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The Future of Agriculture in India

The Future of Agriculture in India

Friday, June 9, 2006

Chair: Kevin Cleaver

Presentations by: Kees van der Heijden, Suresh Pal, Rajeswari Raina, Eija Pehu and Willem Janssen

Comments by : Mruthyunjaya, Connie Bernard, Fayez Omar and Gajanand Pathmanathan

Background

Through the voting box India is rediscovering the importance of agricultural and rural development. Indian agriculture however faces many uncertainties and many challenges: climate change, international trade, domestic support and subsidization, urbanization, changing consumption patterns and the development of the private sector are just some of the variables that will change the face of Indian agriculture and will affect the type of investments required.

In the context of the preparation of the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP), SASAR ARD and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) have been undertaking a scenario planning exercise on the future of Indian agriculture. This was done to inform the future direction of the project, but also to open the thinking on agricultural development in general. Scenario planning helps to understand the many variables that influence the future. Alternative scenarios describe the future conditions in which a company or a government system may have to operate, as defined by sets of different assumptions on how the future will evolve. By understanding the different responses required in each scenario, the inherent uncertainties of the future will be better handled. Scenario planning improves the judgments and the creativity required for decision making. It helps to break away from the idea that the future is a continuation of the past and if done well, provides insights on new critical issues and innovative responses.

Based on alternative assumptions for the management of India’s economy and the texture of its society four scenarios were developed:

  • In the Valley
  • Through the Hills
  • Along the Edge
  • In the Mountains

The Scenario Planning team now wishes to share the outcomes of the analysis within the Bank

The Scenario Planning Team included Eija Pehu and Riikka Rajalahti (ARD), Willem Janssen (SASAR),. Kees van der Heijden (formerly Head of Corporate Planning of Shell; now Associate Fellow, Templeton College, Oxford), Rajeswari Raina (Center for Policy Research, India), Suresh Pal (National Center for Agricultural Policy, India), Sachin Chaturvedi (Research and Information System for the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries, India), Dr. D. Jha (National Professor, National Center for Agricultural Policy), Chandra Checkhar (The Hindu). The scenarios were developed through a series of workshops and interviews in which numerous Bank staff and Indian government officials, private sector and farmer organizations representatives participated.

Further Information

For further information, please contact:

Willem Janssen
Senior Agriculture Specialist
South Asia Agriculture and Rural Development (SASAR)
wjanssen@worldbank.org
(202) 458-8732

Eija Pehu
Adviser
Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD)
ESSD (Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development)
epehu@worldbank.org
(202) 458-2422




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