Prespectives

July 19, 2017
A village shopkeeper in Himachal Pradesh. (Photo by Michael Foley)

Village entrepreneurship as a key to rural growth

The active promotion of enterprises in rural India is a possible way to further growth in the countryside and there’s need to examine their possibilities and limitations in order to tackle the problem of burgeoning unemployment

July 14, 2017
NGO executives attending a village meeting. (Photo by Austin Yoder)

The shape of India’s non-profits in the 21st century

NGOs in India need to adapt to the shifting landscape of India by working in tandem with the state and markets, and retain their difference. This is a critical reform or perish phase for them.

July 5, 2017
For poor rural people living on the margins, the system of direct benefit transfer show mixed results.

Is direct benefit transfer really a panacea for the rural poor?

Given the complex and varied situations in rural India, the results of the direct benefit transfer method are so far mixed at best and debilitating at worst, as seen in the subsidies for farm equipment and fertilizers

June 30, 2017
Procurement of produce is in progress at a market yard. (Photo courtesy MAHAPFC)

Collective farm gate procurement offers solutions to cover price crashes

Farmer producer companies have started to play an important role in procurement from smallholders, which guards against price crashes that has been plaguing marginalized farmers across the country despite record harvests

June 21, 2017
Cattle fodder in common lands and forests has become scarce in India due to weed infestation. (Photo by Shankar S.)

For some more blades of grass

Instead of raising a hue and cry to protect cows, more immediate action is required to make fodder available to the large cattle population in the country by controlling the menace of unwanted shrubs and weeds in India’s pastures and forests

June 14, 2017
Keeping girls in school is an important way to push back underage marriages. (Photo by Eric Parker)

Custom of child marriages must be fought on multiple fronts

There is no silver bullet to defeat the scourge of underage marriages. Rather, it is important to extend the scope of current interventions among adolescents and the communities they grow up in, which then need to be backed up by suitable government policies

June 7, 2017
Farm ponds to harvest and store rainwater could be an optimal solution in some places. (Photo by Aftab Alam)

Water control is the strongest anti-poverty measure

Once we realize that one size does not fit all, it will be easier for the government and civil society organizations to tailor strategies to manage water in the different agro-climatic regions of the country that truly benefits the rural poor

May 26, 2017
Fellows in rural India need serious handholding to make the effort effective. (Photo by Meghna Mukherjee)

Many fellows but not too many ships to anchor

To make fellowships that connect with rural realities really worthwhile, it is necessary to provide pointed guidance through mentors who are ready to engage, a vital aspect that many of the programs are not addressing adequately

May 24, 2017
A small pump irrigating an onion farm. (Photo by Hamish John Appleby / IWMI)

Small pumps are a viable solution for poor farmers

Although small pumps for irrigation doesn’t get the attention it deserves, evidence from groundwater-rich states such as Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha show that they have significant benefits for small and marginal farmers

April 28, 2017
Reaching irrigated water to farms remains a challenge in India. (Photo by Nagarjun Kendukuru)

Time has come to rethink the way we irrigate farmland

Rethinking irrigation needs to focus on end results and in exploring every possible way of reaching water to crop roots. For this to happen, perhaps the hegemony of the irrigation bureaucracy needs to come to an end