Medium-term Vision for Research in AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Studies Completed at AERU,IEG

The theme of agriculture and rural development was accorded high importance ever since the inception of the institute. Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has been the main funding agencies for researches in the above theme.


Medium-term Vision for Research in AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

The theme of agriculture and rural development was accorded high importance ever since the inception of the institute. Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has been the main funding agencies for researches in the above theme.


Researches in the above theme encompass wide area of issues related to agriculture and rural development. The IEG has been contributing significantly to the ongoing debate on sustainable agricultural development; this tradition continued in the recent past even after initiating a separate theme on Environmental Economics in the institute. Pattern of growth in agriculture its sources, determinants and implications have been drawing attention of researchers of this institute from time to time; these issues were visited during the recent period as well. Several studies have assessed trade related issues in agriculture in the recent past (2002-2006). Equitable growth in an opening economy requires certain kind of institutional reforms. Market and non-market institutions related to agricultural development have been the subject matter of some researches in present institute. Separate researches studied pattern of non-farm employment, growing disparity in rural and urban India. The research work under the above theme resulted in publication of numerous books, IEG working / discussion paper series, and research papers in professional journals.


A number of newer areas of work have emerged mainly out of the expanding interest and expertise of the existing faculty members, as also the requirement of policy formulation by the Ministry. The research areas that are likely to receive attention in the next five years are as under:

Crop-Forecasting using Remote Sensing Data and Econometric Techniques

The need for more accurate crop forecasts has assumed renewed importance in India in view of the recent decline in public participation of food management and a consequent need for correct assessment of the future deficits/surpluses in agriculture sector. An important attempt in this direction is being made in one of the studies at IEG.

In this study, a comprehensive structural econometric model is being built with the objective of providing multiple in-season crop forecasts for important commodities in major states of India. The study, coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, is a part of the larger project exploring the interlinkages between natural, economic and technological factors in determining agricultural production. The agro-meteorological and the space-based component models of the project are being handled by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). IEG is entrusted with the responsibility of building the econometric model for crop forecasting. The study is planned to be implemented in three phases of two years each, spanning over a period of 2006-07 to 2011-12.

Trade and WTO related Issues in Indian Agriculture

The current round of WTO negotiations and future rounds of talk has posed certain challenges and opportunities for Indian agriculture; this needs to be assessed on a continuous basis taking into account strength and weaknesses of the country. Researches in this unit would aim at preparing India’s agriculture sector in the emerging international trade order. The challenges and opportunities for country often vary across commodities; therefore sector and commodity- specific studies assessing potential, possible threats and likely response of the country would be pursued in the unit. In particular, the studies would explore the potential for more effective use of the existing clauses (like ‘Special Products’ or ‘Special Safeguards’) and the need for new provisions

Agricultural Growth: its Sources and Implications

Agricultural growth in the recent decade has been interesting on many accounts: divergence in agricultural income increased, specific regions being specialized towards certain crops, total factor productivity growth decelerated at least in the high productivity region of the country. Such growth pattern influences employment, poverty and equity in a region. These issues related to agricultural growth would attract attention of researchers of this institute. Efficiency also assumes greater importance in an opening economy. The efficiency and equity related problems in Indian agriculture often depend on the state of technology and status of natural resources in a region. These factors often vary across regions; therefore, region specific studies in relation to long-run efficiency and equity of agriculture would be prioritized in the unit.

Rural Development, Infrastructure and Institutions

With the increased pressure on land importance of non-farm activities increases. Previous studies show that robust growth in agriculture is instrumental in development-induced rural diversification in the country. One of the recent studies of the unit however shows weakening of the above linkage in rural economy. Reasons for weakening of such linkages and strategies for balanced development of rural sector would be of interest for researchers of this institute. In non-farm activities a higher growth in manufacturing is important for development-induced rural diversification in the country and agro-processing is one manufacturing activity wherein rural sector has certain advantages. An IEG study evaluates performance of agro-processing in the recent decades. There are evidences to suggest that unemployment and poverty affects particular section of society more adversely. Government programmes are often targeted towards these sections; efficacy of these programmes need to be evaluated, and alternate strategies for progress of such weaker segments also need to be devised.

Much of the development of agriculture and rural sector also depends on certain kind of infrastructures. Studies on infrastructures related issues would therefore be important. Existing institutional framework for agriculture and rural development is often found to be inadequate; though alternate institutions are emerging, their performance needs to be evaluated. One of the ongoing studies on crop insurance programme is such an effort. There is also need for reorienting the existing public institutions in a liberalizing world. In this context, another study of the institute assesses implications of increased private participation in marketing of food grains in the country. In fact studies that evaluate existing institutions and infrastructure in a dynamic framework would be of interest for researchers of this institute.


Faculty of this unit share responsibility of teaching agriculture and rural development related issues to Indian Economic Service (IES), Indian Statistical Service (ISS) probationers / in service officers. This unit also organizes short-term (one week) training programmes on agriculture and rural development for probationers and in-service officers of Central Services as that of NABARD officers. A continuation and consolidation of such teaching and research activities is envisaged in the medium run.

Faculty Profile Link Email
Ghosh, Nilabja Link ,
Jha, Brajesh Link ,
Rao, N. Chandrasekhara Link ,
Sekhar, C.S.C Link,


Other Faculty working in this theme
Agarwal, Bina Publication details under this theme


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