Indo-Israel Agriculture Project

In 2006, India and Israel signed the
Agreement for Agricultural Cooperation in 2008, eventually leading to Indo-Israel
Agriculture Project (IIAP) in 2008, in
partnership with (Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture) and MASHAV -Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation
under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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IIAP’s primary objectives include :

Increasing the diversity of crops

Increasing the efficiency of
resource use

Rise in productivity

 

The State of Israel was requested to
share it expertise on the same including best known practices and technology
based on its capacity. To achieve the goals of the cooperation agreement, it
was decided to establish “Agricultural Centers of Excellence”
(CoE), funded by both the Federal Government NHM and by individual State
Governments, that are also responsible to allocate land and professional
manpower.

 

Agricultural Centers of Excellence

The Agricultural Center of
Excellence was established to achieve the objectives and serves to be a
suitable platform for a rapid transfer of technology to the farmers. Knowledge
of practices such as protected cultivation, drip irrigation and fertigation,
canopy management, nursery production, Integrated Pest Management technologies
are imparted to farmers at these centers and later adopted by the farmers to increase
their yields and income and thereby, it helps in achieving the goals set out by
the framework of the agreement.

 

Applied
Research serves
adjust the technology to suit the local environment and delivers solutions to
the farmers.

·        Field Extension Officers are government
extension officers who tend to be the middle men between the applied research and the farmers.

·         Progressive Farmers are implementing the technologies demonstrated at the
Centers.

·        One
can’t question the sustainability of IIAP as it acts as a self-sufficient platform in the
aspect of Human Resource and operating capabilities.

founded
on the basic understanding  that
enhancing people’s livelihood is paramount to sustainable economic growth, it
was decided that MASHAV’s professional activities in India, will focus mainly
on human capacity building (by empowering farmers), the transfer of knowledge
(by exposing Indian farmers to technologies tailor cut to suit the local
needs), and professional support to the agricultural development projects.

 

 

 

Farm
To Fork and Co-operatives

Farm to Fork as a concept revolves around primarily
the community food system. In a community food system, the primary endeavor is
to benefit the social, economic and heath aspects of a particular place through
food production, processing, distribution and consumption. Farm to work would
enable the nation to be self-reliant, i.e. it would be sufficient to meet its
own food needs. Farm to fork also helps build sustainability, i.e. the
availability of food for future generations, to meet their needs. It
encompasses environmental protection, profitability, ethical treatment of food
system workers, and community development. The sustainability is proportional
to the availability of diversified agriculture exists near strong and thriving
markets. Farmers’ markets enables transparency in the relationship between the
consumer and the producer. It gives way for direct communication and brings out
the symbiotic relationship i.e. both are dependent on each other. The farmer
can learn more about what their consumers demand and consumers can be more
aware about what they actually eat.

In India multiple restaurants are adopting this
practice. The Table (Colaba, Mumbai) and Caara Café (Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New
Delhi) are two such restaurants. According to Alice Helme (owner of Caara
Café), “Eventually, we would like to
take this model into contract farming — teaching, guiding and empowering
farmers to grow chemical-free produce on their own land and then assist in
making the market linkages and getting rates they deserve for class produce,”.

Farmers can be given economic incentives to increase
the quantity produced by them, caused by a rise in quantity of produce. The
current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi had also expressed the
government’s desire to urge cooperatives to venture into sea weed farming to
help farmers double their income by 2022. The farmers may be enabled to buy raw
materials at whole sale rates and sell them at retail rates.

The cooperative can eliminate the need for a middleman
and help farmers increase their income. Amul, an Indian cooperative dairy model
was started as an attempt to free milk farmers from being paid the rates fixed
by their contractors. It eliminated the need for middleman and hence, caused a
hike in the incomes of the farmers.

 

 

MODEL
BASED ON THE “ANAND PATTERN”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farming in India is considered to be the most important
occupation. It is said that 52% of people in India rely on agriculture. But
based on a Hindustan Times report, the percentage of people employed in the
farming sector in 2011 was 24.6%. But where does the number 52 come from?

 

Agricultural sector not only involves the farmers, but also
consists of people with indirect jobs in the agricultural sector, like
transportation, seeds sale and many more. These are known as Agri-labor. With
every direct job on the farm comes other indirect which are mostly ignored.

These labourers are also supposed to be considered in the
agricultural sector. However, even after including them, the number 52 is tough
to make. Though the percentage can be relative.

In India, a lot of population is dependant. Only the people in the
workforce- age 15-59, should be considered. The structure of these is described
in the table below.

 

Based on this a consensus can be generated depicting the
percentage of people in the agricultural sector.

 

Hence as a percentage of total workforce, there are 52% people in
the agricultural sector, which shows the importance of agriculture in india. It
also has a major impact of the country’s economy and directly affects a lot of
people.

 

In India, a lot of land is either fallow or currently fallow. In
rajasthan about 10% of land is fallow, in Maharashtra about 8%, in haryana
about 2.5% and a lot more. If this land is put to use the country can flourish
to a great extend. It will create even more employment opportunities and
decrease the unemployment rate.

 

Attaching this link for the percentage of fallow land in variou
states.

https://data.gov.in/catalog/land-use-pattern

 

Fallow is the stage of crop rotation in which the land
is deliberately not used to raise a crop. India, being a predominantly
agricultural society, puts forward the the fact that close to 70 % of the
population is dependent on land, either as farmers or farm laborers. This
implies that it is imperative to address the issue of land in such manner that
it provides livelihood, dignity and food security to millions of Indians.

“A lot of land is left fallow and uncultivated
because the owner does not want to lease it and there is no proper guarantee of
title,” a Planning Commission official told ET.

 The wasteland/ fallow land estimate (this term
although needs to be redefined), is to be around 63.85 million hectares (20.17
per cent of the geographical area) in India. There shall be an exercise
undertaken by the Wastelands Division of State with the support of the Ministry
of Rural Development to identify and quantify these lands in terms of the
sustenance they provide to populations in non-cultivable manner.

Successive governments have taken steps to
reduce the risk faced by farmers., and last year prime minister Narendra Modi
had set the target of doubling their income by 2022. The agriculture ministry
worked on a seven-point strategy towards this end. Since India has 142 million
hectares agriculture land, out of which only 48% is under institutional
irrigation, indian farmers nowadays already swim in a turbulent sea of risks
against which they have almost no protection, and the fallow land estimate has
grown largely, farmers face more issues to cultivate and buy the unused land
that the owners don’t wish to utilize or even sell.

With the objective of providing water to
every field, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana was launched on July 1, 2015,
and, to provide an end-to-end solution in irrigation supply chains, water
resources, network distribution as well as farm level application.

One of the biggest problems of farmers is
storage after harvesting; as a result, they are forced to sell their products
at a lower cost. Therefore, the government is encouraging farmers to use
warehouses and avoid distress sales.

Land is the most vital
resource of a country. It is a fixed asset and cannot be expanded to meet the
needs of an increasing population. Therefore, it must be used carefully and in
the best possible manner.

 

 

Fallow Lands:

Cropland that is not seeded for a
season; it may or may not be plowed.
The land may
be cultivated or chemically treated for control
of weeds and other
pests or may be left unaltered or to check
weeds and plant
diseases. It can be classified into two categories

·       
Current
Fallow:  land is cropped area that is kept fallow for
the less than a year.

·       
Fallow
Lands other than Current Fallows:  This includes all land
which was taken up for cultivation but is temporarily out of cultivation for a
period of not less than one year and not more than five years.

 

A major handicap of Indian
agriculture is the unproductivity of the fallow lands. The untapped potential
of the fallow areas if harnessed would enhance food production and provide
greater benefits to the poor and marginal farmers.

There are various factors prominent in
explaining conversion from cropland to fallow land

·       
Availability of tube well
and well irrigation with electricity

·       
Higher monsoon and
post-monsoonal rainfall

·       
Increased market frequency

·       
Availability of power supply
for agriculture

·       
Density of community workers
(proxy for technical assistance and incentives for agriculture)

·       
Availability of
communication facility (e.g., bus, trains; proxy for connectivity to markets)

·       
Availability of agricultural
credit institutions

·       
Higher average income per
capita (both indicating access to capital and ability to invest)

 

India accounts for 79% (11.65 million ha) of the total
rice fallows of South-Asia (15.0million ha) (NAAS,2013)

Rice-fallow cropland
areas are those areas where rice is grown during the kharif growing
season (June–October), followed by a fallow during the rabi season
(November–February). These cropland areas are not suitable for growing rabi-season
rice due to their high-water needs. The estimated area under rice fallows was
29% of kharif rice areas

 

 

 

 

Initiatives taken
by Government of India

 

·       
Mapping
of potential districts for cultivation of oilseeds and pulses

·       
Creation
of water harvesting structure, supply of sprinklers for live saving irrigation,
water carrying pipes

·       
Supply
of seed mini kits for pulses and oilseeds to promote high yielding varieties

·       
Creation
of seed hubs by ICAR-KVKs

·       
Cluster
demonstrations on oilseeds and pulses in selected districts and villages for
continuous period of three years

·       
Coordination
and collaboration with international organizations for developing
varieties/technologies

·       
A
scheme has been launched in rabi 2026-17 for targeting 30 lakh ha of rice
fallow under oilseeds and pulses by next three years

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