Print this article

Food Security for the Poor in India- Paradigm Shift Needed

 T. Vijay Kumar, IAS

 

Can we achieve it by investing in the poor and have models of food security owned and managed by the poor themselves?

I. Background and structure of presentation
 
The issue of food security for the poor is a burning issue and an issue that demands a solution now, and not in the distant future. It is not a simple issue. There are many dimensions of this problem and there are many intractable issues. The focus of this paper is to argue that we need to look at the problem differently. We need to look at it from the point of view of the poor – who are the victims of the present iniquitous situation. There are large scale successful experiences on ground, where this problem has been approached by giving a central role to the poor. 
 
This paper does not however attempt to provide answers to all the issues involved. It is a practitioner’s perspective and I have attempted to present those solutions, which have worked. The strategies presented are the initiatives on the demand side. I have had the privilege of a 10 year long association with a state wide poverty eradication programme in Andhra Pradesh.
 
The Government of Andhra Pradesh set up the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), an autonomous Society, in the year 2000 to implement a statewide programme based on building grassroots institutions of the poor (focus on women). I was associated with the society right from its inception, and was heading it from 2002 to 2010. In a span of 10 years, S.E.R.P had succeeded in organizing 1.1 crore rural poor women into Self help groups (S.H.G s) and federated the S.H.G s  into village level, mandal level and district level federations. 
 
In S.E.R.P, food security was looked at from many dimensions and many innovations were made. It was clear that the problem was too deep rooted to lend to a single silver bullet. The innovation in S.E.R.P on food security from the production side was the model of ‘Community managed sustainable agriculture (CMSA)’. This was started in the year 2004 with 200 poor farmers and in 2011 Kharif the programme was reaching out to 11,50,000 farmers. It is a programme led and managed by the institutions of the poor women. It has produced very promising results and has shown the way forward. I have had the opportunity of presenting this work to various groups – international agencies, national agencies, state governments, representatives from South Asia, East Asia, and Africa who have visited the programme in A.P. Delegations from virtually all the states of the country have visited the villages where this work is under implementation and have seen for themselves the power of this idea. I have presented my work in many forums – both national and international. 
 
The S.E.R.P model of poverty eradication was one of the models closely studied by the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Rural Development before they restructured the national self-employment model, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana. Many of the key features of the S.E.R.P model were incorporated into the restructured programme, called the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). N.R.L.M  also incorporated lessons from 3 other states – Kerala’s KUDUMBASREE, Bihar’s JEEVIKA and Tamil nadu’s ‘Pudu vazhuva’.
 
This paper draws heavily from my decade long work in S.E.R.P. This paper is also based on my current assignment as Mission Director of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (N.R.L.M), to take the successful lessons of poverty eradication to all the villages of the country. 
 
Structure of the strategy paper
 
The strategy paper has been organised in following manner:
 
1. Definition of food security and the dimension of the problem, both global and in the Indian context
 
2. Paradigm shift in approach to the problem – centrality to building grassroots institutions of poor women and men
 
3. Strategy innovations, based on existence of well functioning networks of grassroots institutions of the poor:
 
a. Social mobilization and building strong grassroots institutions of poor
b. Enabling poor to access finance for their consumption and investment needs, through their institutions 
c. Food security credit to smoothen income-expenditure gaps
d. Nutrition entitlements of the poor - PDS, MDM, ICDS
e. Enabling access to land 
f. Appropriate technology for agriculture 
g. Knowledge dissemination – paradigm shift
 
The successful operationalisation of this strategy has 3 prerequisites:
 
a) A dedicated mission at the state level charged with state-wide responsibility for rural poverty eradication through social mobilization and building institutions of rural poor, with a focus on women. The mission will have units at the district, block and sub-block level. The mission will be staffed by multi-disciplinary professionals at all levels
 
b) Grassroots institutions of poor women – affinity groups (S.H.G s) and federations of S.H.G s  at village level and higher levels
 
c) Community finance institutions – federations of S.H.G s – which are involved in financial intermediation
 
The strategies presented in this paper will work only when the above 3 prerequisites have been met. Fortunately, the National Rural Livelihoods Mission gives states an opportunity to put in place the above institutional architecture. The necessary funding to implement the poverty eradication strategies are available to the states under the N.R.L.M.
 
The strategies presented in this paper are those that have been tried out in the field on a large scale. There is very little of ‘preaching’. That is the reason why it is not an exhaustive enumeration of all remedies. 
The costs of the interventions presented can be met from the National Rural Livelihoods mission and the State Govt can utilise funds from other related schemes, but use it in the manner recommended.
 
II. Food security – definition and dimension of the problem
 
The commonly accepted definition of food security, adopted at the 1996 World Food Summit is: food security is achieved when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
 
How is India faring with respect to food security? Has the situation improved over time? The view of most of the observers is that the situation has not improved. In fact, there are some who argue that it has worsened. This is a great paradox in a country striving to be a ‘superpower’ and striving to be counted in the comity of nations as a major force in International affairs.
 
 
 
According to Sh. N.C. Saxena,in the past decade and a half since India successfully embraced economic reforms, a curious problem has haunted the country and vexed its policy makers: India’s high growth has had little impact on food security and the nutrition levels of its population. 
 
Per capita availability as well as consumption of food grains has decreased; the cereal intake of the bottom 30 percent of the population continues to be much less than that of the top two deciles of the population, despite the latter group's better access to fruits, vegetables and meat products; the calorie consumption of the bottom half of the population has been consistently decreasing since 1987; unemployment among agricultural labour households has sharply increased, from 9.5 percent in 1993–94 to 15.3 percent in 2004–05 (Planning Commission, 2006); the percentage of underweight children has remained stagnant between 1998 and 2006; and more than half of India’s women and three-quarters of its children are anaemic, with no decline in these estimates in the past eight years. In short, all indicators point to the hard fact that endemic hunger continues to afflict a large proportion of the Indian population.
 
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (2008) shows India suffering from alarming hunger, ranking 66 out of the 88 developing countries studied. As part of the world community India has pledged to halve hunger by 2015, as stated in the Millennium Development Goal 1, but present trends show that this target is unlikely to be met.
 
The message is quite clear. The problem of food security is a very grave one. At the same time a complex one. Interventions are required on the demand side, on the supply side, changes in social norms, changes in laws, etc. Without a holistic approach, this problem cannot be tackled in a sustainable manner. 
 
III. Strategies for creation of sustainable food security in the country
 
1. Paradigm shift – building strong grassroots institutions of poor.  
 
What is the magnitude of poverty in the country? There are different estimates, depending on the indicators used. The estimate of the Ministry of RD is that there are an estimated 7.0 crore rural households which are below the poverty line. Reaching out to such an enormous number of people, living in  over 700,000 villages, in about 250,000 gram panchayats, 6000 blocks and 600 districts of the country is a humongous task. A significant number of these households are extremely vulnerable. 
 
Which is the best way of tackling poverty in a sustainable manner. What works on scale? The lessons from large scale experiences of poverty eradication, within the country and outside indicate an urgent need for a paradigm shift. The seminal finding of the First Independent South Asia Commission on Poverty Alleviation is:
‘Where the poor participate as subjects and not as objects of the development process, it is possible to generate growth, human development and equity, not as mutually exclusive trade-offs but as complementary elements in the same process
 
Poor have contributed to growth and human development simultaneously under varying socio-political circumstances.’
 
(… First Independent South Asia Commission on Poverty Alleviation 1991 – 1993)
 
The  flagship programme of the Government of India, Ministry of Rural Development to implement the direct attack on poverty strategy is the recently launched National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) in 2010. The core belief of National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) is that the poor have innate capabilities and a strong desire to come out of poverty. The challenge is to unleash their capabilities to generate meaningful livelihoods and enable them to come out of poverty. The first step in this process is motivating them to form their own institutions. They and their institutions are provided sufficient capacities to manage the external environment, enabled to access finance, and to expand their skills and assets and convert them into meaningful livelihoods. This requires continuous handholding support. An external dedicated, sensitive support structure, from the national level to the sub-district level, is required to induce such social mobilization, institution building and livelihoods promotion. This external support agency could be Govt. or a dedicated NGO.
 
The success of such a strategy is amply borne out by the large scale experience of S.E.R.P, (A.P) in comprehensive poverty eradication and improvement of quality of life of rural poor households.
 
 
SERP’s strategy is to build strong grassroots institutions of women SHGs and their federations and build their capacity and capability. SERP has linked them with various service providers, whose services are essential to them in coming out of poverty. They have been linked to commercial banks to access credit from them. Similarly, S.E.R.P has enabled them to access essential services from various Govt. departments, NGOs and private sector to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. 
 
 
 
Over 16 years of focused efforts, Govt of A.P ( 5 years of UNDP supported pilot and 11 years of S.E.R.P) has organized 1.1 crore women into 934,000 Self help groups, covering all the villages in the state. The SHG network covers almost 70% rural households in A.P and covers more than 90% rural poor households. The uniqueness of S.E.R.P’ model is the federated structure of the SHGs. The SHGs are federated into 35,000 village level federations, covering 15 – 25 SHGs (called Village organizations (V.Os) and further into 1098 mandal federations (called Mandal samakhyas (M.Ss) covering 8000 – 12000 households) and 22 district federations, called Zilla samakhyas. It is this federated structure, which has enabled the scaling up of a variety of interventions across the state, including the food security initiative. S.E.R.P has ensured that each V.O and each M.S is a community financial institution.
 
The broad elements of this approach are clearly seen in the success stories of states like Kerala, Tamilnadu and Bihar. In addition there are very successful efforts of NGOs in the country covering virtually all the states.
 
The framework of N.R.L.M, as approved by Govt. of India and communicated to all the states, gives a very good overview of how grassroots institution building can be achieved. 
 
The success of this approach and its seamless scalability happen when the programme management and ownership is transferred to the institutions of the poor and they run it. The social capital required for this programme consists of the following internal stakeholders:
 
i. Institutions of the poor – S.H.G s, S.H.G federations at village and higher levels
 
ii. Community professionals – village accountants, agri extension workers, health activists, etc. They are hired by the institutions of the poor, paid by them and they are accountable to them. 
 
iii. Community resource persons or best practitioners – these are the dynamic elements in the process. They move from village to village transferring their knowledge.
Creating this institutional architecture becomes the key role of the state rural livelihoods missions. Once these come up, they run the programmes and the role of the Govt comes down very significantly. 
 
2.  Access to financial services 
 
Lack of access to affordable finance and being at the mercy of informal sources is one of the factors perpetuating poverty. The present status of access to formal financial institutions is very poor on the whole, except for the 4 southern states. Any strategy for comprehensive food security would have to tackle this issue. The key to coming out of poverty is continuous and easy access to finance, at reasonable rates, till they accumulate their own funds in large measure.  
 
NRLM has articulated a comprehensive strategy. It would work towards achieving universal financial inclusion, beyond basic banking services to all the poor households, SHGs and their federations. NRLM would work on both demand and supply side of Financial Inclusion.  On the demand side, it would promote financial literacy among the poor and provide catalytic capital to the SHGs and their federations. On the supply side, it would coordinate with the financial sector and encourage use of Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) based financial technologies, business correspondents and community facilitators like ‘Bank Mitras’.  It would also work towards universal coverage of rural poor against loss of life, health and assets. 
 
The most important achievement of the SHGs in A.P is the provision of micro finance to their members to improve their livelihoods. The SHGs have been able to access Rs. 34,000 crores in the 10 years from 2001-2011. The flow of this large volume of credit, at affordable rates has made a tremendous impact on the lives of the poor. They are able to stabilize and expand their livelihoods. The positive impact on their livelihoods has truly empowered these organizations of women and given them the courage to dream of a better life.
 
They are very active in providing support to their members in a range of initiatives aimed at improving their livelihoods and quality of life. It is these institutions that are managing the sustainable agriculture programme. 
 
On the basis of large scale experience on ground, N.R.L.M estimates that a poor family would need financial support to a tune of at least Rs.100, 000 over a period of 6 – 8 years, in the form of repeat loans for both consumption and investment purposes. Thus, when poor families are provided nurturing support by their own institutions and also enabled to access such financial support they are able to acquire skills and assets and generate additional incomes. Food security at household level is one of the most important outcomes of this process.
 
3. Food security credit  to smoothen income-expenditure gaps
 
In tackling food security, we need to look at both short term and medium term measures. One of the short term measures is food security credit. This has yielded excellent results in A.P and Bihar. The poor buy food grains and other essential commodities on a daily basis or weekly basis, depending on their income flows. This has 2 adverse consequences for them. One, they purchase at a higher cost as they are buying small quantities, and, two; they are forced to go hungry if they don’t have incomes that particular day or week. This creates a tremendous uncertainity in their lives. If they don’t have any earning that week, they have to go hungry or borrow at high rates of interest to buy food grains. 
 
The principle of food security credit is very simple. Each member informs their S.H.G the amount of food grains they consume in a month, what they buy from PDS and the ‘gap’ that they need to buy from the open market. The S.H.G consolidates the member wise requirements and gives it to the village level federation (VLF). The project provides a corpus of Rs.50, 000 to Rs.150, 000 to the VLF. The V.L.F consolidates the indent received from all S.H.G s, and, also collects about 10% as advance. The V.L.F then goes to the nearest wholesale market and buys their requirement as per the consolidated indent. They are able to get good quality food grains at 15 – 30% discount over the retail price of grains in the village. The V.L.F then distributes grain to each S.H.G as per their indent. This is a loan and the S.H.G has to repay to the V.L.F within one month. The repayment should be completed before they submit the next month’s indent. The S.H.G in turn lends to members and recovers from them in weekly or fortnightly installment. The S.H.G in turn collects the next month’s indent from their members once it receives the repayment from all the members. 
 
Even though this intervention looks simple, there is a lot of capacity building of the S.H.G s, the V.L.Fs and their para-professionals engaged for this work. It takes, 4 – 6 cycles of food security credit for it to stabilize. The benefits from this intervention are enormous. Even though this intervention does not result in increasing the production, it has the effect of correcting the distribution injustice. It corrects the ‘poverty penalty’ that the poor pay day in and out. This adds to their self-esteem. This would be one of the first interventions to be taken up as soon as V.L.Fs are formed and they have done one or two rounds of financial intermediation.  
 
4. Nutrition entitlements of the poor – Public distribution system (PDS), mid-day meals (MDM), and ICDS 
 
There are serious problems in the poor availing their nutrition entitlements, whether it is PDS, MDM or ICDS.  The state of PDS in the country is not at all satisfactory. The estimates of leakage from the PDS vary from state to state. The Planning Commission puts it close to 50%. Many states are trying various measures, including ICT based interventions to improve the position. There are very good innovations in states like Chatisgarh, the southern states, etc. All states could learn from these supply side lessons and reform their PDS system. 
 
The poor, especially the ultra poor, lose out in their dealings with the FP shopkeeper. They may not have ready cash when the foodgrains reach the village. The dealer takes advantage of this, since he keeps the shop open only for a few days. He sells away the grain that the poor could not draw, since they did not have money when the grain was available. 
 
The V.L.F has an important role here. There are two roles that it can perform. One is its role as a watchdog – a social audit function to improve the accountability of the PDS. The second role would be to convert itself into a consumer cooperative. In this role, it can consolidate the PDS entitlements of the members and pay to the PDS dealer the money for all its members requirements in one go,as soon as the stocks reach the FP Shop. The members can then lift the PDS stocks and pay the amount to their S.H.G  and the S.H.G in turns repays to the V.L.F. The next month’s cycle then depends on the repayments they get from the S.H.G s. This can reduce the leakages from the FP Shop. This has been tried very effectively in A.P. This intervention should be taken up after the V.L.F has done 3 – 4 cycles of  food security credit interventions. Because then they would have gained experience in ‘intermediation’ and emerged as good food consumer cooperatives.
 
Similarly in MDM and ICDS,  the V.L.F along with the Gram panchayat can play a watchdog function and act as a pressure group to improve the accountability of the service providers. However, in providing nutrition support to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children below 3 years, there is a very successful intervention in A.P run by the V.L.F s, called community managed ‘Nutrition cum day care centres’ which have achieved outstanding results in about 4000 villages. This is worth studying for replication by other states.
 
5. Enabling access to land 
 
Nobody can deny the importance of access to land, to enable poor to become producers. Land reforms have been implemented very unevenly across the country. It is also a very volatile subject and Governments usually prefer to pay lip sympathy to this issue. 
 
However there are interventions from the demand side that can be undertaken once we have successfully built the network of S.H.G s and their federations. 
 
a. Protecting the land rights of members. This requires legal literacy. This intervention can be initiated at the level of the Cluster federation (C.L.F), which is a federation of 25 – 40 V.L.Fs. The C.L.F will hire a para legal person, a graduate or matriculate from any discipline. The para legal person is then trained for 3 – 4 months around land issues. The para legal person then prepares an inventory of land problems of the poor. The C.L.F and the para legal person then monitor the resolution of the land problems of their members. This has been tried out on a very large scale in A.P. 
 
b. V.L.F or S.H.G taking land on lease for a 3 – 5years period. The S.H.G can then lease it out to its members and the members have an assurance that they have access to land for a reasonable period of time. KUDUMBASREE mission in Kerala has implemented it on a very large scale. There are similar experiences from A.P.
 
6. Paradigm shift in technology – natural farming based on local resources and very low external inputs -  agro-ecology approach
 
a) We now look at the most critical intervention on the production side - what is the right technologyfor food production by the poor? This is critical in making the paradigm shift of food security by the poor.
The appropriate strategy for the poor is not the mainstream ‘green revolution’ chemicals based technology. In fact, agriculture became a gamble for the farmers, both rich and poor since they subscribed to a high external input, high cost, high production (?), mono crop based strategy advocated by the mainstream. Unfortunately for the poor farmers, their main source of knowledge is from the fertilizer and chemical pesticide dealers, who also extend credit to them. 
 
The appropriate technology, particularly for the poor farmers, is the one based on principles of agro ecology. It is based on local natural resources and is a low cost technology. Switching over to this technology can make agriculture a profitable, low risk activity for the poor. The basis for this recommendation is the success of the strategy of community managed sustainable agriculture (C.M.S.A) on a very large scale in A.P. In Kharif 2011, CMSA covers 10% of the state’s cultivable area. 
 
SERP initiated CMSA as part of its mandate to eradicate rural poverty, since agriculture is the most important means of livelihoods for a majority of the rural poor. This initiative was taken up to address the major causes of agriculture distress - high costs of agriculture, extensive use of chemical inputs, displacement of local knowledge, unsustainable agricultural practices like mono cropping, markets unfavourable to small holders, etc. Through CMSA, farmers are enabled to adopt sustainable agriculture practices, to reduce the costs of cultivation, to reduce the risks and increase net incomes.  
 
In fact, the main motivation of the farmers for adopting these practices is the significant jump in their net incomes and reduction in their risks. CMSA initially started with non chemical pesticide management of agriculture as the first intervention. Subsequently, the programme components were deepened to include soil fertility management with local natural resources. The idea was to eventually eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers. The movement towards ‘zero fertilizers’ is gradual so as not to affect the production of food grains or per acre yields of food grains.  The other attempt is community managed seed banks to ensure seed sovereignty of the farmers.
 
The knowledge support in A.P was provided by N.G.Os and some eminent farmer practitioners. One of the most inspiring persons who advocates this approach very ardently is Sh.Subhash Palekar, Maharashtra. He is the father of the movement of farmers called, ‘zero budget natural farming’. The NGOs had developed strong proof of concept after years of dedicated work in a small number of villages, however they had no means of scaling it up. There are instances of such an approach in every state.
  
The support for such an ideology has now come from various international organizations. One of the most authoritative advocacy of this idea has come from Dr.Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to food, U.N General Assembly, Human Rights Council. In his report to the UN General Assembly submitted on 20th Dec, 2010, he has concluded as follows: 
 
‘Drawing on an extensive review of the scientific literature published in the last five years, the Special Rapporteur identifies agroecology as a mode of agricultural development, which not only shows strong conceptual connections with the right to food, but has proven results for fast progress in the concretization of this human right for many vulnerable groups in various countries and environments. Moreover, agroecology delivers advantages that are complementary to better known conventional approaches such as breeding high- yielding varieties. And it strongly contributes to the broader economic development.’
 
He has argued that the contribution of agroecology to the right to food is on the following dimensions: 
 
Availability: agroecology raises productivity at field level 
Accessibility: agroecology reduces rural poverty 
Adequacy: agroecology contributes to improving nutrition
Sustainability: agroecology contributes to adapting to climate change 
Farmer participation: an asset for the dissemination of best practices 
The report argues that the main challenge is scaling up of these experiences. 
 
b) Scaling up. The problem of scaling can only be solved when the ownership and management of the programme is transferred to the institutions of poor. The strength of S.E.R.P was in linking resource organizations and the institutions of poor women. The community ownership of the programme led to exponential scaling up of the adoption of this technology. Starting with 200 farmers and 400 acres in 2004/05, the programme in 2011/12 has scaled upto 11.6 lakh farmers;covering an area of 28.84 lakh acres, in 8,556 villages spread over 22 districts of the state. It accounts for 10 % of the total cultivated area of the state. The momentum of the programme has been unprecedented, and is seen as a global best practice.
 
Over 7 years of this movement, the other key impacts in A.P that have been observed are: 
i. Small and marginal farmers have reclaimed their lands from mortgage to moneylenders, inputs dealers, etc.
ii. small and marginal farmers have taken additional land on lease 
iii. migrant farmers have come back for agriculture 
iv. enterprises for facilitating sustainable agriculture – 5,867 NPM ( non pesticide management) shops have come up for timely supply botanical extracts and other “green” inputs, providing livelihoods to 5,867 agriculture labour 
 
v. custom hiring centers - 1283 custom hiring centers with plant protection equipment, markers and weeders etc. are providing additional incomes to Samakhyas 
vi. Highly positive health impacts – health costs have come down since there is no pesticide spraying. In addition to it they are consuming healthy food 
 
c). Knowledge dissemination - paradigm shift:The key investment in CMSA is not subsidising external inputs but to build the knowledge base of the farmers. The knowledge investment refers to knowledge and understanding of local natural resources and how they can be used for seed treatment, pest management, soil fertility management practices, etc. Knowledge also refers to understanding sustainable agronomical practices, revisiting or rediscovering traditional wisdom, etc. In this paradigm, the farmers are encouraged to experiment, innovate and their innovations are shared among other farmers. Respect is accorded to farmers own initiatives. This approach is different from the mainstream attitude where the farmer is a passive recipient of ‘knowledge’ produced in formal agriculture research stations or universities. It is a very liberating approach and the momentum in the programme is fuelled by countless innovations of farmers and the pride they take in their ‘research’ efforts. 
 
The knowledge dissemination in this model happens differently. It is through best practising farmers. They are extremely effective, since they are practising first and then preaching. They are more credible, because their socio-economic conditions are identical to the farmers they are training. 
d). Impact on enhancing food and nutritional security - achieving self – reliance and self sufficiency in food production at village level are very important aspects of this approach. This approach ensures round the year food and nutrition security through the practice of poly crops and multi storied cropping.
e). The farmers’ incomes and their share in the consumer rupee can be further enhanced if 2 more interventions are taken up: 
i. Post harvest interventions
ii. Producers organizations for value addition and forward linkages
 
Conclusion
 
 
The problem of food security is a burning one. The macro picture reveals that the rapid economic growth of the economy has not translated into faster poverty reduction and large sections of society face food insecurity. The strategy paper argues for a paradigm shift in our approach. The paper argues that "Governments should invest in creating strong grass roots institutions of the poor, particularly the women. The ownership of the programmes should then be handed over to them. The strategy paper makes very practical suggestions based on successful large scale experiences of such an approach in the states of A.P, Kerala, Tamil nadu and Bihar."
 
The specific recommendations of the paper are as follows: 
 
a. Invest in building strong grassroots institutions of poor and devolve the planning and implementation of various initiatives to them. 
b. Invest in enabling the institutions of poor to build their own financial institutions and access finance from formal institutions at affordable terms
c. There are both short term and medium term measures that are requited to be taken up. 
d. Short term measures include: food security credit, putting pressure on PDS, MDM, ICDS to deliver as per their entitlements 
e. Enabling access to land 
f. Paradigm shift in the choice of the right technology for crop production –sustainable agriculture based on principles of natural farming and very low (or zero) external inputs 
g. community managed and community owned – leading to scaling up in a seamless manner
h. Knowledge creation and dissemination, not through ‘experts’ but by best practicing farmers  
 
There is a very good opportunity for operationalising such a strategy as the Ministry of RD has restructured its flagship self employment programme as the National Rural Livelihoods mission and states are encouraged to evolve and operationalise poverty eradication strategies broadly following such an approach.
 
 
References:
1) National Rural Livelihoods Mission – Mission Document 
http://www.jslps.in/nrlm/nrlm%20mission%20document.pdf (as on 15/12/2011)
 
2) N.R.L.M – Framework for Implementation
http://www.jslps.in/nrlm/Final_Framework.pdf (as on 15/12/2011)
 
3) Saxena, N.C (2008), “Hunger, Under-Nutrition and Food Security in India”, Working Paper 44, Chronic Poverty Research Center
 
4) Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter on 20 December 2010, “Promotion and Protection of all Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development”
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/category,REFERENCE,,MISSION,,49abb71d2,0.html (as on 15/12/2011)
 
 
 
About the Author
 
T. Vijay Kumar, IAS, Joint Secretary to Govt. of India, Ministry of Rural Development is currently Mission Director, National Rural Livelihoods Mission.
 
****************************************************

 

Write A Comment