Indian Agriculture College and Indian Agriculture University News.

National Agricultural Innovation Project

Agriculture is and will continue to be the main driver of country's economic growth with social justice. Our agriculture did extremely well and it was on the ascendancy till the mid nineties but after that the growth slowed down. Since 1996-97 the growth rate of agricultural GDP has been, on an average, 1.75 % per year in contrast with the rate of 4% that is required. On the other hand the farmer has been facing rising input costs, declining returns from the inputs, uncertain market, increasing role of market in agriculture and blurring of distinction between the domestic market and the international market. To assist the farmer in these changing contexts new strategies and innovative solutions are urgently required which in turn will require technological support. Hence the agricultural research system which generates technologies, has to conduct the business of agricultural research in an innovative way. The World Bank aided National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) has been conceived to pilot this innovation in conducting agricultural research.

The Basic Principles

To give the agricultural research and technology development system an explicit development and business perspective through innovative models. In other words, the agricultural research system should be able to support agriculture as a business venture and also as a means of security of livelihood of the rural Indian while maintaining excellence in science.

To make the National Agricultural Research System a 'pluralistic' system where every Organisation having stake in agricultural research: public, private or civil society, has to play a role.

Working in well defined partnership groups with clear common goals and understanding on sharing responsibilities and benefits.

Funding through competition so that a wide choice of excellent innovative ideas come in from the stakeholders themselves.

Work with focus, plan and time frames.

Develop well-tested models for application of agricultural research and technology for profitability of farming, income generation and poverty alleviation.

Total Budget for the NAIP

The total budget is US $ 250 million: the World Bank will fund US $ 200 million as credit and US $ 50 million by the Government of India.

Components of NAIP

The NAIP will function through four components :

• The ICAR as the Catalyzing Agent for the Management of Change in the Indian NARS
• Research on Production to Consumption Systems (PCS)
• Research on Sustainable Rural Livelihood Security (SRLS) and
• Basic and Strategic Research in the Frontier Areas of Agricultural Sciences (BSR)
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