March 14, 2018
Farmers near Nashik in Maharashtra on their way to the market with their tomato harvest. (Photo by Michael Foley)

There’s more to horticulture than tomatoes, onions and potatoes

While the priority given to tomato, onion and potato (TOP) farmers by the Prime Minister is a welcome move, special attention must be given to smallholder vegetable growers, since horticulture provides a nutrition and income buffer to the rural poor

March 9, 2018
A water harvesting structure in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh helps farmers to increase the local farm moisture regime for both the summer and winter crops.

Rainwater harvesting is the best way forward for irrigation

As intensive agriculture spreads across India, there is an urgent need to encourage rainwater harvesting to irrigate multiple crops instead of the current unsustainable practice of groundwater extraction

February 28, 2018
Mobile phones have become ubiquitous across much of rural India (Photo by Mark Charmer)

How to spread technology rapidly among the poor?

The remarkable spread of mobile phones and related telecom infrastructure throughout India holds important lessons on how to reach latest technology to the rural poor at a fast clip, and how unit costs can be optimized

February 21, 2018
Government procurement of tur dal leaves much to be desired. (Photo by ALC India)

Tur dal farmers left in the lurch due to tardy procurement

Farmers cultivating pigeon pea continue to suffer losses because of inadequate preparation on the ground for government procurement even as India aims for self-sufficiency in lentil production

February 14, 2018
Solutions like improved bullock carts do not cut any ice with the poor any more. (Photo by Pixabay)

What technology does the poor need?

Although it is true that the poor needs affordable technological solutions that meet their requirements, these solutions frequently fail to account for their aspirations and often do not offer what the user really wants

January 24, 2018
Recurring droughts have reduced the annual income of Ramvithal Valse, a farmer from Sonwati villlage in Latur district of Maharashtra, by 80% in the past 6-7 years. (Photo by Nidhi Jamwal)

New drought manual may aggravate farm distress

Strict parameters set by the central government has made it tougher for the states to declare a drought and seek relief funds from New Delhi

January 17, 2018
Will children growing up in rural India be able to fly like a kite or will they forever live like a grasshopper? (Photo by Thaths)

Does rural India have a level field for opportunities and aspirations?

Unless children growing up in India’s villages have access to equality of opportunity in its broadest sense, it is unlikely that they will ever be able to soar like a kite but will be condemned to live the life of a grasshopper

January 12, 2018
Farmers from Dhulikhel area are actively using Jhol Mol that has improved their crop productivity. (Photo by Nivedita Khandekar)

Nepal’s organic manure could work wonders for Indian farmers

Nepal’s traditional bio-pesticide and fertilizer Jhol Mol is suited for many smallholder Indian farmers as well, as it can be easily made in a farm without resorting to artificial chemicals that are harmful for soil health

January 3, 2018
Mobile connectivity is still poor in the poorer parts of the country. (Photo by Ramesh Soni)

Digital inclusion still far from rural India

Even as a digital revolution sweeps across India, people in the more impoverished and remote parts of the country have to struggle to bridge the digital divide and a level playing field is still a distant dream

January 1, 2018
Fetching water and collecting fuel wood are arduous chores for most village women. (Photo by Abhijeet Jadhav)

Cooking imposes heavy burden on rural women

The simple act of cooking takes on a difficult dimension due to lack of easy access to fuel and water, forcing women in rural India to walk long distances to get them, increasing drudgery and leading to health hazards that call for immediate action