2014 GAP Report® - Cultivating Prosperity through Stronger Agricultural Value Chains

India is on the threshold of a new agricultural revolution. Livestock, fisheries and high-value crops are needed to feed a growing population and an even faster growing middle class, while grains and legumes continue to be the mainstay of the diet. Doors are opening wider for exports — cotton, spices, processed and fresh produce, buffalo meat, dairy products, seafood and spices. Research institutes and the private sector are developing new technologies and agronomic practices to conserve natural resources and increase yields. Agro-companies and retailers are eagerly looking for opportunities to invest and expand. Urbanization, a large off-farm rural workforce and more women seeking employment creates a pool of labor for expanding the country’s food industry. All together, growth in the food and agricultural sector offers India a more prosperous, food secure future.

This section of the GAP Report® presents case studies from India that demonstrate how successful value chains can be both productive and sustainable by conserving natural resources, adapting to climate change and consumer preferences, and improving nutrition and livelihoods. GHI’s five strategic policy goals create an enabling environment to encourage investments in transport and infrastructure, research and extension, and innovative financial services that drive inclusive economic growth. Accompanying each case study in this section of the report are icons that symbolize which policy goals contribute to its success.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Food Security Index (GFSI), sponsored by DuPont, is a powerful data-driven tool to understand the root causes and drivers of food security. A set of tested indicators is used to evaluate the food security performance of the 107 countries where quality data is available, allowing global and regional comparisons. The GFSI is updated regularly, revealing trends that can be used by governments, NGOs and the private sector to monitor progress and guide decisions.

The 2013 GFSI shows that India performs relatively well in assuring food availability and food safety, and in providing food for vulnerable and poor populations.97 Overall, however, kilocalories, iron and protein available per day per person are in the low range. A key challenge is food affordability, particularly since India is vulnerable to food price shocks and has relatively high import tariffs. Other research indicates that the poorest 30 percent of Indian households spend an estimated 60 percent of their monthly expenditures on food.98 Notably, the GFSI also ranks India low in public expenditures on agricultural research and development.

According to additional research conducted by the EIU, 85 percent of landholdings in India are less than 2 hectares and smallholders represent 44 percent of land under cultivation.99 Over 40 percent of smallholders are from Scheduled Castes and Tribes, which are socially disadvantaged groups. Small-scale producers face a variety of disadvantages, including low penetration of institutional credit, higher production costs and limited access to inputs, services and value-added opportunities. Contract, collective and cooperative farming are some of the approaches that have helped improve access to inputs, services and markets for small-scale producers.

To learn more about food security and agriculture in India and 106 other countries, visit the GFSI website at http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/.


The Global Agricultural Imperative

India at a Crossroads

Producing More with Less

The Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) IndexTM

Measuring Agricultural Productivity Growth in India

Policies that Promote Sustainable Food & Agricultural Systems

India’s Agricultural Value Chain

Cultivating Prosperity through Stronger Agricultural Value Chains

Tailoring Technologies for All Farmers

Public-Private Partnerships Make Farming Profitable for Low-Income Communities

Expanding the Roles, Options and Incomes of Women in Agriculture

Research and Collaboration Improve Productivity and Economic Growth

The Poultry Revolution Picks up Pace

The New White Revolution

Aquaculture — The Blue Revolution

Boosting Micronutrient Intake

Water Use Efficiency and Management

From Field to Fork: Strengthening Value Chains to Boost Productivity and Reduce Food Loss

Agricultural Financial Services