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Agriculture

Vision and Mission

Policy- and innovation-led transformation of agriculture for improved nutrition and agricultural income and sustainable and inclusive growth.

 

Core Functions

Policy Design and Analysis

The Agriculture Vertical is engaged in the designing of new programmes and policies for agriculture and allied sectors to address emerging challenges and harness upcoming opportunities. It also provides inputs on key policy documents, such as Cabinet Notes, CCEA Notes, EFCs and SFCs, among others. Member (Agriculture) regularly provides strategic inputs to the PMO and other Ministries and participates in important policy decisions related to the sector.

 

Research and Knowledge Exchange

The Vertical conducts both in-house research studies and partners with research institutes and academia to analyze emerging issues, problems facing farmers and the sector, food security, and the impact of various policies and development programmes to generate new ideas and alternatives to accomplish the vision.

 

Policy Advocacy

The Vertical represents NITI Aayog in international, national and regional forum and media interactions, including through publications and lectures, to create a suitable environment for the proper understanding of the policies and initiatives of the Government.

 

Stakeholder Consultations

Collecting/collating stakeholder views form an integral part of the Vertical's work, as several key documents such as the Vision document is based on extensive stakeholder consultations.

 

Working with States

The Vertical monitors trends, changes and undercurrents in agriculture and rural economy of various States and offers suggestions and advice for addressing challenges faced by farmers and the sector. Activities range from consultations on key policy issues, solving bottlenecks with Central Ministries to monitoring progress of key schemes, etc.

 

Working with Line Ministries

Besides offering inputs on policy issues, the Vertical also works closely with the relevant Line Ministry to design interventions, accelerate development, and attain the vision of building a New India. It also gives feedback on implementation issues and the output of various Central schemes.

 

Who's Who

  • Dr Ramesh Chand, Member (Agriculture), rc.niti@gov.in
  • Dr Neelam Patel, Senior Adviser, Neelam.patel@gov.in
  • Mr Manas Choudhury, Joint Adviser, manas.choudhury@gov.in
  • Dr Tanu Sethi, Senior Associate, tanu.sethi@gov.in
  • Ms Anuradha Batana, Research Officer, Anuradha.batana@gov.in
  • Mrs Laxmi Gupta, Research Officer, laxmi.gupta@gov.in
  • Dr Shwetal Wankhede, Consultant, shwetal.w@nic.in
  • Mr Ranveer Nagaich, Public Policy Consultant, ranveer.nagaich@gov.in
  • Ms Sakshi Gupta, Young Professional

 

Partners

Research Institutes/Organisations

  • FAO
  • World Bank
  • BMGF
  • WFP
  • Institute for Competitiveness
  • CIRAD
  • Network for Certification and Conservation of Forest (NCCF)
  • The Nature Consultancy (TNC)
  • World Agroforestry, World Resource Institute (WRI)
  • International Bamboo and Rattan Network
  • Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education
  • ICAR-Central Agroforestry Research Institute
  • Space Applications Centre
  • ISRO
  • National Remote Sensing Centre
  • ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute

 

Private Sector

  • ITC
  • Amul
  • Microsoft
  • CropData
  • Neural Blocks
  • Milk Mantra
  • Big Basket
  • Growmore Biotech Ltd
  • Cluster of Handicrafts in Bamboo Value Addition and Research (CHIVAR)
  • Bamboo Forum of India
  • Bengal Veneer Industries

 

Line Ministries

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare
  • Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry
  • Ministry of Food Processing
  • Department of Agricultural Research and Education
  • Ministry of Fertiliser and Chemicals
  • Ministry of Food, PDS and Consumer Affairs
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • Ministry of Finance

 

Reports

  • New Farm Acts-Understanding the Implications: A working paper was prepared by Member (Agriculture) tracing the genesis of the historic agriculture reforms, addressing the apprehensions behind the Acts, and throwing light on how the Acts would go a long way in transforming India's rural economy.
     

  • Vision 2035: Keeping in mind the evolving post-Covid reality, the Vision document for the agriculture sector has been prepared. The paper is currently under peer review and expected to be finalised by May 2021.

Current and Upcoming Projects

  • Promotion of Natural Farming: NITI Aayog's strategy to promote natural farming has been multidimensional. The first part of the strategy has been to invite leading experts to share their views with senior government officials—of both Central and State Governments. The second part has been to document the practices of natural farming and scientifically validate them for replication across the country. Knowledge partners have been identified for scientific validation and quantification of the benefits of natural farming.

    1. High-level Roundtable on Agroecology held virtually, with the Hon'ble Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India in attendance, along with leading international experts from the FAO, WWF and CGIAR.

      Experts provided evidence from latest studies and cutting-edge research as well as practical experience. Their analysis showed that natural farming and other agroecological approaches, such as organic agriculture, hold great promise for a renaissance in Indian agriculture—such that farming is not just productive but truly regenerative and sustainable.
       

    2. National-Level Consultation on the ‘Principles and Practices of Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati or Natural Farming', attended by the Hon'ble Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, the Governors of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, international experts from the FAO and UN, as well as representatives of farmers' organizations. As many as 600 participants attended the two-day consultation.
       

      During the deliberations, the multiple benefits of natural farming—namely, increased farmers' incomes, resilience to extreme weather events, improvement in soil fertility, increased organic carbon content, savings on agri-inputs, recorded significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and increase in quantity and quality of produce—were highlighted by practitioners.
       

      Follow-up meetings were held to chart the way forward, which included action items on the preparation of success stories and collection of empirical evidence for scientific validation.
       

    3. National Dialogue on Enhancing Farmers' Income, Nutritional Security and Sustainable Food Systems: NITI Aayog, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare and FAO initiated a national dialogue in 2019 for facilitating the transformation of India's agriculture. A steering committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, with domain experts from the fields of food, agriculture and allied sectors. So far, the committee has held six meetings and decided on priority areas. The first round of the dialogue process was held virtually between 19 and 22 January 2021. The second round will be held in mid-2021 to consolidate ideas and recommendations for the way.
       

    4. Policy Paper on ‘A New Paradigm for Indian Agriculture': This paper examines the structural transformation of India's economy. It provides evidence of mounting unsustainability in agriculture, and highlights that a growing population and the threat of climate change necessitate higher productivity and diversification. The goals of sustainability and productivity can emerge as trade-offs to policymakers in the current policy paradigm. The paper calls for a new paradigm in Indian agriculture through the adoption of agroecological principles at scale. The paper has been peer reviewed by renowned agriculture economist Dr Bruno Dorin of CIRAD and is in the final stages of completion.
       

    5. Blockchain for Natural Farming: Lack of quality produce and traceability have hampered India's food exports, along with disincentivising growers. Blockchain technology can help bridge this gap. To pilot such an initiative, the Agriculture Vertical, in consultation with the Frontier Technologies Vertical, has been working with Neural Blocks, a start-up that provides blockchain-based solutions. A pilot project has been launched in Himachal Pradesh, with the support of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, in providing data. Apples have been chosen as the first crop.
       

    6. Website on Natural Farming: A dedicated website on natural farming is being developed by NITI Aayog. The website will show natural farming initiatives taken by different States, related schemes, guidelines, success stories, etc.

    7. Agriculture Transformation Index: NITI Aayog is working on an Agriculture Transformation Index, which will measure the performance of States across six pillars: inputs, sustainability, productivity and diversification, policy, preservation, processing and exports, and farmers' income and welfare. The index is aimed at capturing the new policy paradigm in agriculture—at the core of which are sustainable intensification and increasing farmers' income.
       

    8. Farm to Table, Driving India's Agriculture Sector Digitally: A meeting of private-sector experts was convened by NITI Aayog to draw up a roadmap for the digital transformation of India's agriculture sector. The group, led by ITC, presented its idea and a roadmap for the implementation of ‘Krishi Neev', the digital backbone of India's agriculture, to the Hon'ble Prime Minister in August 2020. Four pilots are currently underway and expected to be completed soon. The pilots include farm advisory services, price prediction and blockchain for quality certification.
       

    9. Agriculture Dashboard: The development of a dynamic agriculture dashboard is underway, which will track State-wise data on select indicators, such as weather, production, arrivals, etc. The dashboard will aggregate existing sources of agriculture and will be dynamically updated through APIs.
       

    10. Documenting Initiatives of States in Adopting Agri Reforms: NITI Aayog, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, is tracking the implementation status of marketing reforms by State Governments, to identify issues hampering their adoption.
       

    11. Promotion of Agroforestry and Wasteland Greening: A policy paper on identifying bottlenecks in the development of agroforestry in the existing National Agroforestry Policy is being prepared. The recommendations are being made through a consultative process, involving international institutes, think tanks and Line Ministries.
       

    12. Bamboo as an Alternative Source of Wood: Research over the past decades has demonstrated bamboo as a viable alternative to wood and other traditional materials in construction and infrastructure works. A policy paper is being prepared to promote the development of the bamboo industry, identifying bottlenecks and offering policy recommendations.
       

    13. Roadmap for Self-Sufficiency in Oilseeds: Through data analysis, interaction with experts and review of literature, NITI Aayog has formulated a draft roadmap for self-sufficiency in oilseeds. The findings have been shared with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare for finalisation of the policy.
       

    14. Research Study on Waste to Wealth: NITI Aayog, in collaboration with ICAR-IARI, is conducting a comprehensive research study to develop technologies to convert crop bio-waste into farm compost, which is economically viable, to counter stubble burning.