Sowing Prosperity: Boosting
POLICY RE-ORIENTATION CENTERING ON AGRI-
TEAM NAME: Modern Theorists
TEAM MEMBERS: Deepak Mehta, Jailam Mujuthaba, Aarti Thamma, Zainab Madraswala and Sneha Natraj.
GITAM UNIVERSITY, VISAKHAPATNAM
The number of farmers in the industry significantly
declined and agricultural lands being transferred to
commercial businesses is increasing.
The over 600 million
Indians dependent on agriculture.
There are 9 million fewer farmers
today than there were in 2001.
In India ,Agriculture is the
backbone of the Indian
economy. 60% of the country’s
population is dependent on
agricultural sector in spite of
which there has been a decrease
in growth in the year 2012-2013 of
2.1% as compared to the growth
rate of 3.4% in 2011-2013.
CAUSES OF DECLINE IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY
THE BASIC CONCEPT: Increasing agricultural productivity and incomes of small
farmers from agricultural and agribusiness activities in India by transforming and enhancing the
performance of the agricultural technology systems, empowering stakeholders and stimulating the
development of agribusiness in different states through the establishment of an Agricultural Sector
Coordination Unit (ASCU).
• Support the development of effective government policies, its
implementation, activities that will facilitate coordination of both Government
and programs of NGOs.
Policy & Institutional
• Support the Indian Agricultural Research Institute to operationalize the India
Vision 2020 policy towards increased productivity and value addition through
empowering small farmers, sustainability and natural resource management
and organization of the agricultural sector.
• Support the Government to implement the National Agricultural Policy, ,
focusing on empowering the stakeholders through sharing of information and
knowledge to help them transform subsistence farming into commercial
• Empower public and private stakeholders along commodity chains to plan,
design and deliver agribusiness services aimed at value-addition, and linking
producers to input and output markets.
Elements of the proposed solution:
Objectives to be covered under “Policy & Institutional Support”
• Supporting the development and implementation of the National
• Supporting activities that will facilitate the harmonization of both the
Government and NGOs.
• Conducting a sector-wide consultative process to identify opportunities
for increasing agricultural productivity and investments.
• Supporting the development and implementation of priority sector
policies such as for livestock, aquaculture, co-operatives and
• Developing and piloting a roles and resources analytical model in the
targeted value chains to ensure women and men equitably benefit from
trade and market-based approaches.
• Developing a Project specific and a harmonized sector-wide monitoring
and evaluation system in the agricultural sector.
• Developing and implementing an Agricultural sector information and
Objectives to be covered under “Assisting Agricultural Research”
• Implementing the various activities outlined in the National Agricultural
Policy to promote development and coordination of agricultural
research in the country.
• Supporting competitive collaborative agricultural Research Grants.
• Building the institutional and research capacity of Indian Agricultural
Research Institute (IARI) and other major research institutes through
implementation of various activities such as conducting research
programs, implementing initiatives for promoting sustainable research
funding, purchasing of laboratory equipment and investing on
• Provision of Operating Costs, and setting up of ICT infrastructure.
• Formulating a task force to approach the farmers who use new
technology and assist in the transfer of the technology to other farmers.
Objectives to be covered under “Stakeholder Empowerment &
• Supporting the implementation of the various initiatives outlined in
the National Agricultural Policy including the capacity building of
• Providing Farmers’ Grants to farmer groups and organizations to
implement agricultural productivity, marketing and agribusiness
which transform subsistence farming to commercial farming.
• Strengthening the capacity of the farmers, farmers’ associations
and other stakeholders of agriculture through training, and
dissemination of information on agriculture and agribusinesses-
connect with existing organisations such as ‘ekutir’.
• Supporting the establishment of national and district information
resource centres and information desks at the local level through
provision of ICT and training.
Objectives to be covered under “Agribusiness and Market
• Supporting public and private stakeholders along commodity
chains to plan, design and deliver agribusiness services aimed at
value-addition, and linking producers to markets.
• Developing and delivering curricula in agribusiness development
and appropriate processing technologies.
• Designing an Agribusiness partial risk guarantee financing
instrument to provide commercial banks and other financial
institutions an incentive for lending to agribusiness.
• Conducting a study and developing weather-based risk insurance
products to insure farmers against weather related risks.
• Form a network of initiatives under the umbrella of Agricultural
Sector Cooperation Unit including ICAR, state agricultural
universities, national bureaus, NGOs etc.
The Agricultural Sector Coordination
Unit (ASCU) will become responsible
for coordinating all programs and
projects in the agricultural sector,
rather than having stand-alone
steering committees for each project.
The ASCU members will be appointed
by the government and they will meet
quarterly, and are responsible for
approving annual work plans and
budgets and overall project oversight.
ASCU will build a framework to
define and organize partnership
arrangements with the
government and NGOs.
The project will be
implemented by three
• The government of India
• Ministry of Agriculture
• Agricultural Sector
Coordination Unit (ASCU)
The ASCU could implement the
model in 5 phases:
Phase 1: Covering 6 states
Phase 2: Covering 6 states
Phase 3: Covering 6 states
Phase 4: Covering 5 states
Phase 5: Covering 5 states
The government should establish an independent
Agricultural Sector Coordination Unit (ASCU) to
coordinate sector-wide initiatives, policies, programs,
and projects. Overall coordination and fiduciary
responsibility for the Project will rest with Ministry of
Agriculture, whose capacity will be strengthened to
undertake these responsibilities efficiently and
Although the initial implementation expenditure of the concept is high, the expenses will
be counterweighed by the increased productivity of the farmers. The project could get
financial assistance from the world bank.
•Regulatory head office – 50 lakhs per annum
•Regional branches– 20 lakhs per annum per
•Establishment of units – 4-5 crores
•Other logistics expenses – 50 lakhs per annumLogistics costs
•Communication costs – establishment of a
communication network – 2 crores
•Training of stakeholders – 2 crore per annum
Sustainability of the solution
•Sustainability of the concept
will depend on a large extent
on how values add to the
communities and other
stakeholders, as to give them
an incentive to maintain and
further develop the
Measuring the impact
•The ASCU shall monitor and
evaluate the progress of the
Projects it implements and
prepare Project Reports. The
reports should include:
• Percent increase in annual
average yields of selected
agricultural products in small-
holder farming systems in the
•Percent increase in earnings of
activities in the Project area.
•Percent increase in public
investment in the agricultural
•Proportion of small-holder
farmers who are satisfied with
extension, empowerment and
Merits compared to the existing
•Focusing on agribusiness helps
boost the overall production
•This model will transform
agriculture into a thriving
sector that can help generate
enough income to lift millions
out of poverty.
•30% of the total work force
working as agricultural laborers
and 53% of the population
relying on income from the
agricultural sector will be
directly benefited from the
•The concept will create more
“independent” farmers who
could rely on their own income
for increasing production and
taking their products to the
Challenges and mitigation factors
The transformation of smallholder
agriculture to a more science based
production system requires committed
governance as well as a system of
public sector organizations with the
capacity to support and transform
small-scale agriculture in terms of
productivity and participation in the
The traditional competition between
large-scale commercial agriculture on
one hand, and smallholder agriculture
on the other, continues to cloud food
and agriculture policy and
The level of employment in the
agricultural sector is declining.
The smallholder agricultural farmers
and large scale farmers should
collaborate to provide support to
each other in both economic and
technical matters. The ASCU will assist
in achieving this cooperation between
The model will support smallholder
farmers in engaging in commercial
farming and thus provide an incentive
for more workers to join the agricultural
Provide subsidies to smallholder farmers
to enable them to compete with the
larger commercial farmers and
provide a platform for them to
develop and increase their production
CHALLENGES AND RISKS MITIGATION FACTORS
Annual Plan 2013-14 – Department of Agriculture & Cooperation
Marketing infrastructure & agricultural marketing reforms, Expert committee
report – Department of Agriculture & Cooperation
National Policy for Farmers 2007
National Agricultural Policy 2000
The half-yearly economic report-2013
Times of India – Budget plan 2013-14