioned in diverse seeds.
each watershed, who provides day to day field ■
support. They assist VO in assessing crop wise
Open Discussion
done on the requisition from textile ministry;
only cotton seed was on the list; there is a
requisition for renotification, which would be
done shortly.
Dr. Bhat said that there is no legal provision for
Truthfully Labeled (T/L) seed. The quality
claimed has to correspond with the notified
standards. He said that licensing and
registration are required for seed produced
under seed village programme. In France there
B efore opening the session for debate are laws that would punish use of uncertified
seeds. There is no doubt that seed laws, patents
Chairperson Dr. Bhat made his comments. He
commended the speakers for the two elaborate are heavily influenced by profit motive in other
and exciting presentations on seed scenario. countries but this will not work in our country.
However, he opined that the debate on seed is He shared with the group that the Seed Bank
skewed as with other issues. Presently the seed scheme has been extended to all the states.
situation is such that the farm saved seed Co-chairperson Dr. Jambhale opined that in
accounts for 80% of the need. Stating that if the rainfed crops voluminous seed is required,
quality of seed is to be improved then the farm which should be undertaken with NGOs. He
saved seed has to be improved and he said that observed that seed production chain is being
the government is focusing on it. The seed followed and the private sector is being
village programme has 3 components: seed, encouraged to ensure efficiency and timely
training, storage facility. There is no supply of seeds. In seed replacement the focus
compulsion of procurement. He opined that should be on desirable varieties and genetic
seed and agriculture is so complex and that one purity has to be maintained. He stated that
dimensional view is not possible. Giving the business can continue only when there is
example of cotton, he said that there are now credibility and demand and felt that the Seed
more than 25 companies. He stated that the Bill will take care of the lacunae in regulation.
focus of government is not on hybrids and
He favoured Public – Private partnership in the
seed sector. However, rainfed systems need
Referring to the new seed law he said that it community seed banks with horizontal linkage
has consumer forum to redress issues. The seed

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

bill has been opposed both by the farmers’
organizations and private seed industry and
India is not member of UPOV because of the
bill. He stated firmly that no right of the farmer
has been infringed upon. The government would
be accountable for seed failure. The bill will go
to parliament shortly and there will be
stringent action on spurious seed.
Commenting on removal of cotton from the
Essential Commodities Act, he said that it was
from village to village and farmer to farmer farmers’ interest is supreme. National Food
exchange. He felt that public sector should Security Mission alone can provide a subsidy of
focus on ‘large volume and low value seed.’ He Rs. 25 lakhs towards this objective. Stating that
said that that the public sector has the capacity the seed producers would always be in small
to supply cotton varieties in long staple. numbers he lamented that the green revolution
was opposed as a programme of big farmers.
Dr. Bhat stated that while ICAR is
emphasizing on bio-diversity, in Punjab, Dr. Ramanjaneyulu felt that problems related
Haryana there are no more traditional to technology are not readily accepted by
varieties; whereas Nagaland and Jharkhand either the research establishment or policy
which have diverse seeds are not being makers. He strongly recommended that we
compensated for conservation. should expand the scope of support system to
the farmer producing seed which is used by the
Dr. Katyal opined that conservation can take
community, as it is not a business in the real
place ex-situ also. The small and marginal
sense. Can the subsidy be extended to the
farmers do not have large surpluses for market;
community produced seed, he posed. He
we should see how we can upgrade and
strongly proposed for a better regulation of the
produce their varieties. Maldandi variety of
existing seed industry.
sorghum has large areas in kharif and rabi
seasons. We should think of producing the seed Dr. K Tirupataiah wanted the recurring seed
in the village for rainfed areas; which should subsidy to be shifted on to the farmer, as
be done with some farmers who have revolving fund. He also shared that APSSDC is
irrigation and storage facilities and they should willing to get associated with the community
be provided with subsidy. Stating that Public based seed producers. Dr. Bhat said that issues
sector research has not addressed the problem in Andhra Pradesh regarding community
of farmers, he said that the non-formal seed based seed production would be discussed with
production should be supported. He also said Government of AP. He said that there should
that cotton varieties with long staple are be large scale promotion of agri-
available in Haryana, but out of 4.3 lakh acres entrepreneurship. He also felt that we need new
3.8 lakh acres are under Bt. He opined that Bt seed law with principle of compensation.
gene may be introduced into varieties, where
Dr. Katyal said that seed replacement improves
the public sector has failed.
the productivity and he shared the statistics of
Stating that seed is operated with oligopolic various crops (in cereals in irrigated areas seed
structure, Dr. Amita Shah posed what kind of replacement is 10%; as a result the productivity
reformulation and regulations are required? She is 2 tonnes; in oilseeds it is only 5% and
was of opinion that there is need for new productivity is 1 tonne and in pulses these are
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

enterprises for rural youth for bio-products that 2-3% and 550 kgs). The session concluded with
are needed for sustainable agriculture. She the closing remarks from Co-chairperson,
wanted the group to probe on the support wherein he emphasized upon the quality seed
needed for private but not large enterprise, not production and the need for revolving fund for
only for seed but for new organic, bio- the purpose. He said that the new varieties
generated systems and community managed produced by the ICAR institutions would be
seed systems. multiplied through KVK farms and linkages
provided to the farmers.
Dr. Bhat said that there are several schemes to
promote agri-entrepreneurships; however, the ■
Parallel Session
Theme - C: Enhancement of Organic Matter in Soils
Dr. J.C. Katyal, Vice Chancellor, CCS HAU

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. Y.S. Ramakrishna, Director, CRIDA
Dr. A.K. Sharma, Senior Scientist, CAZRI
Improving Soil Productivity through Enhancement
of Organic Matter in Soils
Dr. J. Venkateswarlu
Ex-Director, CAZRI
The ecological damage due to external nutrient
use is obvious. The estimated annual uptake of
nutrients by crops is 28 Mts and most of these
nutrients are (19.8 Mts) mined from natural
resources. About 9.0 Mts of applied nutrients
are lost to biosphere and pollute it. Among these
N2O goes into atmosphere and NO3 – N into
soil and groundwater. Estimates on annual
losses of nutrients in India are to the extent of $
1.3 billion (with urea alone for 2003-04). At the
other end these external inputs are energy –
D r. J Venkateswarlu’s research based intensive. In this context, the importance of
presentation covered aspects like lessons from Soil Organic Matter is clear.
chemical agriculture, importance of Soil
Organic Matter (SOM), need for a level playing The soil productivity is inclusive of chemical and
field, means to enhance biomass production, biological processes as well as physical soil
economics of non-chemical agriculture etc. properties. It is mainly organic matter that can
Chemical agriculture is mostly reductionistic in improve the soil productivity. The philosophy
its approach. It resulted in all-round is to feed the soil rather than the crop to
deceleration in productivity; of which most maintain soil health. It holds more water and
affected were cereals. It led to technology results in less erosion, also improves soil
fatigue in varietal choice, lack of efficient aggregate stability. It provides a sustainable
alternatives to wetland rice and also caused supply of nutrients and meets energy needs of
ecological damage. Ground water exploitation all the heterotrophic soil biota. It also leads to
increased to 175% and 109% respectively in efficient use of water resource, reduces
Punjab and Haryana and only submersible unproductive components of water balance
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

pumps were able to work. Soil organic matter (runoff, soil evaporation and drainage) and
declined and it also led to S, Zn, Fe deficiencies nutrient loss. It increases soil stability, resilience
in those areas. Chemical agriculture is on top and decreases pollution. While the organic
of the agenda even in Rainfed Areas, which is agriculture is one of the means to improve SOM,
reflected in fertilizer micro-dosing, use of the exploitative agriculture leads to loss of SOM.
hybrids etc. Unfortunately the There is a need for external application of
recommendations of the National Farmer’s organics to soil to maintain soil health. This need
Commission and XIth Five Year Plan proposals arises of turnover of organics particularly in
as they were also reflecting this trend. rainfed areas. As these areas are mostly
tropical and subtropical, in situ application of for soil health, reduced pollution, improved
smaller amounts of organics (say 2 t/ha) resilience and reduced Green House Gas
annually would be ideal. Further the soil health emissions etc. The organic farming also enables
is a prerequisite for efficiency in pest to increase the employment generation. If XIth
management. He suggested increasing cropping Five Year Plan target of developing 5 M ha of
intensity (with legume as a component) and land is taken into consideration, it will create
growing legume fodder-cum-manure in additional labour employment of 365 Million
sequence. Khejri agroforestry in Western person days and there will be average saving
Rajasthan, Alder agroforestry in North East through organic farming to the tune of
States fix nitrogen and improves the yields. Rs. 3000/ ha.
Loppings of trees like Gliricidia and Subabool can
Organic Agriculture need to have ‘Targeted
also be better source of nutrients for the soil.
schemes’ to reduce the basic gap in our
There is a strong need for a level playing field planning and developmental approach. The ar-
to address the needs of rainfed areas. Presently eas could be Rainfed, Tribal and Mountaineous.
chemical inputs are subsidized by the About 50,000 Special Agricultural Zones for or-
government, urea nitrogen gets subsidy ganic enterprise in about 100 ha units may be
@ Rs. 8/ kg of N. The same must be extended to identified with preponderance of SMF and the
organic nitrogen. In this context, NREGS can poor in the target areas.
be extended to provide support to farmers who
Basing upon the references of different
prepare organic manures (e.g. compost,
scientists, the future course of action may be as
vermicompost, green leaf manure, green
follows: SOM needs to be improved;
manure etc) and practice NPM. There are means
internalized production systems need to be con-
to enhance biomass production. Wherever
sidered. Ensuring community managed devel-
farmers accept MPTs, they need to be
opment and using CBOs as platforms for
encouraged and they should be introduced in
upscaling internalized production systems is the
CPR lands.
need of the hour. Dr. Venkateswarlu concluded
Comparative economics of crop production by saying that “…development is the best
under Organic Farming System (OFS) and contraceptive for the population bomb paranoia
Inorganic Farming System (IFS) showed that and development implies looking after the needs
production cost was gradually declining in OFS. of the poor”.
Further it is not easy to assign economic values ■

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Enhancing Soil-Organic Matter in SAT- Scientific
Evidence & Policy Support Needed for Scale-Up
Dr. O P Rupela
Principal Scientist (Microbiology), ICRISAT
informed that any dry piece of grass or plant
leaf is made of more than 30 different elements,
including major nutrients like N, P, K, micro-
nutrients like Fe, Zn, B, Mo etc. and other
nutrients needed in traces. At a given time, most
of these nutrients are present in soil, but are in
bound or un-available form. Microorganisms
are the agents that interface the available and
non-available forms and are needed in
abundance and diversity when fertilizers are
A t the outset, Dr. Rupela stated that as a not used.
scientist he was not wedded to any ideology Further elaborating, he said that, besides being
and the views in this presentation were based source of SOM, the value of plant biomass has
on about ten years experience of growing crops many dimensions. It provides food for
without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers (i.e. microorganisms. Together with agriculturally
with low-cost and biological approaches). beneficial microorganisms and soil moisture, it
Interactions with practitioners of organic can meet much or all nutrient need of crops. As
farming (OF) have given them the necessary surface mulch, it prevents water loss from soil,
field orientation and large number of conditions soil surface temperature, protects soil
publications referred suggests that these views from erosion and improves harvesting of rain
have roots in sound scientific principles. water. Any crop production protocol in-
He reminded that about 74 percent farmers in compatible with harnessing these benefits of
India were small and marginal who owned <1.4 plant biomass needs to be harmonized.
to 2.4 ha as per the 1991 Census of India. He He said that published records indicate that
opined that there was a possibility to empower farmers do not accept practices such as ‘Green
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

the small and marginal farmers through an Manuring’ or recycling plant biomass that help
agriculture that uses low-cost processes of crop enhance SOM. Therefore, the need is to link
husbandry and locally available resources that these practices to crop production to provide
enhance soil organic matter (SOM). some apparent benefits for farmers such as
He said that there is no doubt that SOM is an reduced input-costs and value addition to their
indicator of soil life, soil health and even its products. This has been successfully done by
production capacity. And plant biomass is the practitioners of Organic Farming (OF). In that
‘input needed’ for enhancing SOM. Thus sense he termed Organic Farming as
building SOM is synonymous to production. He ‘Biomass-based Farming’. And suggested that
there is a need to change crop husbandry soil with soil-borne diseases, harboring of
system so that SOM is built up and crop insect-pests and damage due to termites are
productivity is enhanced. indeed minor issues and are soluble as per his
over 10-years experience of dealing with these
He further described some facts about plant
with biological options. He suggested some
biomass. Microbial degradation of plant
actions to address these concerns and felt that
biomass is faster in tropics than in temperate
important changes in educational system,
climates. Value of plant biomass as surface
particularly on pest management are needed.
mulch is more important than its incorporation.
Farmers need to be educated on the value of
Large quantities of biomass can be generated
plant biomass as source of crop nutrients.
from the field where the crops are grown and
trees are an important source of biomass (i.e. Dr. Rupela said that there were several indirect
nutrients). So the need is to integrate selected evidences suggesting that per unit area yield in
fruit trees in crop production system such that biomass-based agriculture are comparable to
these can be lopped for nutrients and still conventional agriculture. There are also limited
produce fruits, even if with low yield. direct evidences to show that high yield and
sustainable features were attainable with low
Based upon scientific field experiments carried
cost & biological potions. Rodale Research
out, Dr. Rupela outlined strategies for in-situ
Institute, USA and FiBL Switzerland have about
production of biomass in the form of –growing
25 years of research data that substantiate this
Gliricidia on field bunds, sowing extra to thin
feature. Cuba’s crop yields did sustain the lack
(Pigeonpea and Cowpea intercrop), selecting
of fertilizers and pesticides despite US-embargo.
high biomass crops etc. He stated that the
The study conducted by Willer and Yussefi 2007
weeds are also a source of biomass and
pointed out that there are large number of
potentially rich in micro nutrients (an
farmers globally practicing OF on about 31
important researchable topic). Unfortunately,
million hectares. In India also there is an
farmer in several states, particularly in Punjab
estimate that this practice is used in 2 million
and Haryana, burn crop residues and the
hectares (includes forest area, and about 0.5 ha
efforts to get farmers interested in composting
of annual crops). He also cited the Organic
of rice-straw failed. It is possible to use plant
Source Book, 2005, authored by Claude
biomass as surface mulch, obviating the need
Alvares, Other India Press, Mapusa, Goa, which
of composting. In this regard, he suggested to
has addresses of over 400 organic farmers who
impose ban on burning biomass and
claim to be harvesting yields comparable to their
strategfically and slowly abolish subsidy on
neighbor conventional farmers. Dr.Rupela said

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

fertilizers. Simultaneously, a changed paradigm
that these farmers are a great resource for
for Research and Development (e.g. a system
scientists to articulate science to their
to sow crops in the presence of biomass) is also
knowledge and farming practices. He suggested
that Governments should not invest resources
According to Dr. Rupela, there is value in promoting ex-situ vermi composting. Instead
addition to plant biomass through surface efforts should be there to teach farmers how to
mulch. But there are issues with it, such as non- enhance earthworms in fields where crops
compatibility with tillage. Widely believed grow, by ensuring food and shelter (biomass as
association of undecomposed plant biomass in surface mulch) for the worms.
Dr. Rupela also referred about some farmers much. What is needed is a dynamic system that
who are providing critical learnings. He talked converts a very small part (eg. only 100 kg N
about Darshan Singh Tabeeba of Maachiwada for a yield of 5 t ha-1, out of the 2 to 3 t of N in
in Punjab who won ICAR award for being an soil profile in case of rice) of these total or
innovative user of locally available biomass bound/un-available nutrients into available
resource – a master recycler of crop residues and form which is plausibly happening at fields of
integration of plant and animal components. OF practitioners. Such fields have generally
He referred Subhash Sharma of Yavatmaal been noted to use biomass (e.g. compost) and
(Vidarbha region of Maharashtra), an awardee materials rich in beneficial microorganisms and
farmer by Maharashtra State who is now need to be validated. Taking note of this,
growing crops by recycling plant biomass avail- governments should even promote dry-dairy
able on his farm and integrating annual crops and encourage farmers to use locally available
and perennial trees, besides harvesting rain materials such as cow dung-based products as
water. He learnt some low-cost and biological source of beneficial morcroorganisms. Fertilizer
recipes of crop nutrition and protection pres- use efficiency is generally <30% in rainfed
ently used by several farmers and upon lab stud- farming.
ies, found them scientifically plausible. Feedback
According to Dr Rupela, productivity from a
from users is greatly helping companies in evolv-
unit land and farmers’ profits are more
ing new software (technology) and is fuelling
important than yield of a single crop and should
development in IT industry. On similar lines
be used as a yard stick for selecting a given
there is a lesson for the scientists in agriculture,
input or protocol. Integration of different
he stated.
components of agriculture, particularly animal,
Dr. Rupela also emphasized on the importance crops and trees on a given field/farm, is the need
to understand about the different elements of the hour. There is also a need to develop
needed for crop production and the way these ‘farmer-empowering’ agriculture production
can be sourced by plants. Of the over 30 protocols.
elements needed, four (C, O, H and N)
With respect to development programs, he said
represent over 90% of a plant’s dry weight and
that State Agriculture Departments should
all are gases. All the other elements (including
develop farmer-friendly programs for scale-up.
P and K); micro and trace elements together
He also felt that crop production should largely
form only about 10% of total dry mass of a
be based on harnessing locally available/
plant. He informed that even in a N poor soil
generated natural resource. Chemical
having much less than 1000 ppm of total N (as
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

fertilizers should only be need-based and

bound or un-available form) in top 30 cm soil
minimal, and must not be subsidized. Subsidies
profile, where most roots of an annual crop re-
or assistance targeted to farmers should be
side, can be 2 to 3 t per ha. Out of this
provided through farmer groups and not to
tonnage, typical uptake rate for every t of grain
individual farmers.
is 20 kg N and 5 kg P for rice, and 40 kg N and
8 kg P for pigeonpea. Thus total N and total P Disclaimer: These views are of Dr. O.P. Rupela
can be substantial even in a so-called poor soil and do not have endorsement of ICRISAT,
and compared to that crop demand is not so where he works. ■
Lead Discussion
Need for "Priority" Shift
that ‘simple is sustainable’ he called for
attention towards necessary support systems for
organic farming. Restriction and regulation on
use of ground water should be one of the focus
He also shared CAZRI’s experiences in this
regard. These experiences pointed out that;
efficient recycling of organic matter is more
important than organic matter build up in
tropics. Summer plowing can cause heavy loss
D r. Arun K. Sharma, (CAZRI, Jodhpur) of SOM. Trees in the field contribute and
initiated the discussion. He stressed on the need conserve organic matter and support biological
to find out feasible approach and possible activity. Ley-farming helps soil organic matter
support for organic farming in dry land areas. build up. Rainwater harvesting, green
He suggested ‘priority shift’ in place of manuring and mulching contribute a lot in
‘paradigm shift’ such that higher attention could nutrient mobilization to plants. Non-edible
be given to organic farming in all the rural oilseed cakes controls soil pest and reduces
development programmes instead of nitrogen loss. Raw cow dung use by farmers
promoting as a new programme. Farmers of should be stopped and replaced by ‘enriched
rainfed areas are already following 50-60 compost’, a good substitute for chemical
percent practices of organic farming. The only fertilizers in terms of nutrient status and
need is to enhance their understanding and skill releasing pattern of the chemical fertilizers.
for adoption of other ecotechnologies. Stating ■
External Inputs are Critical
D r. M.A. Shankar, University of Agricultural fertility status after harvest of Finger millet and
Sciences, Bangalore remarked that handful of ground nut as influenced by incorporation of
soil sustains mankind. He emphasized on different green leaf manures and FYM was also
integrating farm with nutrients as plants require

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

‘deficient or differential’ nutrients. These
differential nutrients could be substituted by
external inputs. To substantiate this contention,
he presented data related to effect of long-term
integrated use of FYM and NPK fertilizers on
soil organic carbon status of Alfisols and effect
of long term use of FYM, green leaf manure,
NPK fertilizers on soil organic carbon status in
cereal - legume rotation. Data related to soil
presented. ‘nutrient banks’ in dryland farming. He
recommended for policy support for creation
Dr. Shankar also outlined the approaches to
of these nutrient banks and extend subsidy to
build soil organic carbon in terms of: tillage
green manure, biomass augmentation
practices, off-season cover crops, crop rotation
(Employment generation). Support is also
with legumes, mixed crop with legumes, green
needed for setting up of small scale green
manuring (in-situ and ex situ) and carbon
manure processing units (pellet formulations)
sequestering (depth of placement, mixtures of
and encouraging green manure legume trees on
organic matter). He suggested emphasizing on
farming system approach for building up
organic matter in a long run for establishing ■
Open Discussion
T he discussion started with a critical question investments are needed for research.
about enquiring the farmers not adopting the Intervening, Dr. Venkateswarlu opined that the
research results. Shri Ravindra pointed out that first requirement in spread of ecological /
there were intense efforts in promoting organic agriculture is the need to change the
chemical fertilizers by the scientific mindset of R&D workers. The TINA to
establishment. Scientists used to go to the farms chemical agriculture must be obliterated. That
in the night and apply fertilizers on behalf of would be the first step in the Road Map for
farmers to show the results for them. Dr. G.B. exploring and enhancing internalized
Singh (ICAR) referred about green manuring production systems, particularly in the case of
experiment in a small village in Punjab and told smallholders.
that farmers are now slowly recognizing the
On the question that why farmers are not
importance of biomass in building up soil
adopting the research results, Dr. Rupela said
fertility. Dr. Sudip Mitra (MSSRF) enquired
that the answer lies in the point raised by Shri
about the feasibility of carbon trading concept
Ravindra with regard to ‘intense extension
and effect on termites with biomass usage.
practices’. On technology front, he
Dr. Radhika Rani (NIRD) expressed
acknowledged that some of the components
apprehension whether there is feasibility in
were not adopted but no one is sure about the
NREGS for promoting interventions related to
missing link. He called it as a ‘common
organic farming. Dr. J.Venkateswarlu explained
problem’ and suggested to have proper
that there are critical elements in NREGS that
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

discussion to find out the solution. On carbon

can create sustainable assets which inherently
sequestering, Dr. Rupela said that technically it
provides scope for extending it to promote the
is manageable. On effect on termites with use
organic agriculture. Dr. Shankar remarked that
of biomass, he shared his experience in his
the present investment in research is external
experiment where they were able to eliminate
led and structured. These need to be increased
the ‘queen’ to manage the termites as it was
and tied up and should be freed from such
small field of just one hectare area. The
hassels. Dr.Katyal also agreed with this
experiment also used the weeds as ‘value
contention and said that the kind of attention
on this aspect should be more and higher
Co-chairperson Dr. Y.S. Ramakrishna expressed In his concluding remarks, Chairperson
that there is wide acceptance on the importance Dr. J.C. Katyal reflected that the presentations
of organic agriculture but the issue is how to in the session were excellent and
promote it. The need is to enable the farmers comprehensive. He endorsed Dr.Rupela’s views
with government support and providing and said that specific recommendations should
incentives to them as it is a cumbersome be made after properly pondering over them.
process. Incentives like that of irrigation sector Emphasis should be more on ‘non cash
must be extended for these farmers. The focus incentives’ and some kind of ‘reward’ should
should be on promoting ‘conservation be thought of for farmers who build organic
agriculture’ wherein the requirements of matter in the soil. This organic matter
livestock and biomass are also addressed. He application should be ‘non competitive’ so that
remarked that green revolution has provided it can be widely accepted. He said that
the results but there was an extensive use of nitrogen use efficiency is less than 30 percent
chemical fertilizers. At present the need is for and it is variable. The road map should entail
‘balanced use of organic and inorganics’ atleast the elements like ‘non counter conservation,
in the initial period and gradually move no cash and non competitive’ encouragement
towards organic. Exploratory thinking should for promoting rainfed agriculture. Stating that
take place for promoting organic agriculture in participatory research and rainfed areas are
hilly and tribal areas. ‘inseparable’, he emphasized on the need for
research towards ‘participatory organic matter

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Parallel Session
Theme – D: Separate Policy for Water Resource in Rainfed Areas
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Shri Himanshu Thakkar, Coordinator, SANDRP

Shri K.J. Joy, Secretary, SOPPECOM
Shri Shailender Tiwari, In Charge (NRM Unit), Seva Mandir
Analysis of Existing Support Systems for Water
Resource Development in Rainfed and Irrigated
Dr. K.V. Rao
Senior Scientist (Soil & Water Conservation Engg.), CRIDA
country. Additionally these areas, were
supported through water management
activities by CAD Programs etc. In case of lift
irrigation projects, support existed for
operational costs, towards electricity for
pumping, etc. In tank irrigation systems the
maintenance activities, desiltation etc are
regularly taken care by respective government
Dr. Rao observed that the investment through
D r K. V. Rao gave an overview of the gap watershed programs from different schemes,
between investments and the potential tapped since inception, were around Rs 20,000 crores
in irrigation sector and increase in crop only. But this investment could treat nearly 39
productivity over the years. He stressed on the million hectares of land in the country. Here
criticality of supplemental irrigation in the investment cost is around Rs 6000/ha
increasing the productivity in rainfed regions. towards all land based activities and
productivity enhancement related
Dr. Rao presented the investment and support
interventions. With regard to fund allocation,
pattern for irrigated and rainfed areas. He stated
50% fund was provided to NRM activities (in
that it is evident that the gap between potential
WARASA) and 85% funds for watershed
created and utilized in the irrigation
treatment/ development works/ activities (in
development is consistently increasing during
Hariyali). Water resource augmentation was
the Five Year Plans. Most of the area in the
done through community based harvesting
country remained rainfed though the
structures (5% contribution by group and 10%

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

investments in the irrigation sector (major,
for individual oriented works). He said that there
medium and minor) reached a staggering one
was no explicit support system for collective use
lakh crore rupees during Xth Five Year Plan from
of augmented resources in watershed areas.
nearly 9000 crores in the First Plan. Investment
There were no restrictions on water extraction
on irrigation per hectare based on potential
and utilization from subsurface. Though some
created during Xth Five Year Plan is around
states have regulatory mechanism these again
Rs. 1,30,000 in major and Rs 70,000 in minor
favoured the existing well owners!
irrigated areas. He said that this investment
has targeted potential creation of only 15 With regard to groundwater irrigation, Dr.Rao
million hectares of irrigated land in the said that uniform policy is followed across
rainfed and irrigated areas. Support is through in which 40% will be borne by the Central
operational costs for pumping (full to partial Government, 10% by the State Government and
across the country). Cost towards creation of the remaining 50% by the beneficiary either
source (open/tube well) is borne by through own source or soft loan financial
individuals/ groups. In some interventions like institutions. This assistance to farmers is given
AP Wells Programme/ APMIDC, community covering a maximum area of five ha per
tube wells were paid for with a condition that beneficiary family. All categories of farmers are
predetermined cropping pattern would be covered under the scheme. However, it is
followed. ensured that at least 25% of the beneficiaries
are small and marginal farmers.
He said that there are support systems
available for those who have water resources Under micro irrigation system (APMIP), a
through Ministry of Agriculture. With regard subsidy of 70% of the cost or Rs 50,000 per ha,
to sprinklers 50% of the cost or Rs.15000/-, whichever lower is available. This also covered
whichever is less, is given to small and marginal all categories of farmers, only condition is the
farmers, scheduled caste/tribes and women availability of water source is to be ensured by
farmers. For other categories of farmers it is the farmer. This subsidy can also be availed for
around 33% of the cost or Rs.10000/-, which- sharing the water resource.
ever is less. Financial assistance to the
Dr.Rao also presented data related to rain
beneficiary for sprinkler irrigation was limited
water use efficiency from district level database
to 50 percent of the cost subject to a maximum
for crops like Groundnut, Rice, Castor etc. He
of Rs.7500/- per ha. States are at liberty to
also elaborated on the estimated water use
prescribe rates of assistance (as is being done in
efficiency values for different crops (Actual and
the State of Rajasthan) to cover more number
with improved technologies), estimated Crop
of farmers thereby bringing larger area under
Water Productivity, Field Water Use Efficiency,
the system. Support for sprinkler irrigation
Project Water Use Efficiency for selected Lift
under National Bamboo Mission for DPAP
Irrigation Schemes, Irrigation application
areas is to the extent of 50% of cost subject to a
methods and comparative water use
maximum of Rs. 20000/- per ha to a limit of 4
efficiencies on the basis of some experimental
ha. per beneficiary. The rate of assistance for
results. Is it possible to enhance the water
drip irrigation to different categories of
productivity by conservation alone is the
beneficiaries varies with the maximum ceiling
of 4 ha. per beneficiary. With regard to diesel
pump sets, the limit of assistance is to the Dr.Rao provided details about how
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

extent of 50% of cost, up to Rs.10000/- per set. supplemental irrigation improved tobacco grade
in some areas. “If there is opportunity for
Under National Horticulture Mission (NHM),
supplemental irrigation, there is run off
there is assistance for creating water sources
available, which can be harvested and used
(construction of community tanks, farm ponds/
either in Rabi or Kharif seasons…” According
reservoirs with plastic lining) limited to Rs.10.00
to him, in-situ conservation measures play an
lakh per unit for an area of 10 ha to be taken up
important role in Arid and Semi Arid Areas.
on community basis. Here maintenance of the
Methods that increase soil organic matter also
water source is the responsibility of the
increase water use efficiency for different crops.
community. It is a Centrally sponsored scheme
He also elaborated on the components of provided. Required provisions should be made
Rainwater Management in watersheds like for augmented surface water resources in
in-situ conservation, Graded line Bunding, water harvesting structures to be used for
Drainage line treatment, Water harvesting & supplemental/ protective irrigation. Support for
utilization, Groundwater recharge etc. infrastructure i.e. for harvesting in farm ponds
etc and/ or infrastructure for application can
He presented data related to effect of
be made available through public investment.
management practices on yields of different
Individual farm oriented activities can be
crops over four years at CRIDA station, effect
thought in high rainfall areas with higher
of mulches on yield of Maize + Pigeonpea
individual contribution. Augmented ground
intercropping system under rainfed conditions
water resources can be utilised through
at Phulbani, influence of intercrops under
community/ group/ village owned and public
upland conditions in Ranchi etc. There was also
investment driven water extraction facilities.
data related to effect on yields of groundnut
Better irrigation application methods can also
with long term nutrient management in
be employed. PR institutions can play a greater
experiments at Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh
role along with user groups. Water
and AICRPDA centre at Indore. He presented
productivity for the watershed should be the
GIS maps related to spatial distribution of
focus rather than the productivity of
harvestable surplus (ha-m) across different
individual’s field.
districts and harvestable surplus across rainfed
rice growing region which clearly indicated Tanks/ lift irrigation schemes have to be re-
untapped potential in the country. designed with a pattern for implementation of
irrigated-dry cops. There is a need to reduce
Dr. Rao stated that there is comparatively low
conveyance losses through piped water
level of support for water resource development
transport. Sprinklers etc can be promoted for
in rainfed areas. He said that there is need for
better application. Preference is to be given for
providing support systems for water resource
Dryland Horticulture with in-situ conservation
development in rainfed areas through
measures than irrigated horticulture in rainfed
watersheds, redesigned tank and lift irrigation
areas. If irrigated horticulture is to be promoted,
schemes, promoting dry land horticulture and
micro irrigation has to be ensured with deficit
evolving differential policy incentives for micro
irrigation practices. There is also need to evolve
irrigation application in canal command areas
differential policy incentives for micro irrigation
and rainfed areas
application in canal command areas and rainfed
In watersheds, better utilization could be the areas.

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

focus of the program rather than augmentation
Dr.Rao suggested that use of micro-irrigation
alone. Utilization of resources cannot be left to
systems be made mandatory in all dark and
individuals. There should be incentives for
grey (groundwater) blocks. When farmers are
productivity through in-situ measures. Group/
offered subsidized electricity for irrigation and
community/ village could be the focus rather
for cultivating high water consuming crops,
than individual. Panchayat institutions/ user
projects involving rain water harvesting,
groups are to be encouraged. Necessary
watershed management and lift irrigation
support in terms of systems for group/
should also be subsidized. He suggested that
community oriented activities need to be
third parties should be welcomed to undertake markets through tax free bonds if micro
micro irrigation projects on farm holdings. Since irrigation projects are given the status of
land holdings are fragmented, the area could infrastructure. He also took reference of the
be demarcated like telecom circles (area wise) report of the working group on Rainfed Areas
rather than on a per project basis. 3-5 for formulation of XIth Five Year Plan and
enterprises could be allowed in each circle so suggested that there is also a need for
that monopolies do not exist while at the same increasing/sustaining the groundwater
time, these enterprises could enjoy economies recharge in dryland areas through Bhu Jal
of scale. The projects could be seen as third party Mitras, Tank Recharge Shaft Component and
loans to farmers and relegated as land Water Harvesting Structures etc.
development projects. According to him, these
enterprises could also access the capital ■
Emerging Experiences on Sustainable Use of
Water Resource in Rainfed Areas: Social
Regulations as an Approach; Field Experiences
Shri S.K. Anwar
Programme Coordinator, OXFAM
Resources (CPRs). Anwar said that this study
highlighted certain policy and practice issues
regarding management of CPRs. There is no
coherent policy frame work for CPRs and
various policies pursued substantially affected
the status. There was also exclusion of certain
marginalized groups in the public policies. “…
As long as CPRs are not productive, they are in
the hands of the poor, once they are made
productive, they are out of the hands of the
poor…” he observed. This study also
Shri Anwar’s presentation is based on the
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

recognized that groundwater is most critical

experience involved by NRI (UK), CRIDA, CWS
resource when compared to other CPRs in an
and AKRSP. This project covered 1665 families
open access regime.
in 3 villages in 3 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Focus was on developing ‘Social Regulations’ Shri Anwar pointed out that access to
and ‘Collective Action’ with Water Literacy, irrigation is central to the impact of watershed
Participatory Hydrological Monitoring (PHM) interventions as highlighted by various studies.
of Groundwater recharge, saving and sharing. Referring to WASSAN’s study, he said that
It was taken up with learnings from DFID s private investments in deep bore-wells are
upported study (2001) on Common Pool matching the scale of project investments in
“… either the bore has to die…or I have to die.”
The intervention tried to address some questions
like: How can water demand be regulated to
ensure that everyone has access to at least
minimum water for drinking and household
purposes? How the available water resources
are used judiciously? What type of
information about water availability and
water use would organisations or bodies at
community level and at higher level (e.g.
List of farmers started sharing water (In 2006) Mandal, district, state) require that enable them
to manage water resources in equitable and
watershed areas. Cultivation of water intensive
sustainable manner? What types of social
crops like paddy and sugarcane in the dry lands
institutions, regulations, rules and norms does
amounts to inefficienct water use. Farmers are
it need to do this? How can such institutions
after water at any cost and the process of ex-
be formalized in community-based
ploitation of water resources is continuously
organisations that have the authority to enforce
the rules? What should be the ‘boundary’ or
In this type of scenario, an intervention took ‘scale’ of such organisations (tributary level,
place in Madirepalli of Anantapur district in watershed level, village level, Panchayat level
Andhra Pradesh. There was ‘borewell race’ in etc.).
that village at that time. It is small village with
The program invested Rs 12 lakhs in 3 villages
166 households and a population of 721. The
on drinking water needs, borewell groups,
cultivable area is 687 acres in which 290 acres
incentives for pipes, group sprinkler units etc.
were under irrigation. Agriculture was basically
Social process of sharing, understanding
rainfed with borewells contributing 29% of
arrangements, water recharge structures were
irrigation. Paddy, Groundnut, Sweet lime,
developed through existing government
Maize, Vegetables were the common crops.
schemes. Inbuilt support accrued from APMIP
At the time of intervention, there were 57 and power subsidies etc.
functional open wells. There were 137 borewells
Shri Anwar said that, with the community
of which 65 were functional. There was a
participation, certain social regulations were
major shift from shallow open wells to bore wells
evolved in the intervention such as prioritizing

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

in previous 15 years and farmers heavily
water needs with focus on drinking water,
invested on borewells. But many bore wells
providing critical irrigation, no new borewells
failed either at the time of drilling or later
in the village, access to groundwater to other
causing huge loss of investments to farmers. At
families, increasing the groundwater resources
the same time ‘chasing the groundwater’ and
by conservation & recharge and efficient use of
competition among neighbors increased.
irrigation water by demand-side management.
Anwar said that a farmer in this village dug 29
borewells in his small field! The gravity of the By 2007 there were significant results. There was
situation was that farmers used to say, ‘no paddy’ under bore wells. 55 out of 65
functional bore wells came under sharing purpose of groundwater control and regulation.
system. Farmers organized into groups and It was to regulate groundwater through a
started discussing about PHM. Investments system of permits, registration and licences. It
were made on pipes and sprinklers to the was also to be empowered to inspect wells,
organized groups. In Kharif 2007, 516 acres of install water measuring devices, seize
land came under critical irrigation. These equipment, impose penalties etc. Various states
farmers got good crops while in most of the initiated legislative measures to enable them to
neighboring villages, crops were affected due regulate groundwater and at present states like
to drought. Anwar said that there was a Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,
significant lesson in the process which West Bengal have acts on groundwater. But
emphasizes that “One critical irrigation makes unfortunately there are problems in
a huge difference”. implementation. Anwar said that an Expert
Rainfall, groundwater levels and cropping group report on groundwater management has
pattern were regularly monitored involving also pointed out that the regulations are not
farmers as part of PHM and Water Budgeting. working and in-equities are still an issue. In
With this, drawal of water (as a % of available this context, he took reference from Prof. Abhijit
water) reduced from 125% to 95%. There was Sen and emphasized on decentralized decision
visible declining trend in water extraction which making with regard to regulations/
needs to be established over longer period. management.
Shri Anwar pointed out that flood irrigation is Concluding the presentation, Shri Anwar
the dominant trend in agriculture. He presented stressed on the need for a paradigm shift in
data about this trend. In India, gravity systems Public and Private investments. He suggested
dominated until 1970s. Since early 1990s that focus should be on critical irrigation
groundwater surpassed surface irrigation. The practices under wells and borewells. It is
share of irrigated area through surface water important to develop necessary infrastructure
declined from 62 to 46%, whereas for this. According to him, ‘incentives’ should
groundwater irrigated area increased from 38 be given to farmers who do not drill new wells
to 54% during 1970 – 95. 100 million farming but share water and use water-saving
families have 19 million tubewells and pumps technologies. Public support is to be extended
in the country! for sub systems like PHM, regulations, water
efficient methods and there is a need to
Shri Anwar commented that there is no proper promote crops that suit to the regions.
legal back up with regard to groundwater Collective action and social process of
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

management. A draft model bill was circulated regulations should be encouraged with
by the Central Government in 1996 to assist the capacity building of community and effective
states (finalized in Jan 2005). It recommended research and extension. There is also need to
establishing Groundwater Authorities (GWA) evolve proper institutional process that supports
at the state level. This GWA has to advice the such social regulation mechanisms.

state governments to notify an area for the
Lead Discussion
Rights on Resources for Effective Use
effective? He said that there are gaps at
community level management, particularly
with regard to crop and groundwater
management. In these circumstances, how to
rebuild the role of community/ different
institutions and make them more effective?
These are the critical questions for which we
have to find suitable answers. He felt that ‘rights
on resources’ should not end with providing
I nitiating the discussion Shri N.L. Narasimha access to the resources but should focus on
sustaining them.
Reddy (PLF) said that the issue in resource
management is the effective use. Most of the Shri Reddy also stated that there is bias towards
programs focus on creating resources but irrigation sector in Water Policy and significance
‘effective use of these resources is not dealt with’. is not given to address the concerns related to
According to him, community systems are also rainfed areas. He suggested that policy for
not having ‘enough maturity’ to deal with this rainfed areas should focus on the needs of
issue as there are visible constraints related to vulnerable groups like women, poor, SCs, STs
resource management and institutions. For e.g. and it should also address the concerns of
in watershed program critical concerns are user different agro-climatic conditions. As the needs
rights and management of structures. How to of the rainfed areas are different, they need
enable a process of community management of distinct policy, he concluded.
resources? How to make decentralization more ■
Affordable Technologies for Rainfed Farming
S hri O.S. Tyagi (IDEI) made his presentation He informed that KB Drip reduces entry
on some technologies that are affordable, barrier cost and can be used for larger fields.
produced locally and environmentally This was tried out in 90 crops and nearly 350,000
sustainable. These are being provided in farmers have purchased this so far. The Treadle
local markets through private suppliers. He Pumps can draw water from underground
elaborated on how the current products do not aquifers. Emphasizing on the need to provide
meet the needs of small holding farmers as they low cost technology for poor farmers, he
are designed long back and are expensive. He concluded his presentation with reference to
said that IDEI products like Treadle Pumps for eminent management guru Prof. C K Prahlad,

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

water lifting and Drip Systems (KB Drip) for “.. that the future lies with those companies who
water application belong to affordable see the poor as their customers “. ■
irrigation technology.
Open Discussion
S hri S.C. Jain (AFPRO) observed that water is measures. Groundwater rights can also be given
available in ‘pockets’ even in rainfed areas, but to farmers upto a depth of 200 feet. He felt that
what is required is efficient use of such precious there is a need to enlighten the farmers on the
pockets. He said that watershed approach with significance of social regulation.
necessary ‘regulatory mechanisms’ would Dr. Sudip Mitra questioned on the way the
provide solution to the concerns of these areas. investments are used. “…what do we do with
Shri Achyut Das (Agragamee) remarked that the crores of rupees being invested to create new
policies are also biased. What is the correlation assets? If we can renovate the newly created
between drought and flood in rainfed areas he assets and existing structures under watershed
questioned. On equity issues, he observed that program, it can do wonders. Is there any space
if industries are exploiting water resources, who for such thinking in the policy…”, he probed.
should address it? Dr. G.B. Singh (ICAR) observed that there is
Shri Ashok Bang (Chetana) remarked that greater stress on livestock under the arid
water is most critical constraint for rainfed conditions. He also pointed out that there are
areas and it has complex policy implications. higher seepage and run off losses under
He said that 50% of rainfall is received within watershed structures and suggested to
short time in the country. “…On one hand, ‘subsidize’ the efforts that check such losses.
there is so much rainfall. On the other hand, Responding to the discussion, Dr. K.V.Rao
there is shortage of water. What is the explained that it is not possible to promote
solution?” he questioned. He felt that there is water harvesting structures for every crop
need for training ‘Water Harvesting Engineers’ because of different rainfall patterns and agro
in the villages as there is potential of increasing climatic conditions. He underlined on the need
10-20% moisture/ water with in-situ to bring the ground water usage within the
conservation measures. He suggested that the framework of watershed approach. He felt that
community should be vested with necessary the focus should not be on the augmentation
capacities to use rainwater efficiently. alone but on conservation and making better
Dr. J. Venkateswarlu observed that the use of water. In-situ conservation measures need
traditional water harvesting structures are very to be promoted and appropriate technologies
important in hilly areas of North-Eastern part are available for that purpose. In his opinion,
of the country. Ravindra raised a pertinent the choice of cropping pattern should be left to
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

question on ‘looking at water’: “…When we talk the people of that particular area. On
about watersheds, we are talking about water renovation of existing structures, he said that
harvesting. Can’t we see ‘moisture’ also as ‘funds’ are available even in small schemes but
water?” the question is how to use them efficiently. On
incentives, he observed that they should be
Dr. B. Venkateswarlu (CRIDA) pointed out that
extended for undertaking in-situ measures.
water use and land use cannot be separated and
“…Even a simple 1000 rupees makes lot of
should be addressed in a conjunctive manner.
difference and provide benefits in terms of
Dr. Rama Krishna (CRIDA) suggested
better water use efficiency and productivity en-
incentives for farmers who undertake in-situ
Shri Anwar agreed with participant’s
contention to ‘broadbase’ the presentation. He
observed that there are issues related to
‘inequities’ existing in watersheds and
addressing these issues is a big challenge, more
so in rainfed systems. He agreed that ‘soil
moisture is also equal to visible water’ and
remarked that this change in thinking can
change the entire paradigm. As rainfed
farming does not include irrigation, the need is Chairperson, Shri Himanshu Thakkar
to provide incentives for moisture conservation (SANDRP) stated that though every farmer
in rainfed areas. needs water, the bias in certain aspects need to
be addressed properly. Out of the 57.44 million
net irrigated area of the country only about 17.79
million ha is canal irrigated, 35.18 m
ha comes from groundwater areas and the
rest from minor schemes. From 1991-92 to 2003-
04 (the latest year for which data is available
from Ministry of Agriculture), the governments
have spent about Rs 100000 crores on major
and medium irrigation projects, but there has
not been an addition of single ha of net irrigated
area by Canals (major and medium projects)
Co-chairperson, Shri K.J.Joy (SOPPECOM) during this period. On the contrary there has
observed that the presentations unraveled most been a drop of about 3.14 m ha in net irrigated
of the issues of the rainfed areas. He said that it area during this period. And yet XIth Five Year
was ‘heartening’ to see focused discussion on Plan again envisages to spend lions share of
water for rainfed areas. He said that there is a about Rs 115000 crores on such projects, not
need for social regulation mechanisms and it is bothering about the vast rainfed areas or even
not in-situ versus irrigation but the focus should the created infrastructure. There is need to raise
be on the extent of ‘applied water’ for rainfed serious questions on these policies and
areas. He favoured to ‘partition’ the available priorities.

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

water according to the needs and requirements
Stating the Groundwater as ‘Lifeline of Indian
of vulnerable people across different regions in
Agriculture’, Shri Himanshu Thakkar observed
different conditions. On equity issues, he
that though the government has brought in a
observed that there is no policy initiative to see
draft bill to establish Ground Water Authority,
what is happening with the ‘saved water’.
it was not so serious and sensitive in sustaining
According to him, it should go to ‘common
groundwater. The need for the government is
pool’. He also suggested restructuring the
to know about the support systems that sustain
existing irrigation projects and re-distributing
ground water. He observed: “…First there is
the water on ‘equitable basis’.
need to sustain what we have… then only we
can think of some new interventions… The area, tank desiltaion was stopped by the
irony is that there are no efforts to protect the government as it was felt that it was
existing recharge structures and no efficient obstructing the flow into Mettur Dam! Thakkar
regulations that can ‘empower the community’ concluded the session with stress on the need
in real sense”. Taking reference to an incident for having a ‘clear and defined’ policy for
in Kaveri Basin area, he deplored the role played rainfed areas, particularly with regard to
by media, judiciary and political system in water.
dancing with ‘catchment dynamics’. In that ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Parallel Session
Theme – E: Self reliant development through sustainable community
based organizations and reforms in management of institutional

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr. J. Venkateswarlu, Ex-Director, CAZRI
Prof. M.R. Sharma, Chief Consultant, National Horticulture Mission
Dr. M.A. Shankar, Chief Scientist, Dryland Research Center, UAS
Sustainable Development of Agriculture through
SHGs & their Federations – A Case Study in
Andhra Pradesh
Shri T. Vijay Kumar, IAS
country are in Andhra Pradesh. They have their
own savings of Rs.13400 million and a corpus
of Rs. 29900 million. These SHGS have been
further organized into 31,500 Village
Organisations (VOs), 946 Mandal Mahila
Samakhyas (MMSs) and 21 Zilla Samakhyas (ZSs)
across the state. There is ‘role specificity’ for each
of these institutions in this 3 tier structure but
the guiding principle is ‘subsidiarity’.
The program vision is ‘to enable each poor
S hri Vijay Kumar started stating that family in the state, to improve their livelihoods
sustainable poverty eradication is possible only and quality of life’. It believes that a family out
through organized poor. Indira Kranthi Patham of poverty experiences improved status in
(IKP) is one such vehicle which emphasized on society; it will have comprehensive food
women’s empowerment for poverty security – freedom from hunger; it earns
eradication. Society for Elimination of Rural minimum of Rs.5000/- per month, from 3 - 4
Poverty (SERP) in Andhra Pradesh is stable livelihoods; there will be planned
implementing this project (worth Rs.2100 house-hold expenditure and social security –
million) statewide to raise rural poor’s income risks to life, health, assets and incomes would
and improve quality of life. The focus of this be covered; it will have good shelter, good
program is in creating knowledge and education and good health.
awareness, organizing rural women groups and
providing investment support through With community based targeting - focus on the
institutional linkages like Government ultra-poor with extending finance, the program
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Departments, Financial Institutions, Panchayat achieved a project finance in terms of

Raj Institutions, Markets and other Non Common Investment Fund (CIF) to the tune of
Government Institutions. Rs. 8690 million. Financing to SHGs through
Banks increased from Rs.1970 million to Rs. 3225
The program is present in every village of the million in 6 years reflecting a 16 fold increase.
state. More than 90 percent of rural poor were Andhra Pradesh accounts for 45 percent total
organized and SHGs have been formed in each bank lending for SHGs in the country. Other
village. So far 8.65 million of rural women were initiatives include Pavala vaddi (25 paise
organized into 6,88,200 SHGs (upto March interest), debt swapping by banks etc. The asset
2007) and 35 percent of all SHGs in the base of poor was strengthened with investments
in agriculture, livestock, non-farm activities, the community, particularly women. They were
small businesses etc. The program scale up was trained in handling, quality, logistics, finances,
not done by increasing project staff but by marketing etc. To promote dairy related
increasing the stakeholders interests. Thus the enterprises, Milk Collection Centres in villages
efforts are not ‘staff dependent’ but ‘beneficiary and Bulk Chilling Units (BCUs) at mandal level
oriented’. were established. He said that the major
constraint in these initiatives were in enabling
Several initiatives are taken up in collective
post harvest facilities, simple value addition and
marketing of agriculture, horticulture, NTFP
storage at village level.
produce, dairy etc. They are meant to enable
the poor to get fair terms of trade for their There was another initiative related to paddy
produce through their networks. As traditional procurement. This was undertaken by Village
market yards are mostly trader centered and Organizations in partnership with APSCSC

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

not fair to poor farmers, Village level during Rabi 2007. Procurement was done at
Marketing Centres were established which are Minimum Support Price (MSP). Major support
being managed by SHGs. The Marketing from the State Government in this initiative was
turnover of these Centers reached to Rs 2160 to ensure MSP. The benefit reached small and
million in 2007-08 from just Rs 10 million in its marginal farmers. With 316 village procurement
initial year (2001-02). The major commodities centres 324 thousand MT of paddy worth
are maize, paddy, redgram, soybean, neem, Rs. 2100 million was procured. There was a
groundnut, castor, coffee, cashew, NTFP etc. minimum benefit of Rs.800 per MT to farmers
There were intense efforts to build capacities of
To ensure community managed food security
collective buying and supply of essential with the support of 90 NGOs which in turn are
commodities to members from open market on working with CBOs.
credit was undertaken. It benefited 1.64 million
The NPM approach is a ‘‘system that maintains
families by March, 2007 and each family could
the insect from reaching damaging stages and
save atleast Rs. 80 – 120 per month. It also
proportions by managing healthy crop and
generated local demand for farmers produce.
population dynamics in the crop ecosystem”.
An initiative was undertaken for promoting Understanding insect biology and behavior,
community managed sustainable agriculture. crop ecosystem and making best use of local
This was taken up in the context of acute resources and natural processes are critical
agricultural crisis as 16 out of 22 districts in elements of this approach. The paradigm shift
Andhra Pradesh are in distress. Ever is in looking pest-ecosystem relationship instead
increasing costs of cultivation due to of plant-pest relationship; adopting knowledge
externalization of inputs (particularly seeds and and skill centric model in place of input centric;
pesticides), increasing dependence on traders using local natural resources instead of
and dealers for credit, increasing ecological costs external inputs; and emphasizing on
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

due to high chemical use and decreasing interactive learning instead of linear learning.
margins to farmers are causes of this crisis. In “...In approaches like NPM, the primacy at-
spite of a vibrant SHG movement there was no tached to the farmer is very critical… it is heart-
significant improvement in agriculture based ening to see that the farmers are becoming sci-
livelihoods. Marketing intervention was the first entists …extension system was not accountable
major initiative in this regard. After searching to any external department but for the commu-
for options, scaling up of Non Pesticidal nity i.e. Village Organization. In that sense it
Management (NPM) was tried out. This was was purely community managed extension sys-
undertaken in nearly 160,000 ha across the state tem”, he observed.
This approach was able to bring farmers ‘out of ecological farming and there is a need for policy
debt trap’. These experiences amply support to move forward. These initiatives were
demonstrated that ‘if proper support is given it also able to provide certain opportunities for
is possible to bring back life to villages’. The agricultural workers. NPM service centers,
initiative was able to develop nearly 12 Village enterprises, Agricultural Labour leasing
pesticide free villages in Anantapur, Khammam in land and undertaking NPM, seed
(needs to be documented) and few villages like production, fodder production, neem seed
Gurrapu Konda became organic. procurement and selling increased labor
employment days in these villages.
Another initiative was the community managed
seed banks that was piloted in 10 villages in Yet another new initiative is being proposed by
Anantapur district. With village self sufficiency the SERP towards Community Managed
as goal, farmers produced seeds and VO helped Organic Farming. The idea is to bring 1.0
to distribute them among the farmers. The million hectares under organic farming in
focus was on seed retention rather than rainfed areas in 5000 villages covering 1.0
replacement and increasing crop and million farm families. The objective is to increase
genetic diversity. One outcome of this initiative net incomes for small and marginal farmers in
was the availability of good quality seed, in time rainfed areas. Starting with Non Pesticidal
to the farmers. By 2007-08, seed banks were Management initially, this initiative slowly
established in 70 villages for wide variety of moves to organic farming over a period of 5
crops. years. Seed banks that can provide self
sufficiency in cereals, pulses and oilseeds, farmer
There was so much learning with these
driven extension systems, institutional credit
initiatives and confidence on ecological models
through SHG – bank linkage and integration
of agriculture increased. NPM proved to be a
with NREGS for soil fertility improvement and
good stepping stone. A need for complete
moisture conservation are the critical
paradigm shift in understanding and
interventions proposed in this initiative.
supporting agriculture is identified. It was also
recognized that ecological and economic costs Shri Vijay Kumar concluded by saying that “…
of externalization of inputs is enormous. if we work harmoniously with nature, we
Loosing control over seed is suicidal and benefit and nature also benefits… And
moving to organic is the way forward. Strong working with nature means more food
natural resource base is required for sound security and more income”. ■

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Institutional Credit for Rainfed Areas –
Issues and Concerns
Shri P.V.S. Surya Kumar
T his presentation focused on providing an
overview about existing credit system in the
country and tried to analyze the obstacles and
options. The focus was particularly with regard
to NABARD’s initiatives. At the outset,
Shri Surya Kumar informed that NABARD is
extending support for implementation of
watershed and tribal development projects in
the country covering 90,000 hectares of land,
mostly under dry land belt. In the available
credit under different schemes, all the farmers
are eligible for credit whether it is for short, support from Reserve Bank of India. There are
medium or long term. There is facility of intricacies in this cyclical credit: what happens
availing loan for ‘ploughing’ also. ‘Kisan Credit’ if crop fails in 4th or 5th year? Possible solution
program is applicable to entire country. There was to write off such credit, which is not fea-
is also a scheme by NABARD which is called as sible. The National Agricultural Insurance
‘potential linked credit plan’. Scheme was tried out across the country. Only
2-3 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat
There is no negative or discriminatory bias by
have utilized this scheme to a maximum extent.
banking or financial system against farmers in
In the end, it was found that it was a difficult
rainfed areas. The lending process works in our
instrument to work with.
country if there is ‘pressure on the system’. It is
not the banks or financial institutions but the Rainfed areas are ‘risky’. The critical
district level committee that decides the lend- contention is that how can banks reach these
ing quota for their district. NABARD is in the areas and provide credit along with other
business of ‘Refinance” since its existence for external elements that are critical for rainfed
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

the last 25 years. This ‘powerful’ tool is being areas. The SHGs success in Andhra Pradesh
utilized for promotion of lot of activities related can be attributed to the state government’s
to agriculture, particularly dry land agriculture. consistent back up and support.
But “….providing access to money alone does
On the new concept of ‘financial inclusion’,
not do much for agriculture… If supporting
there is also a thinking of providing ‘refinance’
technology is not there, credit does not work…”
facility to money lenders so as to make
‘Cyclical credit’ was tried out in 5-6 states, but repayment system efficient. On institutional
results were not satisfactory. However, there is front, it is possible to make existing system
some push towards extending this credit with better or try a new model. The strong
institutional back up can better use the for the banks to design a ‘portifolio of loan’ for
available credit. In this regard the experience cattle and other livestock. Shri Surya Kumar
in Andhra Pradesh can be cited. There was a concluded by saying that the district level
‘federated structure’ of women groups which agricultural plans would be more productive
facilitated community level interventions by only when there is better coordination between
taking support from banks. There is the need the banks and CBOs. ■
Lead Discussion
External Market Linkages for SHGs are Needed
Dr. Gouri (APEDA) appreciated the experiment
of SERP and said that there should be more
such efforts for providing benefits to farmers.
If marketing part is taken care, then most of the
issues would be sorted out. The SHGs which
are now ‘producing’ for themselves should
explore ‘external’ market linkages for better
‘returns’. APEDA is exploring possible
collaboration with SERP for marketing SHG
products. ■
Open Discussion
There was a query on the sustainability of the needed for ‘upscaling’ the ‘upscaled’ programs.
SERP’s initiatives after the project support form Dr. Ramakrishna (CRIDA) asked about the
the World Bank is over. Another question was SERP approach towards livestock and
on the role of Rytu Mitra groups particularly in groundwater related issues.
dryland farming. Shri N.L. Narsimha Reddy felt
In response to the questions, Shri Vijay Kumar
that there are several people ‘left over’ from
told that ‘institutions of poor’ require certain
SHGs and options to include them in the
time to make impact socially, economically and
process should be explored. He observed that
politically. On World Bank support, he said that,
though many of the federated institutions are
‘if it withdraws, it is the responsibility of the
sustaining, they are not able to create ‘assets’.
state government to continue the support...’

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

There was also a question regarding the
According to him, each institution has a
‘responsibility of SHGs’ in preventing Bt cotton,
benchmark to function and on the basis of it
thus reducing farmers suicides in the villages.
they will survive. For example, Mandal Mahila
Shri Ravindra argued for distinctly pricing NPM
Samakhya had a benchmark of financial and self
produce with that of organic produce. Dr. B.
managed reliance.
Venkateswarlu questioned whether the
community in the organic villages could stop On the role of Rytu Mitra groups, Shri Vijay
the Bt cotton. Shri Anwar sought to know about Kumar said that unfortunately they were not
the support systems and instruments that are strengthened to the desired extent. There was
no ‘internal push’ and process visible in their On credit scenario, Dr. Amita Shah felt that
functioning. The need is for a binding factor initiatives are increasing to strengthen the credit
among the members. He told that there is some system in the country. She felt that the basic
serious thinking on evolving a strategy for credit and investment should be routed through
developing self sustainable farmer groups. On the State and sought to know the ‘fresh
scaling up the process, he remarked that “.. the thinking’ about lending and micro finance
vision is the decent life of the ultra poor.. in this related issues. Shri Vijay Kumar felt that the
sense the numbers do not count… The need is best results are possible only when there is
to look not only at farming but also other win-win solution for farmers. He suggested for
possible options in the process. More important ‘consortium approach’ for lending support and
is the ‘investment in institutions’ which is the further fine tuning crop loan system. On
foundation for any developmental program in multiple membership and accessing loans from
the country. Indeed these costs are very low and different institutions, Shri Surya Kumar
unless we do that, benefits would not accrue”. clarified that “…it is the lender’s concern and
they should have clarity on the consequences”.
On addressing Bt cotton issue, Shri Vijay Kumar
hoped that more and more farmers would Co-chairperson Prof.
gradually shift towards NPM and sustainable M.R. Sharma observed
agriculture. The strategy is to scale up much that banks have given
more intensively. He opined that NPM/ top priority to involve
sustainable agriculture would provide the the SHGs and NGOs in
needed solution to address the farmers’ distress the development in the
that is very acute in many parts of the country. country. He also
referred about the
According to Shri Vijay Kumar, NPM should
‘Vikas Volunteer Vahini’ (VVV), an extension
be an ‘entry point’ in watersheds and farming
vehicle of NABARD for critical lending in
system approach wherein there is space for
priority areas by providing technical know-how
livestock, which is the need of the hour. He
and do-how.
concluded with a pointer that, “… whenever
he visits NPM areas, he is able to come with Chairperson Dr.
new energy; even in the context of distress J.Venkateswarlu
elsewhere due to farmers suicides…” appreciated the fact that
‘the experiences have
On marketing of NPM produce, Dr. Gouri
clearly shown that
responded that certification is a critical
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

farmers are becoming

marketing tool for convincing the consumers.
scientists and there is institutionalization of
She observed that, “…our farmers are very
production system’. Reaching the unreached
much educated and smart, they are ready to go
has been highlighted. That community managed
for certification if there are assured returns..”
development is sustainable has been clearly spelt
Taking reference of the experience in European
out in the discussions. He concluded by
Countries, she explained that there is a
stressing on the need for evolving proper policy
situation prevailing where the farmer’s
for credit system and capacity building of
certification is more valuable than other
farmers, particularly in the marketing related
aspects. ■
Parallel Session
Theme - F. Self Reliant Development of Small Ruminants with
Resource Poor Families

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Dr.Y.S. Ramakrishna, Director, CRIDA
Dr. Kamal Kishore, Wool Consultant
Dr. V. Padma Kumar, Programme Officer, CALPI
Analysis of Existing Policies and Schemes for
Development of Small Ruminants
Dr. P. Sreeramulu
Retd. Addl. Director, Animal Husbandry, GoAP
bottlenecks which discounts the optimum utili-
zation of resources.
The presentation elaborated on the distribution
of goats and sheep across the country. Goats
are widely distributed across all agro-climatic
regions and their concentration is mainly in the
states of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
Sheep population is found in the arid and
semi-arid areas of Western India, Deccan
D r. Sreeramulu gave an overview about the
Plateau and Western Himalayas. About 60%
current status of livestock in the country,
of sheep population in the country is
elaborated on the issues and provided the
concentrated in six states: Andhra Pradesh,
needed approaches. He said that the livestock
Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jammu &
distribution is more skewed and there are about
Kashmir and Maharashtra. While the goats
440 million livestock distributed over 100
density is highest in the irrigated ecosystem
million households across 600,000 villages. It is
followed by hill and mountain ecosystem, sheep
an important livelihood activity, supporting
density is the highest in the arid eco-system and
agriculture in the form of critical inputs like
least in the irrigated system.
draught power and manure, contributing to
food security of the household, supplementing Dr. Sreeramulu said that small ruminants make
income, offering employment opportunities, an important contribution to the sustenance of
and in a sense, a dependable ‘bank on hooves’ small and marginal farmers and landless rural
during adverse situations. He pointed out that populace of India. They also make substantial
in Indian context; livestock and agriculture are contribution, Rs.24,000 millions every year, to
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

intrinsically linked unike the West. India holds the rural economy. At the national level, small
about 182 million small ruminants (120 million ruminants account for 14% meat, 4% of the milk
goats and 62 million sheep). These are mainly and 15% of skins and hide production and
for meat. Milk from goats, fiber from sheep, and contribute 10% of total value of livestock
manure from both also contribute to the eco- sector. But he said that this component of
nomic value. The aggregate economic value, livestock is not getting proper attention in
employment, decentralized production pattern budget allocations of national plans. Though a
conclusively proves in-built socio- economic number of micro studies concluded that the
character of small ruminants in India. small ruminants have great social and economic
However, the system still suffers from several relevance in poverty reduction and social
equity, paradoxically livestock sector receives a Dr. Sreeramulu remarked that there is pressure
paltry 2.5% of the public spending in the on fodder resource base due to decline in the
country. Dr. Sreeramulu stated that “.... the CPR’s - area wise and quality wise. He stated
irony is that there is considerable bias against that, “…due to introduction of credit facilities,
small ruminants, they are perceived as inimical many new entrants came into Small Ruminant
to the ecosystem. There is insignificant space Development programmes who have little
given to this important component in the awareness on rotation grazing, leading to the
national level policies… In XIth Plan also, it seems increased dependency on CPR’s and resultant
there is consideration and mention about degradation of grazing lands..” He suggested
grazing policy but nothing related to livestock that there is need to develop CPRs on
development”. sustainable basis for addressing these issues. He
felt that Civil society organisations with NRM
He elaborated on the government initiatives for
experience need to be identified for supporting
development of small ruminants. Several cross
community mobilization and participation.
breeding trials were attempted using exotic
Feed supplementation and fodder base
breeds in sheep to evolve new breeds for wool
regeneration activities need to be taken up.
quality, particularly apparel variety. In goats,
There is a need for emphasized propagation of
cross breeding to improve milk yield or efforts
multi purpose fodder trees and these efforts
to improve Mohair too, have not yet provided
should not be limited to just ‘greening’ the land.
any conclusive results. “…Attempts at cross-
Village committees must be empowered in
breeding of Indian breeds of sheep and goats
managing the land and civil society groups can
with exotic breeds have not served the Indian
facilitate the process. There is a need to develop
livestock industry in any manner and were
mechanisms to enable the community to ensure
mostly of academic interest”, he observed.
a balance between stocking rate and the
There is poor awareness regarding importance biomass availability. Efforts should also be there
of livestock in livelihoods. Dr. Sreeramulu on long-term sustainability of CPR by
further dwelled on the issues concerned to balancing cost and benefit/ income. In this
livestock in the country and suggested needed regard, Dr. Sreeramulu mentioned that there
approaches. Facilitating knowledge sharing are some efforts in states like Madhya Pradesh
platforms, promoting value based changes for and Himachal Pradesh in developing CPRs for
key service providers and enabling women’s livestock. There are also efforts in Andhra
participation in small ruminant rearing and Pradesh, with CBO and NGO interventions.
production are critical. On institutional front,
Pointing out that illiteracy is high in shepherds

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

he said that efforts should be on mobilizing
he said that they are aloof from the rest of the
rearers and organizing them into rearers
village. Another critical issue he raised is the
groups/ associations/ co-operatives. Existing
inadequate veterinary health services for
groups need to be strengthened. Pilots need to
livestock and lack of adequate focus on the
be developed to promote equity based
genetic improvement. He observed that there is
representation of women in the rearer
absence of seriousness on National level Disease
organizations. He opined that outside agencies
Control Programs for Livestock in the country.
like NGOs can be given proper space to
In this context, he suggested that focus should
bringing in synergies/convergence, thus
be on disease prevention, effective, speedy and
empowering the rearers.
accessible diagnostic services (in migration also) He suggested that efforts should be made for
and training to community based para-vet pooling and dissemination of market
workers. There is also a need to promote information and setting market standards and
selective breeding policy. He felt that specifications (by rearers, rearer organizations,
encouraging women to spearhead selective NGOs and Government bodies). There should
breeding helps in meeting the demand of rearers be strong lobbying on the government to
for superior breeding rams/ bucks in the implement effective disease prevention and
village flocks. According to him, ram lamb eradication measures and also to open global
rearing is lucrative and hence can be facilitated markets. He felt that sale of small ruminants on
as part of livelihood options (for women who the basis of body weight should be vigourously
have knowledge, skill and experience). He said promoted and rural abattoirs should be
that ‘open nucleus policy’ can be adopted for facilitated for paying higher price to the rearers
breeding. In this regard, Dr. Sreeramulu and providing hygienic meat for the
explained about the economics of goat rearing consumers. He favoured establishing market
wherein 2-3 goats can give an income of yards and facilitating rearers to go for direct
Rs 7000-8000 in a year. He observed that, sale. According to him, efforts should also be
“... unfortunately these economics have not there for distribution to different markets,
caught the imagination of either the economists negotiating for long term price and supply
or the development practitioners…” contracts with market oriented production, bet-
ter processing, etc.
Dr. Sreeramulu felt that there is also reduced
access to credit and insurance for livestock. To address the issue of poor inter-
Linking individual rearers groups with departmental coordination, he suggested
institutional credit and insurance is the need of formation of inter-departmental committee of
the hour. He suggested to link credit with key stakeholders for exploring the areas of
insurance for covering the risk of loss of synergy. Inter-state coordination interventions
production and life. Short term credit facility is can be initiated where there is large migratory
to be extended to the small ruminant sector. He population. These initiatives can be to set up
felt that providing bank loans to establish the norms of migration, fixing migratory routes,
pastures and growing fodder tress on their lands codes of conduct, providing services during
should be tried out. He also opined that migration etc. He felt that focused approach
‘community insurance’ through SHG’s (rearer can be achieved by setting active Small
groups) can be implemented where Ruminant Cell in Animal Husbandry
compensation is paid to claimant from funds Department. He called for evolving small
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

generated out of the premium paid by the ruminant policy at state and national levels, to
members. be implemented through Department of
Animal Husbandry. He concluded by saying
He said that lack of efficient marketing mecha-
that Public-Private partnership be explored for
nisms is impeding direct market access, lack of
forward and backward linkages like
market information and lack of prescribed
procurement, distribution, marketing, supply of
market standards and specifications are
inputs, feed, vaccination, disease control etc.
impinging the growth of the livestock sector.

Community Managed Development of
Small Ruminants – Redesigning of Support Systems
Dr. A.K. Joseph
Senior Programme Coordinator, CALPI
D r. Joseph primarily focused on the inherent
strengths and weaknesses of small ruminant
production and elaborated on the needed
support systems to better utilize the potential.
Dr. Joseph observed that the existence of a vast
number animals and diverse breeds are
providing major source of income and
employment for many households in the
country. According to him, small ruminants
are ‘Banks on hooves for the poor which insures
against income shocks’. For landless, it enables the extensive system of rearing requiring high
private benefit out of public resources. Joseph labour input per animal and low yield per
told that it is ‘a sector in the waiting for a animal and the flock.
revolution and if not helped, it would evict the
Dr. Joseph pointed out that the per animal
poor towards city slums’.
return from small ruminant rearing has to be
Dr. Joseph presented elaborate data on the improved drastically to become competitive
economics of sheep and goat rearing. Data against other income options. And for the
regarding economics of sheep breeding (1999- income to grow, both the efficiency of
00) in states like Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan production and the scale of operations have to
and West Bengal showed that the net returns be improved. He also presented data about the
(per ewe in a year) ranged from Rs 211 – 350 trends in distribution of land and small
for land less and Rs 230-388 for marginal ruminants in the country. In 1999 - 2000, half
farmers. The indicative earning per person/ of the small ruminant holding house holds in
day, including wage earning, ranged from Andhra Pradesh had a flock size of < 5 Small
Rs 8 – 36 for land less and Rs 18 – 50 for Ruminants and another 49 percent had flock

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

marginal farmers. Data regarding economics of size of 5 – 15 Small Ruminants. The other
goat breeding (1999-00) in Andhra Pradesh major states holding small ruminants like
indicates that the net returns/doe/annum for Orissa, Maharashtra, and West Bengal also
a flock of less than 5 is nearly Rs 395/- and it showed similar trend. But most of these regions
was Rs 797/- for a flock of 15-30. Wages reflect a vicious cycle of poverty trap. He cited
realized per annum ranged from Rs 2548/- to reasons for this disturbing trend that are:
Rs 4480/- and the total net income per annum dwindling feed availability, degradation of
was in between Rs 1576/- to Rs 15940/- for CPRs, restrictions on grazing by JFMs and
flocks of 5 and 5-15, respectively. The lower watershed committees, lack of genetic up-
returns are mainly due to the smaller flock size, gradation of stock, poor access to services, low
economy of scale, low net returns, poor returns needed in terms of facilitation of technical
on labour, inefficient market access, increasing inputs (supplementary feeding, vaccination,
non-farm employment options, growing wage de-worming, and management of CPR),
rates/opportunity cost of labour hardships of production and rotation of breeding males,
rearers on migration etc. Goats and sheeps are extension (facilitation), marketing and credit /
considered to be the animals of the poor. The insurance. And support for rearers is required
number of ovines per 100 households has in productive rearing, feeding, breeding, health,
decreased over the years. This figure has shown management, credit/insurance, participation in
higher decreases with the landless families. SHGs etc.
Small ruminants are now getting more and more
He further elaborated on the support systems
concentrated among marginal farmers.
needed in the scale of operations, marketing,
Dr. Joseph pointed out that there is a growing health, breeding, extension, feeding, credit etc.
demand for meat across the world and He said that it is economically viable for a rearer
globalization has opened up the markets. But when he/she owns > 12 small ruminants with
there are also threats related to the effects on at least 1 male. According to him, each SHG/
environmental system and the poor being CIG should cover > 12 rearers and 150 small
evicted by the resource rich. He felt that these ruminants. In marketing, he felt that, the
factors are seriously urging for modernization Producer Company should take care of market
of the sector. According to him, this research and dissemination. It should have
modernization should be in a system in which patronage voting with deterrents for the rich
the production, procurement, processing (on from taking over control of the company. Live
contract), marketing, productivity enhancement animal sales and export should also be taken
are integrated under a structure owned and care of by the company in partnership with the
controlled by the rearers and which ensures a private processor. Support systems for
remunerative income and inclusive growth, with vaccination; de-worming and emergency
economic and environmental sustainability as the control and village level workers should be made
non-negotiables. He recommended formation available. With regard to animal breeding, the
of a Producer Company with the stake of Rearer Producer Company has to plan production,
SHGs. He said that it should steer the business distribution/ rotation of superior males based
and it can enter into partnership with private on field recording. Contract production of males
processors. should be arranged through rearers / user
SHGs. Males should be distributed on cost by
Dr. Joseph explained the support systems
availing government subsidies. Breeding and
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

needed at various levels: the producer company,

feed improvement should go together. It should
private processor, SHGs and the rearers. All the
own/ contract out a feed plant. Feed
services available with existing institutions
supplements should be supplied on cost basis.
should be accessed. At the Producer Company
Producer company should also take care of
level, support is needed for planning,
arranging extension, training, exposure and it
contracting, scheduling, coordination of inputs,
should also encourage farmer to farmer
services and extension, market research and
extension. Thrift should be encouraged among
advise, feed production /contract, credit and
SHGs and credit needs should be met through
insurance etc. There should be genetic
banks and SHGs.
improvement of breeds. For SHGs, support is
While emphasizing the need for development CPRs development. Appropriate social norms
of CPRs for fodder production, Joseph outlined need to be developed. NGOs can facilitate this
certain critical issues in this regard. process by building capacities and providing
Encroachment, distribution for non-agricultural technical back up. Government can extend
purposes, privatization, over-stocking, support by allocating CPRs, providing usufruct
overgrazing, degradation, low community and management rights to user groups/
participation, poor interagency coordination community. It should also provide initial
were some of the issues outlined. He stressed financial support and inter departmental
on the need for the community participation in convergence. ■
Lead Discussion
'Economic' Value in Pastoral System
flocks would comprise one herd which consists
of 850-1200 sheep. They go for migration to an
extent of 15-25 sq km radius. Major migration
heads include Chikodi, Mudhol, Haveri,
Ramdurg, Halyal, Mundgod, Koppal,
Gangavati, Kappad Guda, Hospet, Shikaripur
and Almatti. This is highly evolved robust
pastoral system in terms of herd management,
grazing, adhoc networking, housing, breeding,
nutrition and marketing. This system also has
S hri Gopi Krishna (Jana Jagaran) made a
its economic value. Traditionally farmers in the
rainfed areas would pay Rs 120-250 for
presentation about community managed
penning, in kind. One flock in one night
development of small ruminants and
approximately contributes 42 Kilos of
pastoralism in rainfed areas. At the outset, he
concentrated dung plus 20 Kgs of Urine.
explained about the relationship of rainfed
Income also accrues through stubble grazing,
cropping system with atmospheric conditions
lopping and sale of lambs.
and symbiotic relationship between soil, animal
and plants. Then he presented an experience of Major issues and concerns noticed in the
small ruminant holders (Kurbas, Dhanghar, system were related to diseases and epidemics.

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Gollas, Lamanis, Bedars, etc) pastoral system Stating that we have failed in the breeding
in Deccan Plateau. In North Karnataka, programme, he said that we have inherited the
pastoralism among sheep and goat rearers exotic diseases like blue tongue and PPR.
(Kurbas and Gollas) was visible in nomadic, semi Absence of CPRs and grazing lands, pesticide
nomadic and stationary forms. Whereas cattle residues, availability of water etc. are the other
and buffalo rearers (Gawalis and Lambanis) concerns that are negatively influcening the
were mostly semi nomadic and stationary. A rearing of small ruminants. He said that there
person with a flock of 100-150 sheep lead the are many cooperatives of the shepherds, but they
migration with the help of 4-5 people. 8-10 such have been dominated by political and vested
interests. Value addition related interevetnions supporting value addition by SHGs and
were also not effective and are not working creating markets for them. They are
(particularly wool related industries). documenting ethno-veterinary practices and are
involved in manufacturing bags with skin and
Jana Jagaran made some interventions with
wool of black goats; better use of wool; related
regard to: organizing shepherds at migration
trainings, felting etc.
head level, forming women SHGs, training

barefoot vets, providing basic health services,
Need for Applied Research
communities’ in certain areas. While sharing the
experiences of Seva Mandir related to CPRs, he
mentioned that the degradation of CPRs could
be reversible and this does not require fancy
policy changes, but effective institutional
arrangements. The biomass generation process
requires considerable protection arrangements
and the rearers of small ruminants have to face
hardships in this process (e.g.: selling small
ruminants or shifting to other types of animals).
S hri Shailendra Tiwari (Seva Mandir) opined It is important to develop appropriate partner-
that the issue of CPRs in relation to small ships in conducting ‘applied research’ on issues
ruminants is a complex one. He said that there related to small ruminants and their problems
is ‘inherent exclusion’ of people dependent on (e.g.: species of grazing etc). There was also a
small ruminants even in the process of concern about shrinking grazing land in
protection of CPR and related institutional Rajasthan and also on the issue that the state
arrangements. The situation is that these small government is providing large chunk of CPRs
ruminant holders are being forced to leave their to private companies for Bio Fuel plantation,
animals due the pressure of ‘dominant such as jatropha. ■
Open Discussion
S hri Abdul Karim (RDT) questioned whether
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

sheep, he queried whether alternative products

any contradiction is there in stating that goat is like cheese can also be produced from these
not harmful in the backdrop of earlier animals. He also said that the main problem
government in Andhra Pradesh restricting goat seem to be availability of fodder and sought to
rearing. He also enquired about the economic know answers for these problems.
feasibility of goat rearing by women and asked
for research backup. He wanted to know Dr. Sreeramulu clarified that the government
whether the shift from the Deccani breed to of Andhra Pradesh never officially banned
Nellore breed is desirable. Stating that meat goats. He accepted that the Department of
seems to be dominating philosophy of goat and Animal Husbandry did a mistake by
introducing cross breeding of Nellore and goats/ sheep, with technical support of
Deccani breeds. On CPRs being assigned to facilitating agencies on health and animal
private companies, he responded saying that husbandry related issues. Stall feeding of small
the present workshop can strongly make ruminants is feasible, but economically not
necessary recommendations in this regard as viable. Grazing and supplementary feed is an
growing jatrofa has serious implications on important option. Joseph stated that while meat
small ruminants. Welcoming the value added focus is a reality, other products (dung and
products from goat milk he said that these are urine) also deserve attention.
very local initiatives, as generally goat milk is
The session concluded with the chairperson’s
just sufficient to its kids.
remarks on the continuing critical role of goats
On goat rearing activity by women SHGs, and sheep in the rainfed areas.
Dr. Joseph emphatically said that there are

number of examples in which SHGs reared New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Group Work on Selected Themes
Dr. Sanghi and Shri M.V Ramachandrudu The focus of the groups on discussing
facilitated the session. Four themes related to respective themes should be on: (i) looking at
rainfed farming that were identified for group specific requirements of rainfed areas –
discussion are; (i) Agriculture in Rainfed Areas – especially in the context of the rainfed farming
Soil fertility, Pest Management and seeds, systems; (ii) identifying the priority areas for
(ii) Water for Rainfed Areas, (iii) Re-looking at action in rainfed areas, (iii) needed support/
Livestock in Rainfed Areas and (iv) Institutions and systems and the successful experiences to

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

credits for Rainfed Areas development. illustrate such priorities; and (iv) suggesting the
needed macro perspectives/ guiding principles
Accordingly, participants were organized into
and public support system to drive the desired
4 groups and following facilitators were
change and providing insights for
identified for these groups: (i) Dr. B.
Venkateswarlu, (ii) Dr. K.J. Joy, (iii) Dr. V.
Padma Kumar and (iv) Dr. Amita Shah. A The groups worked separately and came to the
specific theme was assigned for each group for plenary session for presentation of their
discussion. The details of the group discussions and recommendations on the
composition are given in Annexure – 3. respective themes. ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Presentations and Highlights of Group Work
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Dr.Y.S. Ramakrishna, Director, CRIDA
Dr. C. Shambu Prasad, Associate Professor, XIM
Shri N.L. Narsimha Reddy, CEO, PLF
Theme – 1
‘Agriculture in Rainfed Areas - Soil - Pest Management’
felt that there is a need to redefine conservation
agriculture for Indian context so that it suits the
small holders. Incentives need to be extended
for biomass generation and incorporation for
nutrient management into the soil. The NREGS
may be used for such interventions. These
nutrient based subsidies should be given directly
to farmers irrespective of the form of nutrients.
Incentives also need to be built up for
management of problematic soils like acidic,
D r. B. Venkateswarlu initiated the group alkaline, saline and with poor drainage. There
discussion, which covered aspects like: shift in should be incentives to oil cakes, manures and
research focus, farming systems and cropping bio fertilizers.
systems, measures for augmenting soil moisture,
Emphasis should be on local resource
enhancing soil health, small farm
utilization (tank silt etc) with the help of
mechanization, pest management, seed systems
communities and matching incentives need to
and using the provisions of existing schemes.
be provided. The native earthworm activity may
The Group felt that the focus should be on be enhanced by increasing organic matter
ensuring livelihood security rather than through mulching. Appropriate composting
technology generation alone and land mechanisms, biogas and enriched composting
productivity rather than crop productivity. need to be promoted with proper incentives.
Efforts are needed to evolve required inclusion There should be incentives for off season cover
strategies for landless. Farming systems cropping and biomass banks with ‘legumes’.
approach need to be followed covering fodder, Benefits of organic matter addition (with
fuel, medicinal and other multiple uses. Multi measure like in situ composting etc) in terms of
purpose trees useful for pest management and carbon credits need to be validated and
soil health (neem, glyricidia, karanj etc) need to documented.
be promoted in common lands. Land use should
Research focus should be on rediscovering the
ensure a proper balance between crop and non
value of soil organisms and necessary
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

crop areas in order to augment soil moisture

investments should be allocated for this. It
and conserve soil. Incentives need to be
should also focus on technical elements
extended for activities related to moisture
(exploring the science behind) and financial
conservation. Appropriate tools and
aspects of strengthening indigenous organic
implements for efficient tillage/management
products in relation to soil health. The
need to be developed. Interventions with
measures for increasing soil productivity with
multiple benefits should be promoted.
home made organic preparations (like
The group recommended strong measures for panchagavya, jeevamrut, cattle urine, etc.) need
improving soil health in rainfed areas. It was to be scientifically validated and promoted.
Efforts should be made for integrated use of all be extended in a regenerative mode to groups
available resources, exploring opportunities of rather than to individuals. Custom hiring
carbon sequestration and carbon trading. centres with local enterprises need to be pro-
Mechanisms for supply of seed/ plant material moted for delivering inputs and services.
to meet the biomass requirements of soil
On seed systems, the group emphasized on self
fertility need to be evolved.
reliance in seed as an overarching goal to drive
For small farm mechanization, custom hiring the policy; and seed diversity need to be
centres for implements need to be established. recognized as a tool for sustainable agriculture.
Implements need to be redesigned to suit to small It was suggested to evolve seed storage
holders and implements, which can improve technology /seed banks in the local situation.
efficiency and reduce drudgery for labor. Local processing in value addition need to be
Efforts should be made towards mechanization encouraged. Village level seed bank should be
for mixed/inter-cropping and incorporation of promoted by removing all hindrances in the
biomass. process. Subsidy should be given for informal
seed exchange so as to institutionalize the
With regard to Pest Management, it was felt
village level seed bank with CBO as a base. It
that Agro Eco System based Pest and Disease
was also felt that the quality control need to be
Management should be the approach. Subsidies
institutionalized at community level. The
need to be given for a ‘practice’ rather than for
presentation concluded with suggestions to
an ‘input’. Efforts should be made to rediscover
review the existing schemes/programs so as to
the value of cultural practices and validate
make use of the required provisions for
indigenous knowledge. Focus should be on
operationalizing the above activities.
capacity building for pest surveillance and

identification. Subsidy/revolving fund should
Theme – 2
'Water for Rainfed Areas'
D r. K.J. Joy made this presentation on behalf
of the Group. It emphasized on recognizing
water as a ‘key resource’ for dryland farming.
As it is required for both agriculture and non
agriculture livelihoods, it was suggested to

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

‘ensure basic minimum water to all households’.
Group also stressed on prioritization of water
for drinking (human and cattle), for other
household uses and for livelihood options.
Group felt that watershed based integrated
approach is the key in the rainfed areas and be on developing soil moisture and critical
focus should be on milli watershed, integrating irrigation (applied water). Group suggested that
it with existing tanks and other water bodies each household need to be provided with
(minor irrigation, ponds etc). Emphasis should critical irrigation atleast for one hectare of area.
Allocations/ entitlements and provision of this local delivery machinery. Better marketing
water should be part of watershed programmes. facilities and terms for produce need to be
Land Use planning and appropriate cropping evolved. It should be the responsibility of the
pattern which includes water efficient crops state to create infrastructure (processing,
should be promoted. Support should be storage etc) with operation and maintenance
extended for interventions like farm ponds, taken over by local communities.
usage of treadle pumps etc.
On governance issues, the Group felt that the
The group dwelt in depth about the issues of first step should be to provide primacy to the
incentives and policies. It suggested promoting decentralized local governance. State should
appropriate cropping pattern, to be ensured play supportive role through enabling policy
through CBOs and PRIs. State should ensure structure and legal provisions in the process of
higher support prices for these crops. While empowering local communities. Efforts should
emphasizing on conditionality of non water be put on for resource literacy, water
intensive crops, extending input subsidy for balancing, water budgeting that leads towards
such crops was suggested. Subsidy for water informed decision making; social auditing.
saving technologies should be tied to making Commercial use of water should not be allowed
the saved water available (for people who do unless ‘water security for all’ is met. Water
not have access to water). Non water sector Users Associations constituting all households
incentives (for e.g. rationed electricity but should be identified as decision making body
dependable and assured) can be tried out. It was for water use and these should work under the
suggested that subsidies should be given to framework of Panchayat Raj Institutions. Land
groups and collectives, to the objective/ and water relations should be relooked in the
function but not to specific technology. Efforts context of Easement Act, Parikh Committee
should be made for required knowledge base, report, Experts report on Ground Water, etc.
capacity enhancement of the community and ■
Theme – 3
'Re-looking Livestock in Rainfed Areas'
D r. V. Padma Kumar made this presentation higher the aridity more is the number of
on behalf the Group. Group observed that livestock and greater livelihood contribution.
Grazing based animal husbandry is the
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

dominant livestock production system in the

drylands. It contributes for livelihoods of
asset-less poor; facilitates reclamation of dry
lands, ensures biodiversity, increases efficiency
in resource use and reduce risks against climatic
variability. However, in the larger scheme of
development policies which follow ‘static
development model’, this production system has
been sidelined.
Focusing on the characteristics of livestock in market); providing infrastructural and
rainfed farming system, the Group felt that it is technical support and insurance.
‘a dynamic resource dependent resilient system
On policy requirements and guiding principles
that responds to variabilities (sedentary to
from a macro-perspective, the Group felt the
nomadic and vice versa, similarly, large
need for looking at from regional dimension and
ruminants to small ruminants and back)’.
draw common elements at national level. There
Predominantly dependent on common property
should be emphasis on disease eradication in
resources, it buffers agricultural vulnerability,
dry lands and space for community based
but itself is highly vulnerable. It enables
organisations in delivering preventive health
efficient use of resources (e.g. water use
services. Breeding policy appropriate to the
efficiency is high if crops and livestock are
system should be evolved. Research has shown
integrated) and contributes to soil health
that improvement in genotype and potential for
through nutrient recycling. It also functions as
productivity growth is less significant in harsh
an adaptation and coping instrument to reduce
environments. Livestock development in less
shocks and vulnerabilities.
endowed regions has its limitations. The Group
The Group recommended for developing a ‘dry also emphasized that the need is to go beyond
land livestock perspective’ and its integration sectoral approaches with regard to investments
into the mainstream development agenda. It and administration. It was suggested that these
was felt that it should have its own character, should be allocated and administered for the
and not replicate mainstream models, as it system as a whole and not for specific
addresses totally different agro-ecological components.
landscape. The Group suggested to go beyond
The Group presented some possible
sectoral approach as the issues cut-across
interventions, which will make improvements
different sectors. The new perspective should
in the livestock based livelihood system in dry
look at livestock as: contributors of livelihoods in
lands. These are: empowering communities,
precarious environment, contributors of ecological
providing access right for grazing, growing
services, coping instruments against vulnerability
fodder trees in CPRs, enabling community
and contributors in niche markets.
participated genetic improvement, creating
The group felt that the priority area is to health services (including ethno veterinary
develop appropriate support systems practices), providing higher investment,
(including institutional mechanism) that cater supporting marketing for organic milk/ meat
to the needs of rainfed landscape. Specific and payment for ecosystem services (manuring
requirements are: developing grazing/common dry lands, maintaining biodiversity, etc.). It was

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

land with public, private and community also emphasized to see whether these are
participation and its effective management; enough to move from subsistence to a higher
providing needed investments for technical degree of prosperity and any other
innovations (feed/ fodder banks, local abattoirs, innovations are needed for a breakthrough. If
etc.); enabling health services on migration intensive production (with backward-forward
route, facilitating intra and inter state linkages) is planned, one should look at the
migration; strengthening relation with sustainability principles. The presentation ended
agriculturists, particularly in states like Punjab with a quote “… Twenty years from now, you
and Rajasthan; enhancing complementarities; will be more disappointed by the things you
creating market access (niche and bigger didn’t do than by the ones you did…” ■
Theme – 4
Institutions and Credit for Rainfed Areas Development
D r. Amita Shah made this presentation on
behalf of the group. It was felt that the focus
should be on institutions which cater to
various requirements of farming system in
rainfed areas. These institutions should reassert
their role to suit the requirement of these areas
having high variability. They should be context
specific, knowledge based and distinctly
involving concerned people. Area based
approach rather than individual farmer based
approach should be in place. It was further
country. There should be institutions that are
emphasized that ‘the institutions are essential
‘people centric’, ‘participatory’, ‘location and
catalysts of development process’ and the need
context specific’ and ‘knowledge based’. They
is to re-strengthen them with a ‘purpose to make
should specifically address the concerns
them more broad based and flexible so that they
relating to ‘poverty’ and ‘women’.
can address the needs of rainfed areas. It was
suggested to make an inventory of ‘creative and Group also felt that there was no need for
innovative’ institutions in the country, more ‘many’, ‘new’ institutions but it is required to
specifically for the rainfed areas. restrengthen the existing institutions and
cooperative system at micro level. It made
The Group felt that the ‘pre existing constraints’
references of models like Mutually Aided
led to market and state failures in delivering the
Cooperative Societies in Andhra Pradesh and
needs, mostly concerned to the rainfed areas. It
Cooperative Movement in Maharashtra. The
underlies the significance of the institution as a
need is to make ‘more broad based functional
‘precondition’ and ‘precursor’ to any
frame work of mechanisms to survive and
development process and investment in them
deliver’. Group also stressed on the need to
is an essential prerequisite. It was also felt that
promote ‘para statal’ institutions like Indira
there is ‘huge amount of energy and wealth’ in
Kranthi Patham (IKP) in Andhra Pradesh.
the existing institutions, covering both
government and outside and that needs to be On supply of credit line, Group felt that rainfed
utilized efficiently and effectively. areas are ‘under funded’ and that there is need
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

for setting up of institutions which can

The group suggested following measures while
facilitate good flow of ‘blood’ (credit) into the
building new or strengthening existing
‘veins’ of rainfed areas. There is no dearth of
institutions. There is a need to ‘reassert the
credit but the issue lies in its ‘effective delivery’.
accountability’ at policy, institutional and
This could be due to system related constraints
service delivery levels. There is also a need to
or knowledge lacunae or both. It was suggested
conceptualize a new framework for the
to build the capacities in the system to address
institutions which can address all the issues and
the inbuilt gaps.
concerns right from policy to micro level. It is
also essential to create a system which accounts There is a need for special allocation of funds
for ‘multi functionality’ of agriculture in the for rainfed areas. NABARD could take specific
role as an institution for rainfed agriculture and To supplement this presentation, Dr. N.K.
reflect its priority. It can facilitate evolution of Sanghi presented an alternative institutional
appropriate institutions and credit instruments set-up that is suitable for rainfed areas. He said
at different levels. Thus the need to work more that enabling institutions at different levels are
closely with NABARD was stressed. It is a fact crucial for meeting diversified needs of these
that credit flow is successful and productive areas with decentralized decision-making and
only when there is backup with required systems approach. It is clearly evident that
‘technology’. The lesson is that there is a need sustainable CBOs are becoming a nucleus of
to evolve ‘new technologies’ rather than entire developmental process in rainfed areas.
working with green revolution technology. Though women SHGs have shown promising
Investments need to be made for evolving such results so far in upscaling alternative
technologies, not only at microscopic but also experiences, it was felt that there is however a
at higher levels. need to look beyond these SHGs. The identified
needs and concerns of alternative institutional
It was felt that multiple models of institutions
mechanism were: proximity of the institutions
can exist with appropriate back up technology
to the community, federating SHGs at different
and credit support. Suitable laws for making
levels, registration of above federations under
‘joint responsibility’ (of men and women) should
enabling law (e.g. MACS, Producers Company,
be evolved in creating systems. It was also
etc), evolving mechanism to involve men into
explored whether ‘family SHGs’ are an option
the groups (e.g. CIGs, family SHGs, RMGs,
that can be tried out. The whole functioning of
modified farmers club), emergence of para statal
Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), which are
organization besides CBOs (e.g. IKP) and
already on public domain, need to be revisited
governance mechanism for functioning of
and efforts should be there to make their focus
CBOs. It was also felt that institutional
on rainfed areas.
mechanism for sustainable development as well
The Group provided broad principles and as utilization of CPR is crucial through social
guidelines for evolving appropriate institutions. regulation and enabling policies. It was
These are in terms of: efficacy in delivery, suggested that an efficient accounting system
sustainability and alternative to CBOs. A should be evolved for micro-level situation (e.g.
structure of ‘multi layered’ institutions for village) for participatory development of rainfed
rainfed areas could be evolved. The role of areas.
institutions was also broadly suggested in terms
of value addition, marketing and credit efficiency. ■
Open Discussion

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

I nitiating the discussion Shri Achyut Das be evolved for providing back up to attain self
observed that attention should be on ‘political sufficiency in rainfed villages. Shri Ravindra
economy’ particularly when the issues related raised a concern that more issues are being left
to rainfed farming are in consideration. There to the ‘farmer’s domain’ and it is wrong to
is a need to focus on issues like displacement, assume that they should invest more on
mining etc. He observed that though livelihoods agriculture and water related interventions. In
are important, focus should be on providing this regard, he referred about the urban
‘food security’. Appropriate institutions need to plantation program where there was large push
and investment by the government. He ques- them. He also stressed on the need to create
tioned why there is apathy in addressing the ‘market pull’ for millets so that the companies
issues related to farmers. He also questioned in food market can utilize this produce from
about the thinking that the SHGs should run rainfed areas. Dr. Preeti Kumar felt that the
on their own. He remarked that “…this ‘variability’ issues of rainfed areas could be
‘mythical notion’ is killing many SHGs. There is addressed by effective ‘district level planning’.
no machine with perpetual motion! There This could be a vehicle for bringing climate
should be a supportive and facilitative variability in the agricultural systems. Shri Gopi
mechanism…” Krishna suggested moving away from ‘biotic
consumption’ in rainfed areas. Dr. B.
He stressed on the need to create market
Venkateswarlu suggested not to loose sight of
demand for ‘millets’ and strongly objected to
consumers in the whole paradigm. The
the contention that there is no demand for them.
question is whether to ‘produce to consume’ or
“… How much demand existed for paddy in
‘consume to produce’. Mr. H. Lanting
1970’s and how intensive were the efforts to
wondered if the government can invest on
create demand for it? … If investments are
providing critical irrigation for the farmers in
made, demand for milltes would be there… “.
rainfed areas. He felt that investment on
He agreed with the contention that ‘food is a
infrastructure is financially unviable; instead
media construct and also a construct of ‘public
community could be provided for support in
support system’.
value addition and marketing of the produce.
Shri Ashok Bang suggested for ‘remunerative
minimum support prices’ for rainfed crops, and
procurement price to be on par with minimum
support price. He said that the Government is
loosing 66 percent of money through PDS as it
is spending Rs 3.50 for extending one rupee
worth benefit to end user. It is essential that
food and nutrition should be on the prime
agenda and those who are taking care of their
own ‘food needs’, should also be given
Co-chairperson Dr. Shambu Prasad reflected on
the rationality of searching for the new
Dr. Ramanjaneyulu suggested the need to paradigm for rainfed areas. The need is to see
re-look at the way how the things are through new lessons by opening up the
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

understood and parameters taken for thinking process, with new type of questions
consideration in the process. Several alternative through a meaningful dialogue. This would
experiments are there. The need is to validate address the issues and concerns of rainfed
the protocols and understand the change. areas. For institutional change, it is required for
Shri Surya Kumar suggested providing constant all concerned to think and behave differently.
support for the rainfed areas. He observed that He suggested to explore the efficient
while talking about CBOs, it should be accountability system needed for these areas.
understood that there are costs involved in A knowledge dialogue across scientists,
developing, strengthening and supporting researchers, policy makers and NGOs is
essential to move forward. Research paradigm provide required electricity to the rainfed
has to focus on new insights on issues relating farmers and efforts should be there for
to exploring validity norms for innovative ex- evolving locally feasible systems, e.g. power
periences and addressing issues like farmers sui- generation through biomass.
cides etc.
Shri M.V.Ramachandrudu observed that there
is no need for biomass based energy
production; the need is to evolve efficient
distribution of power supply for both domestic
and agricultural purposes. In this regard, he
referred to the experience of ‘Jyotigram’ in
Gujarat, where there was assured supply of 7
hours of power to farmers with making the
distribution system more effective. He remarked
that there are lessons and experiences that could
Chairperson Dr. Ramakrishna observed that be given space while defining the policy for
issue of critical irrigation is an issue related to rainfed areas. The role of government, research
‘equity’. He also felt that no external support is establishment, NGOs and CBOs is critical and
needed for infrastructure as CBOs are getting proper institutional changes are needed to
support from other sources towards such redesign the process.

interventions. He stressed on the need to

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Shri T. Vijay Kumar, CEO, SERP

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Shri S.N.A. Jinnah, General Manager, NABARD
Ms. Priti Kumar, Environment Specialist, WORLD BANK
Dr. Ch. Radhika Rani, Programme Director, NIRD
A New Paradigm: What is Emerging?
Shri A. Ravindra
Director, WASSAN
production system and there is implicit potential
for employment generation that can be enhanced
substantially, if there is focus in terms of putting
efforts and investments in these areas. There are
experiences emerging across the country which
are validated by the scientific establishment.
The emerging experiences are emphasizing on
‘re-focus’ on these areas in terms of: identifying
water as a ‘key’ resource in rainfed farming
systems; making a shift towards moisture
S hri Ravindra tried to recapitulate the centricity and critical irrigation in water
background of the workshop and initial policies; improving soil health through
thinking on scope of the discussions. It all increasing soil organic matter and microbial
started with a search for re-looking at the activity; integrating rainfed livestock systems
rainfed system separately, distinct from (stationary to pastoral) into the farming system
mainstream agricultural policy and larger and evolving decentralized community based
purview of issues. The discussions have institutional base.
established that there is convergent thinking
and that these systems are different, with lot of Shri Ravindra provided the needed dimensions
inherent variations. What we have so far is an for the desired ‘re-focus’ on the rainfed
extension of a ‘high input intensive technology’ farming system. The experiences clearly
as a centrality of ‘production’ and a low- demonstrated that incremental and component
equilibrium sustainable agriculture/ organic changes will not do. What is required is
farming. The result is reflected in the paradigm change in approaches and
heightened farmers’ distress, increasing fallows appropriate investments in right place. Support
and abandoning farming. It is also visible in systems and incentives for adopting healthy
large scale degradation of natural resources practices are required. There is also a need to
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

resulting in higher inputs, energy costs, ‘re-prioritize research’ and allocate required
burdening national economy, etc. investments for institutions. He concluded by
saying that ‘the element of framework is there
The positive side of the proceedings reflects that but building administrable operational
there is hope from the emerging experiences mechanism’ is a challenge in the process of
across the country. A promise is also coming developing rainfed areas.
upfront for the rainfed areas; that growth rate in
income is possible; that there is scope for growth in ■
Need to Link Macro Indicators with Micro
Dr. Amita Shah
Professor, GIDR
A t the outset, Dr.Shah called for defining a
broad, holistic framework for the development
of rainfed areas, ‘with linking macro economic
indicators to micro economic imperatives’. It
should be done while the process of
deliberations comes to an end. This is an
urgent need as it is a concern about large
section of people which is the backbone of
‘micro economic growth’ of the country.
Dr. Shah elaborated on economic policy
framework that is being in operation till today, consumers and if price is reduced, the burden
which is based on certain key indicators. shifts on to the farmers and they loose in the
Agricultural growth rate is still taking process. With regard to budgetary allocation,
prominence in overall economic growth rate, she suggested for the need to focus on
even though contributing just 22 percent of GDP ‘prioritization’ and felt that other ‘unkind’
in the country. As in the words of a mainstream budgetary allocations are the compulsions of
economist, though the ‘World Bank or macro economic process. Participation in WTO
Washington based lobby’ is powerfully has certainly effected the domestic subsidies.
functioning, agricultural growth rate is still the “… If we play our cards properly, there would
single most factor in guiding the rural economy be some incremental benefits, particularly for
in the country. She said that the green rainfed areas...”, she opined.
revolution has given some positive results,
Dr. Shah observed that it is unfortunate that
certainly one is poverty reduction, but that can
the employment generation in the country is
be undermined due to the ecological disaster it
linked to political stability and vote politics of
caused in the process. Food Security and
the democratic society. Even the creation of
aggregate supply of essential food commodities

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
are the critical strategic factors in the
is a political decision at one hand, but she said
agricultural growth. She made it clear that the
that it can also be seen as an outcome of the
consideration of food security at present is not
neglect of rainfed areas at the other end. She
at ‘household level’ but it is the aggregate
felt that Food for Work and Employment
supply of food at the national level.
Guarantee Schemes have helped but it is ‘at a
On inflation, she took reference of Prof. Abhijit huge cost of public investment’. It was in this
Sen’s contention that pricing of agricultural context in which we are talking about the
production related outputs is a ‘double edged rainfed areas. Most of the concerns related to
weapon’. If price increases, the burden is on the this areas are neglected, and if at all they are
addressed, the proposals are derived to suit the Dr. Shah summarized her analysis by saying
macro economic indicators. She observed that that there clearly exists a high potential for
rainfed areas can simultaneously meet the de- rainfed areas which incidentally reflects most
mands of the economy but this is yet to come to of the ‘poverty geography’ of the country.
the fore because we have not yet done the Extension of green revolution package can be
proper arithmetic. The problem is that most of an option in tapping this potential. As dry land
the economic calculations have not taken labour areas consist of various agro climatic conditions,
intensive agriculture and rainfed areas concerns farming system approach is a viable option to
into their cognizance. begin with while addressing the issues. It is also
clear that how this farming system approach is
Dr. Amita Shah suggested to infuse flow of
different from agriculture. She said that the
‘incremental capital’ in budgetary allocation for
country has deep rooted knowledge on which
the rainfed areas development and suggested
type of farming system is relevant but what is
that the environmental regeneration should be
required at present is necessary action and the
properly valued in economic terms. She also
investments to push the process. She called for
quoted a recent World Bank report on Indian
‘pooling up the proven experiences’ that can
Agriculture which has clearly mentioned that
lead a different kind of development framework
the next round of growth in the country would
in the country and concluded by saying, “…let
revolve around rainfed areas if we look at them
us all be self critical and search for those proven
carefully. In the given context, this underlying
experiences, link them to macro economic
thinking of World Bank also implicitly reflects
indicators by giving worth economic value, so
the thinking process of the government.
that they can guide the development process…”

How Do We Go Forward: Some Suggestions…
Dr. N.K. Sanghi
Advisor, WASSAN
D r. Sanghi summarized the deliberations with schemes and (iii) exploring opportunity for
respect to three aspects, namely (i) listing of upscaling above experiences in the content of
successful experiences, (ii) analysis of existing XIth Five Year Plan. During the deliberations in
macro level policies as well as developmental different sessions and group works, many
useful recommendations were made by
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

participants on each of these aspects which need

to be taken forward through follow up actions
at different levels.
Broadly speaking the following successful
experiences were shared during the workshop
namely (i) organic farming – with and without
price incentives, (ii) enhancement of organic
matter in the soil through biomass based in-situ
composting, (iii) management of pest through (iii) seed village, (iv) water resource
non pesticidal methods, (iv) seed-bank of development and, (v) small ruminants
improved varieties/hybrids released under development. There is a need to carry out
public sector, (v) social regulation against further analysis of existing macro level policies
overexploitation of groundwater, as well as developmental schemes in the light
(vi) decentralized food security through millets, of suggestions made in the workshop so that
(vii) development of small ruminants through required modifications in the guidelines could
community managed breed improvement, be worked out.
diseases control and grazing in common land,
Opportunities for large scale upscaling of
(viii) reforms in management of credit for
successful experiences in the context of XIth Five
rainfed areas and (ix) initial upscaling of
Year Plan can be explored through the
successful experiences related to sustainable
following developmental schemes: (i) Rashtriya
agriculture through SHGs and their federations.
Krishi Vikas Yojana, (ii) Watershed
There is a need to go into further details about
development programme, (iii) Backward
the context, content and processes behind above
Regions Grant Fund, (iv) National Rural
successful experiences and specific support
Employment Guarantee Scheme. The recent
systems and incentives for upscaling them in
initiatives by Government of India regarding
different areas need to be designed.
establishment of autonomous institutional
Critical analysis of existing policies was shared set-up at national level (i.e. National Rainfed
with respect to micro-economic aspects namely Area Authority) and facilitation of
(i) price, (ii) trade, (iii) credit and (iv) risk decentralized planning through district level
mitigation and also with respect to a few plans (in 50 pilot districts) may be kept in view
developmental schemes namely (i) Integrated while facilitating the above upscaling.
Pest Management, (ii) Soil fertility management, ■
Observations from Funding and Support Agencies
S hri H. Lanting observed that the deliberations be made once there is clarity on where to focus.
are a good initiative in addressing the issues He suggested that system approach is more opt
related to rainfed areas. These have provided for rainfed farming but the need is to have more
an opportunity for the government, research cooperation and interaction between Research
community and NGOs to learn the significance Institutes, Academic Universities, Government
of ‘attempts to influence each other’ as each of Departments, NGOs and Community based

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

these institutions do not know everything on Organisations.
their own. But he felt that the issue of ‘drop
Dr. Sudip Mitra (MSSRF) observed that the
outs from agriculture, consisted mainly with
discussions centered around 4 key principles;
marginal farmers’ was not addressed in the
ecology, economy, equity and electricity. He said
discussions. He also laid emphasis on
that issues of social auditing and governance
production of low cost agricultural equipment
are key concerns in development process,
that suits the rainfed areas.
particularly related to rainfed areas.
Shri Bernhard Hoeper (German Agro Action)
Dr. N.R. Jagannath (SDC) reflected that the
felt that appropriate recommendations should
deliberations have emphasized the need to Shri Ganesh Neelam (Sir Ratan Tata Trust)
re-look at agriculture and water in the context hoped that the learnings from this workshop
of increasing vulnerability. There is also need would enlighten and sensitize all concerned in
for re-looking and redesigning support systems building effective partnerships for addressing
at community level and unless we do that, it is the issues of rainfed areas.
not possible to reach our goals. ■
Open Discussion
D r. Ramanjaneyulu observed that it was a most of the experiences shared in the workshop
good participation with intense deliberations. are related to Andhra Pradesh, but there are
He pointed out that it is not only the rainfed several experiences in states like Gujarat,
farming but entire agriculture is in crisis in the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. He suggested
country. Agriculture sector is becoming more to have ‘traveling workshops across the
market centric and the crisis is an outcome of country’ to explore learnings from such areas.
that process. In this context there is a need to
Taking cue from a cartoon, Shri S.N.A. Jinnah
look for new way of understanding the issues
(NABARD) emphasized on the need to look at
and partnerships for new learnings.
farmers while addressing their issues rather
Dr. Arun Balamatti described the workshop than imposing solutions from a different angle.
themes as a ‘timely one’ in the context of He opined that ‘sector distress operating with
agricultural crisis across the country. He felt social distress is leading to farmers suicides in
that there is a need to look at what farmers are states like Andhra Pradesh’. He pointed out the
doing across different places so as to take absence of representatives from farmers in the
lessons. There are experiences which provide deliberations. While suggesting for tapping the
actionable suggestions for addressing issues (e.g. potential of young generation in rainfed areas,
ground water regulation) but it is surprising to he observed that ‘solution for issues in these
see why the government is shying away to areas lies in thinking out of box’. But the focus
make necessary policies in that regard. should be on people and planet. On credit front,
Shri PVS Surya Kumar suggested to pool up he observed that ‘out reaching’ is different from
knowledge and make aware such knowledge ‘reaching out’, but the irony is that banks are
to the concerned. Shri Ashok Bang sought for focusing on ‘out reaching’ for statistical
giving same importance to micro economic purposes which need to be re-looked. Stating
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

work as given to macro economic work.

Dr. Jagannath put forth certain critical
questions on parameters for deciding priorities,
the process of integrating the poor with the
marketing system to counter the inherent
barriers, developing low cost irrigation
technologies to increase water use efficiency and
making farmers understanding the value chain
in farming. Dr. Bandi Venkateswarlu felt that
that information and knowledge management convergence of departments at state level for
are essential in the development process, he effectively steering the development process. She
appreciated the effort of WASSAN in made it clear that there is focus on agriculture
developing a website on ‘rainfed farming’. He in World Bank agenda which is reflected in its
offered that NABARD would support such support to programs related to Watersheds,
information sharing initiatives. On the need for Agro Forestry, Drought Adaptation Initiatives,
supporting rainfed areas, Shri Jinnah indicated NAIP (National Agricultural Innovation
that though Indian banks are doing business Project) etc. She felt that a significant challenge
worth Rs. 25 lakh crores, the amount invested lies ahead in bringing rainfed areas out of the
in rainfed areas is not more than Rs 20,000 vicious cycle of complex issues.
crores. The paradox is that this is the
In his concluding remarks, Chairperson
investment in areas where the bulk of the
Shri T. Vijay Kumar complimented the
population resides in the country. He opined
organizers and participants of the workshop for
that government alone cannot invest the
the serious deliberations and felt that the
required amount in these areas; the banking
workshop went on with ‘strongly held beliefs’.
sector has to fill some gap through effective
He suggested to talk to farmers rather than
instruments and mechanisms. While disclosing
policy makers for more effective results on the
that a ‘bio carbon fund’ is in pipeline of
ground. ‘Organization of hope farmers’ is a
NABARD, he offered to finance the proposed
necessity to steer that process as they have the
‘traveling workshops’ for capturing lessons
passion and energy, at the same time they don’t
across the country.
require the support of any policy maker. He laid
emphasis on the institutional building with
‘institution of farmers.’ which should not be in
vacuum but around the people who are centre
to it. He suggested that these farmers should
be provided not ‘prescriptions’ but just ‘options’
to explore. If something works well, they will
move forward otherwise they will disappear.
He felt that convergence of line departments
with farmers is a necessity and should be in the
prime focus. “… Build a platform for such
Dr. Priti Kumar felt that the deliberations in the convergence… Focus on how they (officials) talk
workshop were productive and provided an to farmers and help them in solving their

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

enriching experience on new insights. She issues…” he suggested. While offering support
suggested that recommendations should focus in Institution Buidling for initiatives in other
not only on policy at higher level but also on states, he strongly recommended for integration
operational mechanisms at micro level. of experiences across the states. In the process,
According to her, there should be ‘drivers of he felt that, there would be ‘millions of drivers
change’ to do any thing on the ground. She also for change’. ■
emphasized on the need to influence the
Vote of Thanks
necessary support in logistics. He profusely
thanked all the participants from different states
for their active participation in the deliberations
and making them more productive. The
collaboration with ICAR and CRIDA has clearly
demonstrated that the efforts towards a
paradigm shift is a common agenda. He
thanked the representatives from various
agricultural universities, research institutes,
Funding Organisations and NGO activists for
their facilitation and inputs during the
At the outset, Shri M.V. Ramachandrudu
discussion. He also thanked the Workshop
offered gratitude to Members of Planning
sponsors Ford Foundation, Oxfam, NABARD
Commission, Prof. Abhijit Sen and
and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. While stating that
Shri B.N. Yugandhar for their gracious presence
World Bank and NABARD have greater role
and guidance in deliberations. He thanked
and agenda for taking these deliberations
Dr. Mangal Rai, DG and Dr. Nawab Ali ADG,
forward, he thanked all concerned in making
ICAR for their inputs and suggestions. He
the workshop a productive consultation
offered acknowledgements for Dr. Gogoi and
his team for making all participants
comfortable in the workshop by providing ■
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Annexure – 1
Schedule of Agenda
National Workshop
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming:
Redesigning Support Systems and Incentives
Date: September 27-29, 2007 Venue: NASC Campus, IARI, New Delhi
27th September (Thursday)
09:00 Hrs Registration of participants
09:30 Hrs ❑ Welcome & Introductory remarks Dr. Nawab Ali
09:35 Hrs ❑ Address by Chief Guest: Dr. Mangal Rai,
In search of a new paradigm for self-reliant DG, ICAR
development of Rainfed Farming
09:50 Hrs ❑ Key note Address: Dr. V.S. Vyas
Policy reforms at national level for enhancing Professor Emeritus, IDS
inclusive growth in rainfed areas during XI Plan
10:10 Hrs ❑ Strategies for enhancing growth in Dr. Abhijit Sen
Agriculture during XI plan Member, Planning Commission

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

10:30 Hrs ❑ Vote of Thanks Shri M.V. Ramachandrudu
Director, WASSAN
10.35 Hrs ❑ Tea Break
10:55 Hrs ❑ Sustainable development of Rainfed Areas Shri B.N. Yugandhar
Member, Planning Commission
11:15 Hrs ❑ Challenges before National Rainfed Area Authority Dr. J.S. Samra
in Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture CEO, NRAA
11:35 Hrs ❑ Concluding remarks by the Chairperson
Dr. Rita Sharma
Financial Adviser (DARE & ICAR)
Co-chairperson: Dr. Devinder Sharma
Chairman, Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security
Rapportuer: Shri PVSS Surya Kumar
11:45 Hrs ❑ Synthesis of innovative experiences for Dr. G.V. Ramanajeyulu
development of Rainfed Agriculture in Executive Director, CSA
the context of emerging crisis
12:15 Hrs ❑ Analysis of current Support Systems and Shri A. Ravindra
Incentives for Rainfed Farming and Need Director, WASSAN
for a Differentiated Approach
12:40 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 2-3 lead discussants)
13:25 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
13.45 Hrs Lunch break
Session – III: New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming
Chairperson: Dr. Ram Badan Singh
Member, National Commission on Farmers
Co-chairperson: Dr. S.P. Wani
Principal Scientist, ICRISAT
Rapportuer: Shri Sachin Oza
Executive Director, DSC
14:45 Hrs ❑ Decentralized Food Security in Rainfed Areas Shri P.V. Satheesh
involving different types of Millets and Pulses Director, DDS
15:15 Hrs ❑ Low external input based Sustainable Dr. Arun Balamatti
Agriculture (LEISA) – Synthesis of experiences Executive Director, AME
from India and abroad
15:45 Hrs ❑ Overview of field experiences with IPM and Shri W.R. Reddy
INM approaches Joint Secretary, MoA, GoI
16:15 Hrs Tea break
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

16:30 Hrs ❑ A New Paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture for Dr. S.P. Wani
Improving Livelihoods and Sustainable Principal Scientist, ICRISAT
Development in India
16:45 Hrs ❑ Organic Farming through various initiatives in
India – Synthesis of experiences and
strategy of their up-scaling
❋ From Impoverishment to Empowerment with Shri Ashok Bang
Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability for Director, AARC
Farmers and Farming
❋ Building a farmers owned company (Chetna) Shri H. Lanting
producing and trading fair trade-organic products CEO, ETC Consultants
17:30 Hrs ❑ Beyond Certified Organic Farming: Dr. N.K. Sanghi
An emerging paradigm for Rainfed Agriculture Advisor, WASSAN
17:50 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 2-3 lead discussants)
18:30 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
18:45 Hrs Close
28th September (Friday)
SESSION – IV: Critical support systems for upscaling successful experiences on 6 major themes
associated with rainfed farming (in two parallel sessions)
Theme – A: Pest Management through Non Pesticidal Methods (Parallel session – I)
Chairperson: Dr. V.L. Chopra
Planning Commission
Co-chairperson: Shri H. Lanting
Rapporteur: Shri G. Chandrasekhar
Program Manager, CSA
09:30 Hrs ❑ Pest management through non-pesticidal Dr. M.S. Chari
methods – a continuing journey Ex-Director, CTRI & CSA
10:00 Hrs ❑ Analysis of existing policies and programmes for Shri D.V. Raidu
pest management in agriculture – limitations Sr. Program Advisor (NPM),SERP
and opportunities
10:30 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 1-2 lead discussants)
11:15 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
11:30 Hrs Tea break
Theme – B: Seeds in the hands of the Community (Parallel session – I)
Chairperson: Shri S.L. Bhat
Add. Secretary, MoA, GoI
Co-chairperson: Dr. N.D. Jambhale
ADG (Seeds), ICAR
Rapporteur: Shri D.K.Routray

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

11:45 Hrs ❑ Analysis of existing policies and programmes Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu
under seed sector – limitations and opportunities Executive Director, CSA
12:15 Hrs ❑ Community managed seed bank in rainfed Dr. K. Tirupataiah
areas – need for new mechanisms and Special Commissioner, CRD, AP
infrastructural support
12:45 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 1-2 lead discussants)
13:30 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
13:45 Hrs Lunch Break
Theme – C: Enhancement of Organic Matter in Soils (Parallel session – II)
Chairperson: Dr. J.C. Katyal
Vice Chancellor, CCS HAU
Co-chairperson: Dr. Y.S. Ramakrishna
Director, CRIDA
Rapporteur: Dr. A.K. Sharma
Senior Scientist, CAZRI
09:30 Hrs ❑ Improving Soil Productivity through Enhancement of Dr. J. Venkateswarlu
Organic Matter in Soils Ex-Director, CAZRI
10:00 Hrs ❑ Enhancing Soil-Organic Matter in SAT- Scientific Dr. O.P. Rupela
evidence and policy support needed for scale-up Principal Scientist, ICRISAT
10:30 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 1-2 lead discussants)
11:15 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
11:30 Hrs Tea break
Theme – D: Separate Policy for Water Resource in Rainfed Areas (Parallel Session – II)
Chairperson: Shri Himanshu Thakkar
Coordinator, SANDRP
Co-chairperson: Shri K.J. Joy
Secretary, SOPPECOM
Rapporteur: Shri Shailender Tiwari
11:45 Hrs ❑ Analysis of Existing Support Systems for Water Dr. K.V. Rao
Resource Development in Rainfed and Senior Scientist, CRIDA
Irrigated Areas
12:15 Hrs ❑ Emerging Experiences on Sustainable Use of Shri S.K. Anwar
Water Resource in Rainfed Areas: Social Programme Coordinator, OXFAM
Regulations as an Approach; Field Experiences
12:45 hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 1-2 lead discussants)
13:30 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
13:45 Hrs Lunch Break
Theme – E: Self reliant development through Sustainable Community based Organizations and
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Reforms in Management of Institutional Credit (Plenary Session)

Chairperson: Dr. J. Venkateswarlu
Ex-Director, CAZRI
Co-chairperson: Prof. M.R. Sharma
Chief Consultant, NHM
Rapporteur: Dr. M.A. Shankar
Chief Scientist, Dryland Research Center, UAS
14:45 Hrs ❑ Sustainable development of Agriculture through Shri T. Vijay Kumar
SHGs and their Federations – A case study in CEO, SERP
Andhra Pradesh
15:15 Hrs ❑ Institutional credit for Rainfed Areas – Shri PVS Surya Kumar
Issues and Concerns DGM, NABARD
15:45 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 1-2 lead discussants)
16:30 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
16:45 Hrs Tea break
Theme – F: Self reliant development of Small Ruminants with Resource Poor Families
(Plenary Session)
Chairperson: Dr. Y.S. Ramakrishna
Director, CRIDA
Co-chairperson: Dr. Kamal Kishore
Wool Consultant
Rapporteur: Dr. V. Padma Kumar
Programme Officer, CALPI
17:00 Hrs ❑ Analysis of Existing Policies and Schemes for Dr. P. Sreeramulu
Development of Small Ruminants Ret. Addnl Director, AH Dept, GoAP
17:30 Hrs ❑ Community Managed Development of Small Dr. A.K. Joseph
Ruminants – Redesigning of Support Systems Programme Coordinator, CALPI
18:00 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 1-2 lead discussants)
18:30 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
18:45 hrs Close
29th September (Saturday)
SESSION – V: Group work on support systems and incentives with respect to each of the above
6 themes
09:30 Hrs Facilitators in four different groups:
(i) Dr. B. Venkateswarlu, Principal Scientist, CRIDA
(ii) Shri K.J. Joy, Senior Fellow, SOPPECOM
(iii) Dr. V. Padma Kumar, Programme Officer, CALPI, and
(iv) Dr. Amita Shah, Professor, IGDR
11:00 Hrs Tea break
SESSION – VI: Plenary session about highlights of group work
Chairperson: Dr. Y.S. Ramakrishna

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Director, CRIDA
Co-chairperson: Dr. C. Shambu Prasad
Associate Professor, XIM
Rapportuer: Shri N.L. Narasimha Reddy
CEO, PLF, Hyderabad
11:15 Hrs ❑ Presentation on group reports
❋ Sustainable agriculture in rainfed areas Dr. B. Venkateswarlu
including management of soils, pest and seeds
❋ Water for rainfed areas Dr. K.J. Joy
❋ Re-looking at Livestock in rainfed areas Dr. V. Padma Kumar
❋ Institutions for rainfed areas development Dr. Amita Shah
12:15 Hrs ❑ Open discussion (initiated by 2-3 lead discussants)
❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
13:15 Hrs Lunch break
SESSION – VII: Concluding session
Chairperson(s): Shri T. Vijay Kumar
CEO, Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP)
Co-chairperson: Shri S.N.A. Jinnah
Rapportuer: Ms. Priti Kumar
Environment Specialist, World Bank
Dr. Ch. Radhika Rani
Programme Director, NIRD
14:45 Hrs ❑ Introductory remarks - A New Paradigm: Shri A. Ravindra
What is emerging
14:55 Hrs ❑ A brief overview with Economic Perspective – Dr. Amita Shah
Need to link macro indicators with micro imperatives
15:05 Hrs ❑ How do we go forward – some suggestions Dr. N.K. Sanghi
15:20 Hrs ❑ Some observations from some of the funding
and support agencies
❋ ETC Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Shri H. Lanting
❋ German Agro Action Mr. Bernhard Hoeper
❋ MSSRF Dr. Sudip Mitra
❋ Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Dr. N.R. Jagannath
❋ Sir Ratan Tata Trust Shri Ganesh Neelam
15:45 Hrs ❑ Open discussion
16:30 Hrs ❑ Remarks by Chairperson and Co-chairperson
16:45 Hrs ❑ Vote of Thanks and Close Shri M.V. Rama Chandrudu
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Annexure - 2
List of Participants
6. Arul Swamy
Senior Programme Officer
1. Abdul Kareem, K OUTREACH
Head (Sustainable Agriculture) 109, Coles Road, Frazer Town
Accion Fraterna - RDT - Ecology Centre, Bangalore – 560 005
Upparapalle Road, Bangalore Highway, Tel. No. (080) 25307532
Ananthapur - 515 002 Mobile: 09448355699
Tel. No. (08584) 244222 / (85484) 246884 Email:
Mobile: 09440547510 Website:
Website: 7. Arun Balamatti
Executive Director
2. Abhijit Sen AME Foundation
Member, No. 204, 100 Feet Ring Road,
Planning Commission 3rd Phase, Banashankari 2nd Block, 3rd
Yojana Bhawan, Sansad Marg, Stage,
New Delhi – 110 001 Bangalore - 560 085
Tel. No. (011) 23096564 / 2309 6565 Tel. No. (080) 26699512 / 26699522
Email: Fax. No. (080) 26699410
Website: Mobile: 09448832186
3. Achyut Das
Director, Website:
Kashipur – 765 015 8. Arun Chandra, A
Rayagada District, Orissa Executive Director,
Tel. No. (06865) 285149 CHETNA ORGANIC
Fax. No. (0674) 2551130 12-2-416/34, 1st Floor, Mohan Nivas,
Mobile: 09437073588 Ushodaya Colony, Gudimalkapur
Email: Hyderabad – 500 028
Website: Tel. No. (040) 23511083
Res. No. (040) 65156022
4. Amita Shah Mobile: 09440626144
Professor, Fax. No. (040) 23520021
Gujarat Institute of Development Research Email:
(GIDR) Website:
Gota Char Rasta,
Ahmedabad - 380 060 9. Arun K. Sharma
Tel. No. (02717) 242366 / 242367 Senior Scientist (Division of ILUM & FS)
Mobile: 09925061002 Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI)
Email: Jodhpur - 342003,
Website: Rajasthan

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Tel. No. (0291) 2788789
5. Anwar Shaik Res. No. (0291) 2703547
Programme coordinator Fax. No. (0291) 2788706
Oxfam (India) Trust Mobile: 09414172436
Plot No. 18, Amaravathi Cooperative Email:,
Housing society, Khrakhana (Near Kaushalya
Estates) Website:
Secunderabad- 500 009
Tel. No. (040) 27741891 / (040) 27741229 / 10. Ashok Bang
27742346 Director
Mobile: 09866696322 Alternative Agriculture Resource Centre (AARC)
Email:, CHETANA – VIKAS & Sustainable Eco- Agriculture Programme (Consciousness -
Website: Development)
P.O. Gopuri, Wardha District – 442 007, Mobile: 09968233747
Maharashtra Email:
Tel. No. (07152) 241931 / 240806 / 240004 Website:
Fax. No. (07152) 244005 / 245170
Mobile: 09822228710 17. Chari, M.S.
Email :, Former Director, CTRI, ICAR, # 203, OHP Elegance, H. No. 2-2-16 /3, 4 and 5
Website: Lane ‘A’, D.D. Colony
Hyderabad - 500 013
11. Bernhard Hoeper Tel. No. (040) 27017735
Regional Director (South Asia) Mobile: 09693241938
German Agro Action Email:,
B-4, Greater Kailash Enclave II
New Delhi – 110 048 Website:
Tel. No. (011) 40520131 / 32 / 34
Fax. No. (011) 40520133 18. Chaturvedi, S.P.
Mobile: 09818707992 Agriculture Scientist
Email: Peoples Science Institute (PSI)
Website: 252, Vasant Vihar Phase I
Dehradun, Uttaranchal
12. Bhagyalaxmi, S Mobile: 09412915838
Program Officer Email:
Watershed Support Services and Activities Website:
Network (WASSAN)
12-13-452, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, 19. Chopra, V.L.
Secunderabad – 500 017 Member, Planning Commission
Tel. No. 27015295 / 96, 27018581 Government of India
Mobile: 9440621867 Yojana Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
Email: New Delhi – 110 001
Website: Tel. No. (Off.) 2309 6586
Res. No. 25553747
13. Bhat, S.L. Email:
Additional Secretary Website:
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation
Ministry of Agriculture, Krishi Bhavan 20. Devinder Sharma
New Delhi – 110 001 Chairman, Forum for Biotechnology & Food
Tel. No. (011) 23389348 Security
Email: G3/F, DDA Flats, 2nd Floor, Munirka,
New Delhi – 110 067
14. Bhatia, P.C. Tel. No. (011) 26176343
Ex – ADG (Agronomy) Mobile: 09811301857
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Email:
AI / 83, Janakipur, Website:
New Delhi – 110 058
Tel. No. (011) 25611126 21. Dhadwad Manohar, B
Mobile: 09868488395 Student
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
15. Chandrasekhar, G # 2, Shishir Hostel, PUSA,
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Programme Manager, New Delhi – 110 012

Centre for Sustainable Agriculture Mobile: 09891299123
12-13-445, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Email:,
Secunderabad - 500 017
Mobile: 09440450994 Website:
Website: 22. Dharmendar, G.R.
Programme Officer
16. Chandru, A Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA)
Student 12-13-445, Street No. 1, Tarnaka,
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Secunderabad – 500 017
# 114, Shishir Hostel, Res. No. (08415) 255877
New Delhi – 110 012 Mobile: 09866508488
Email: 28. Jagannath, N.R.
Website: Project Coordinator
Swiss Agency for Development and
23. Gogoi, A.K. Cooperation
ADG (Agronomy) Embassy of Switzerland,
Division of Agronomy Chandragupta Marg, Chanakyapuri
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) New Delhi - 110 021,
KAB – II, Room No. 50, 1st Floor, Tel. No. (011) 26877819 / 26877820
IARI Directorate, Email:
New Delhi – 110 012
Tel. No. (011) 25848367 / (011) 25841488 / 29. Jai Krishna
25846536 Campaigner GREENPEACE
Mobile: 09312507553 No. 3360, 13th ‘B’ Main Road,
Email: HAL II Stage, Bangalore – 560 038
Website: Mobile: 09845591992
24. Gopi Krishna 30. Jain, S.C.
Project Coordinator Programme Coordinator
JANA JAGARN Action for Food Production (AFPRO)
Shramik Abhivrudh Sangh 25/1A, Pankha Road, ‘D’ Block, Janakpuri,
20, Milkman Street, CAMP New Delhi – 110 058
Belgaum – 590 001 Tel. No. (011) 28525452 (226)
Tel. No. (0831) 2431978 Mobile: 09868607509
Fax. No. (0831) 2425609 Email:
Mobile: 09448132609 Website:
31. Jambhale, N.D.
25. Gouri, P.V.S.M. Assistant Director General (Seeds)
Advisor (Organic Products) Indian Council of Agricultural Research (IARI)
Agricultural and Processed Food Products 225, Krishi Bhawan,
Export Development Authority (APEDA) New Delhi – 110 001
Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Telefax. No. (011) 23382257
Government of India Mobile: 09871110470 / 09911394996
3rd Floor, NCUI Building, 3, Siri Institutional Email:,
Area, August Kranti Marg (Opp. Asiad Village)
New Delhi – 110 016
Tel. No. (011) 26514525 (Direct)/ 26514572 32. Jasbir Madan
Email:, Scientist Voluntary Action for Research Development
Website: and Networking (VARDAN)
EB-106, Maya Enclave,
26. Himanshu Thakkar New Delhi – 110064
Coordinator, SANDRP Tel. No. (011) 25495254
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People Res. No. (011) 25524667
# 86-D, AD Block, Shalimar Bagh Fax. No. (011) 25120696
New Delhi - 110 088 Mobile : 09818222552
Tel. No. (011) 27484655 Email:
Mobile: 09968242798 Website:

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Website: 33. Jinnah, S.N.A.
General Manager,
27. Jagannadha Rao, K. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural
Project Coordinator Development
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Under Secretary (NRM)
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Asiad Village Residential Complex, Indian Council of Agricultural Research,
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Management (SOPPECOM) KAB-II, Pusa, New Delhi - 110 012
16, Kale Park, Someshwarwadi Road, Tel. No. (011) 25848370
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Mohan Nivas, Ushodaya Colony,
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38. Katyal, J.C # 12-5-149/6A, Vijayapuri Colony, Tarnaka,
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Hisar - 125 004, Haryana Mobile: 09849398647
Tel. No. (01662) 231640 / 284301 Email:
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Res. No. (01662) 231238 / 284342 Website:

Mobile: 09416031640 45. Nawab Ali
Email:, Deputy Director General (Engg.) / NRM
Website: Indian Council of Agricultural Research,
Krishi Anusandhan Bhawan – II, Pusa Gate,
39. Lanting, H New Delhi – 110 012
Chief Executive Officer Tel. No. (011) 25843415
ETC Consultants India Pvt. Ltd., Tel. (011) 25848364, 25842285 (Ext 1408)
Consultants for Development Programmes Email:
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Programme Manager Hill Fort Road, Hyderabad - 500 044
Deutsche Welthungerhilfre / German Agro Tel. No. (040) 23298981/2/76 (Extn:105)
Action (DWHH/GAA) Liaison Office India Mobile: 09948990855
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Mobile: 9891437147 53. Ram Badan Singh
Email: Member, National Commission on Farmers
Website: and Chairman, Working Group on NRM
Office Block, 2nd Floor, NASC Complex,
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Programme Officer PUSA, New Delhi - 110 012
Capitalisation of Livestock Programme Tel. No. (011) 25869320
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Tel. No. (011) 26868536 Website:
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Email: 54. Rama Chandrudu, M.V.
Website: Director
Watershed Support Services and Activities
48. Pateria, H.M. Network
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49. Pathak, R.K.
Chief Consultant, 55. Ramakrishna, Y.S.
National Horticulture Mission, Director
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Central Research Institute for Dryland
Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India Agriculture (CRIDA)
37, Bhavan Krishi Bhavan, Santosh Nagar, Saidabad (PO)
New Delhi – 110 01 Hyderabad - 500059
Mobile: 09868171790 Tel. No. (040) 24530177
Email: Res. No. (040) 24532262
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50. Priti Kumar Email:
Environmental Specialist Website:
South Asia Environment and Social
Development Unit, The World Bank 56. Ramanjaneyulu, G.V.
70, Lodi Estate, New Delhi - 110 003 Executive Director,
Tel. No. (011) 51479365 Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA)
Email: 12-13-445, Street No. 1, Tarnaka,
Secunderabad - 500 017
51. Radhika Rani, Ch Tel. No. (040) 27017735, 27014302

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Programme Director Mobile: 09391359702
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National Institute of Rural Development Website:
Rajendranagar, Hyderabad - 500 030
Tel. No. (040) 24008559 57. Ramesh Babu, B
Res. No. (040) 23812723 Manager,
Email:, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural
Website: Development
BKC, Bandra (E)
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H.No. 5-10-192, III & IV Floor, Fax. No. (022) 26523295
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Email: Financial Adviser (DARE & ICAR)
Website: and Additional Secretary, DARE, Ministry of
58. Ramesh Kumar, M Department of Agricultural Research and
Program Manager (Resource Centre) Education
Watershed Support Services and Activities Krishi Bhawan,
Network New Delhi – 110 001
12-13-452, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Tel. No. (011) 23384360
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Website: Under Secretary
National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA)
60. Rao, K.V. NASC Complex, Dev Prakash Shastri Marg,
Senior Scientist (Soil & Water Cons. Engg.) Opp: Todapur Village, Pusa,
and New Delhi – 110 012
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Santoshnagar, Hyderabad - 500 059 Fax No. (011) 25842837
Tel. No. (040) 24530161 (Ext 208)
Res. No. (040) 24126354 66. Rupela, O.P.
Fax. No. (040)24531802 Principal Scientist (Microbiology) and
Mobile: 09441067855 Coordinator, Learning Systems Unit
Email:, ICRISAT, Patanacheru - 502 324 Andhra Pradesh
Website: Tel. No. (040) 30713610 / 30713435
61. Ravindra, A Website:
Watershed Support Services and Activities 67. Sachin Oza
Network Executive Director
12-13-452, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Development Support Center
Secunderabad – 500 017 Marutinandan Village, (Near Government
Tel. No. 27015295 / 96, 27018581 Tubewell), H.L. Commerce College Road,
Mobile: 9440621861 Bopal, Ahmedabad - 380 058
Email:, Tel. No. (02717) 235994, 235995, 235998
Website: Mobile: 9426310093
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

62. Reddy, W.R. Website:
Joint Secretary
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation 68. Samasthi, R.M.
Ministry of Agriculture, Krishi Bhavan Assistant Commission
New Delhi – 110 001 National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA)
Tel. No. (011) 23073384 (O) NASC Complex, NRAA, PUSA Complex,
Fax. No. (011)23384468 New Delhi – 110 012
Res. No. (011)24352460 Mobile: 09873735594
E-mail :
69. Samra, J.S.
Chief Executive Officer
National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA)
2nd Floor, NASC Complex,
Dev Prakash Shastri Marg, 75. Shambu Prasad, C
Opp: Todapur Village, Pusa, Associate Professor
New Delhi – 110 012 Xavier Institute of Management
Tel. No. (011) 25842836 / 25842838 / Xavier Square, Post: RRL
Fax No. (011) 25842837 Bhubaneswar - 751 013
Mobile: 9868510491 Tel. No. (0674) 3983740 / (0674) 3983819
Email: (Library)
Res. No. (0674) 3983876
70. Sandip Das Fax. No. (0674) 2300995
Senior Research Associate Mobile: 09437076342
Centre for Science and Environment Email:,
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area
New Delhi - 110062 Website:
Tel. No. (011) 29956110 / 29956399 (Ext 225)
Mobile: 09871198823 76. Shankar, M.A.
Email: Chief Scientist,
Website: AICRP on Dryland Research Project,
University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK,
71. Sanghi, N.K. Bangalore – 560 065
Adviser Tel.No. (080) 23620795 / 23330153
Watershed Support Services and Activities Res. No. (080) 23620795
Network Landline: (080) 23331539
12-13-452, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Mobile: 09910989693
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Mobile: 9440621864 77. Sharma, M.R.
Email: Chief Consultant, National Horticultural
Website: Mission
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation
72. Sanjeev Raj Ministry of Agriculture,
Hydrogeologist Room No. 37-B, Krishi Bhawan,
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Email:, Website:
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Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
73. Satheesh, P.V. Natural Resource Management Division
Director, Room No. 105 KAB II
Deccan Development Society Nehru Road, Baraut Road,
101, Kishan Residency, Street No. 5, Bhagpat – 250 611
Begumpet, Tel. No. (011) 25848365 (1105)
Hyderabad - 500 016 Mobile: 091234264815
Tel. No. (040) 27764577 / (040) 27764744 Email:
Mobile: 09246876377 Website:
Email:, 79. Singh, E.R.P.

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Website: Head
Department of Agricultural Engineering
74. Shailendra Tiwari K.A.P.G. College
Incharge (NRM Unit), Seva Mandir Allahabad – 211 001
Old Fatehpura, Udaipur - 313 001 Mobile: 0941592162
Rajasthan Email:
Tel. No. (0294) 2451041 / (0294) 2450960
Res. No. (0294) 2453421 80. Singh, G.B.
Mobile: 09414155421 Technical Officer
Email: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
Website: Anusam Dhan Bhavan, PUSA
New Delhi – 110 017
81. Singh, R.K. 87. Tirupataiah, K
Programme Coordinator Special Commissioner (Development)
RDS Krishi Vigyan Kendra Government of Andhra Pradesh,
Pratapgarh Commissionerate of Rural Development
Pin Code – 229 408 H.No. 5-10-192, 2nd and 5th Floors,
Res. No. (0532) 2684231 Hermitage Complex, HUDA Bhavan,
Mobile: 09415200601 Hill Fort Road, Saifabad
Email: Hyderabad - 500 004
Website: Tel. No. (040) 23298979 / (040) 23296790
Mobile: 09848040703
82. Sreeramulu, P Email:,
Retd. Additional Secretary,
Animal Husbandry, GoAP Website:
Flat No. 102B, B.N.R. Apartments
Attapur Road, Hyderabad – 500 048 88. Tiwari, M.K.
Tel. No. (040) 24016072 Unit Head, Natural Resource Management
Mobile: 09908169011 Programme
Bhavan, F-159-160, Industrial & Institutional
83. Sudip Mitra Area, Sitapura, Jaipur-302 022,
Project Director Tel. No. (0141) 2771488/2771855/3294834-36
Tata Trust Bio-industrial Watershed Project Fax. No. (0141) 2770330
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation Mobile: 09828195517
III Cross Street, Taramani Institutional Area Email:,
Chennai – 600 113
Tel. No. (044) 22541229, 22542698, 22542699 Website: /
Direct: (044) 65299025
Mobile: 9444018534
Email:, 89. Tripathi, J.P. Programme Specialist
Website: 9th and 10th Floor, Corporate House,
Opp. Dinesh Hall, Off. Ashram Road,
84. Suresh, K Ahmedabad – 380 009
Director (Resource Centre) Tel. No. (079) (079) 2754 0421 / 1678 / 2158
Watershed Support Services and Activities Mobile: 098254 64902
Network Email:
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Website: C 5/43, (1st & 2nd Floor)
Safdurjang Development Area
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Deputy General Manager Tel. No. (011) 46000400, 26969812, 26969813
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Development Email:,
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New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Tel. No. (079) 27558111

Mobile: 09866249622 91. Vanaja, K
Email: Program Officer
Website: Watershed Support Services and Activities
Network (WASSAN)
86. Tejbir Singh 12-13-452, Street No. 1, Tarnaka,
Senior Technical Officer Secunderabad – 500 017
Indian Council of Agricultural Research Tel. No. 27015295 / 96, 27018581
Natural Resource Management Division Mobile: 9985674836
Room No. 114, KAB II Email:
New Delhi – 110 012 Website:
92. Vasant Saberwal 96. Vyas Vijay Shanker
Program Officer (Environment and Professor Emeritus,
Development), Ford Foundation Institute Of Development Studies (Ids).
55, Lodi Estate, New Delhi - 110 003 396 Vashundhara Extension,
Tel. No. (011) 24619441 / 24648401 Gopalpura Bypass, Tonk Road,
Mobile: 9818369335 Jaipur – 302018, Rajasthan
Email: Tel. No. (0141) 2705601
Website: Fax. No. (0141) 2709938
Mobile: 09829065032
93. Venkateswarlu, B Email:,
Principal Scientist and Head of Division Website:
Central Research Institute for Dryland
Agriculture (CRIDA) 97. Wani, S.P.
Santoshnagar, Saidabad P.O. Principal Scientist (Watersheds) and
Hyderabad - 500 059 Regional Theme Coordinator (Asia)
Tel. No. (040) 24535336 Global Theme on Agroecosystem
Mobile: 09441437812 International Crops Research Institute for the
Email:, Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh Tel. No. (040) 30713466
Website: Res. No. (040) 27111263
Fax. No. (040) 30713074
94. Venkateswarlu, J Mobile: 9849005546
Former Director, CAZRI Email:
26, SBI Colony, Gandhinagar Website:
Hyderabad – 500 080
Tel. No. (040) 27532928 / 27530330 98. Yugandhar, B.N.
Mobile: 09849040635 Member, Planning Commission
Email: Yojana Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi - 110 001
95. Vijay Kumar, T Tel. No. (011) 23096566
Chief Executive Officer Mobile: 09899033988
Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) Email:,
H. No. 5-10-192, IIIrd and IVth Floors,
Hermitage HUDA Complex,
Hill Fort Road, Adarsh Nagar,
Hyderabad - 500 004
Tel. No. (040) 23298468, 69 / 23298468, 69
Email:, ■

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Annexure – 3
Group Work on Specific Themes – List of Members
Theme 1 : Agriculture in Rainfed Areas; Soils, Pest Management and Seeds
(Facilitator : B. Venkateswarlu)
❑ Y.S. Ramakrishna ❑ G.V. Ramanjaneyulu
❑ G. Dharmendra ❑ Arun K. Sharma
❑ M.A. Sharma ❑ G.R. Chandrasekhar
❑ D.V. Raidu ❑ K. Abdul Kareem
❑ Ashok Bang
Theme 2 : Water for Rainfed Areas
(Facilitator : K. J. Joy)
❑ K.V. Rao ❑ M.V. Rama Chandrudu
❑ S.K. Anwar ❑ R.P. Singh
❑ R.K. Singh ❑ Sudip Mitra
❑ D.K. Routray ❑ A.K. Gogoi
❑ Achyut Das
Theme 3 : Re-looking at Livestock in Rainfed Areas
(Facilitator : Dr. V. Padma Kumar)
❑ A.K. Joseph ❑ S.K. Singh
❑ Shailendra Tiwari ❑ P. Sreeramulu
❑ A. Ravindra ❑ S. Bhagya Laxmi
❑ Gopi Krishna ❑ K. Vanaja
Theme 4 : Institutions for Rainfed Areas Development
(Facilitator: Dr. Amita Shah)
❑ T. Vijay Kumar ❑ Ch. Radhika Rani
❑ B. Ramesh Babu ❑ N.K. Sanghi
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

❑ M.V. Rama Chandrudu ❑ R. Nand Kumar

❑ P.V.S. Surya Kumar ❑ S.N.A. Jinnah
❑ M. Ramesh Kumar ❑ C. Shambu Prasad
❑ H. Lanting ❑ K. Jagannadha Rao
❑ N.L. Narasimha Reddy
% : Percent
< : Less than
> : More than
AESA : Agro Ecosystem Analysis
AFPRO : Action for Food Production
AKRSP : Aghakhan Rural
APDS : Alternative Public Distribution System
APDS : Alternate Public Distribution System
APEDA : Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority
APMIP : Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project
APRLP : Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Program
Bt : bacillus thuringiensis
Cal : Calcium
CALPI : Capitalization of Livestock Programme Experiences in India
CAZRI : Central Arid Zone Research Institute
CBOs : Community Based Organizations
CGF : Community Grain Fund
CIF : Common Investment Fund
CPR : Common Pool Resources
CRIDA : Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture
CSA : Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
CWS : Centre for World Solidarity
DARE : Department of Agricultural Research and Education
DDS : Deccan Development Society
DFID : Department for International Development
DGM : Deputy General Manager
DPAP : Drought Prone Area Program
DSC : Development Support Centre
DWMA : District Water Management Agency
FAO : Food Agriculture Organization
Fe : Ferrous

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

FFS : Farmer’s Field School
FFW : Food for Work
FYM : Farm Yard Manure
GDP : Gross Domestic Product
GIDR : Gujarat Institute of Development Research
GIS : Geographical Information Systems
GM : Genetically Modified
GO : Government Organization
GoAP : Government of Andhra Pradesh
GWA : Groundwater Authority
ha : Hectare
HYV : High Yielding Variety
ICAR : Indian Council of Agriculture Research
ICDS : Integrated Child Development Services
ICRISAT : International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
IDE : International Development Enterprise
IFS : Inorganic Farming System
IKP : Indira Kranthi Patham
IPM : Integrated Pest Management
ISOPOM : Integrated Scheme of Pulses, Oilseeds, Maize
ITK : Indigenous Technical Knowledge
K : Potassium
Kg : Kilogram
KVK : Krishi Vigyan Kendra
LEISA : Low-External-Input Sustainable Agriculture
MACS : Mutually Aided Cooperative Society
MFI : Micro Finance Institution
MMS : Mandal Mahila Samakhya
MoU : Memorandum of Understanding
MPS : Minimum Price Support
MSSRF : M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation
MT : Metric Tonne
NABARD : National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
NAIP : National Agricultural Innovation Project
NGO : Non Government Organization
NHM : National Horticulture Mission
NIRD : National Institute of Rural Development
NNM : Non chemical methods of Nutrient Management
NPK : Ntrogen, Phasporous and Potassium
NPM : Non Pesticidal Management
NRAA : National Rainfed Area Authority
NRC : Natural Resource Conservation
NREGS : National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
NRM : Natural Resource Management
NRU : Natural Resource Utilization
NTFP : Non Timber Forest Produce
OF : Organic Farming
OFS : Organic Farming System
P : Phosphorous
New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

PACS : Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies

PCF : Price Stabilization Fund
PDS : Public Distribution System
PGS : Participatory Guarantee Scheme
PLF : Poverty Learning Foundation
PP : Procurement Price
PRI : Panchayat Raj Institution
R&D : Research and Development
RDT : Rural Development Trust
RKVY : Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana
Rs : Rupees
S : Sulphur
SANDRP : South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People
SAUs : State Agricultural Universities
SC : Scheduled Caste
SDC : Swiss Development Cooperation
SERP : Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty
SHGs : Self Help Groups
SOM : Soil Organic Matter
SOPPECOM : Society for Promoting Participate Ecosystem Management
sq. ft : Square feet
SREP : Strategic Research and Extension Plan
SRI : System of Rice Intensification
ST : Scheduled Tribe
T/L : Truthfully Labeled
TFI : Total Financial Inclusion
UAS : University of Agricultural Sciences
VO : Village Organization
VVV : Vikas Volunteer Vahini
WASSAN : Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN)
WTO : World Trade Organization
XIMS : Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar
Zn : Zinc
ZS : Zilla Samakhyas

New Paradigm for Rainfed Farming

Committed to Rural Prosperity
Mission Objectives
PROMOTE SUSTANABLE AND ❖ Facilitating credit flow for agriculture and rural
RURAL PROSPERITY THROUGH ❖ Promoting and supporting policies, practices and
EFFECTIVE CREDIT SUPPORT, innovations conducive to rural development
RELATED SERVICES, INSTITUTIONAL ❖ Strengthening and regulating of rural credit delivery
DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER system through institutional development measures
INNOVATIVE INITIATIVES. and effective supervision.
Major Activities
❖ Promoting Natural Resources Management through participatory watershed development and
Tribal Development Programmes for enhancing productivity and profitability of rainfed agriculture
in a sustainable manner.
❖ Supporting Innovations in Farm and Non Farm Sectors.
❖ Preparing of Potential Linked Credit Plans for identification of exploitable potential under agriculture
and other activities available for development through bank credit.
❖ Refinancing banks for extending loans for investment and production purpose in rural areas.
❖ Providing loans to State Government/ Non Government Organisations (NGOs)/ Panchayati Raj
Institutions (PRIs) for developing rural infrastructure.
❖ Supporting credit innovations of Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and other non-formal
❖ Extending formal banking services to the unreached rural poor by evolving a supplementary credit
delivery strategy in a cost effective manner by promoting Self Help Groups (SHGs).
❖ Providing consultancy services for agriculture, rural development and rural finance.
❖ On-site inspection of cooperative banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and off-site surveillance
over health of cooperatives and RRBs
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
H O : Plot No C-24, 5th Floor, 'A' Wing, Bandhra Kurla Complex, Bandhra (East), Mumbai -400 051
Ph: 022 - 26539625 / 26530083 Fax : 022 - 26523895
web :

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