Event Report by Dr. Sabyasachi Das | September 9, 2017

Commissioner, Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan organized one-day consultation on ‘Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture : Towards Inclusive, Secure and Sustainable Agriculture in Rajasthan’ in collaboration with VAAGDHARA, RRA Network and its members at Jaipur on 4th September 2017.

Shri Vikas Sitaramji Bhale, IAS, Commissioner, Agriculture was chairperson of this consultation in which representatives from Seva Mandir, S.R. Society, APFRO, GUNML Laporiya, FES, CUTS international and around 25 officers from Agriculture department participated.

Shri B. M. Dixit, President VAAGDHARA and Ex-Managing Director of Raj Seeds welcome all participants for the consultation. Shri Jayesh Joshi, Secretary, VAAGDHARA explained purpose of the consultation in Rajasthan which has largest areas under rainfed agriculture in the country and appealed all stakeholders to give their inputs so that a framework on Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture in the state is formulated.

Dr Sabyasachi Das, Coordinator, Network Hub, RRA Network presented emerging approaches in RRA that are evolved from various experiences throughout the rainfed areas of the country. He also explained historical disparity of public investment towards rainfed agriculture over irrigated farming in the country. He opined that as rainfed agriculture is being practiced by more than 60% farmers in the marginal soils, and poverty landscape in the country should get policy attention.

Shri A. Ravindra and Shri Dinesh Balam shared experiences of RRA Network in developing mainstream RRA programs viz, Millets Revival, Critical Irrigation, Community Managed Seed System (CMSS), Desi Poultry, Integrated Framing System and Millets Mission (Odisha), being taken up by Agriculture Department of States like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Telangana.

Shri B.K Sharma of FES shared his experiences on convergence of MGNREGA for development of Rainfed Agriculture in Rajasthan. Shri Shailendra Tiwari shared experiences of Seva Mandir with tribal farmers on strengthening rainfed agriculture through providing critical irrigation.

Shri Deepak Sharma, Development Consultant and member of RRA Network presented a collective view of civil societies of Rajasthan on ‘Strengthening Rainfed Agriculture in Rajasthan : Evolving a Framework for Action’. Agriculture officers 20 rainfed districts of Rajasthan gave their inputs in the consultation.

Shri Vikas Sitaramji Bhale, Commissioner, Agriculture in his speech explained need to taking up program in rainfed and tribal areas. He opinioned that promotion of millets and integrated farming system are important to survival of tribal farming system and securing nutrition among farming families. He said Government of Rajasthan will be keen on taking up some of the program framework of RRA particularly reviving millets in Rajasthan in near future.

Shri. Jayesh Joshi gave vote of thanks to Department of Agriculture for hosting the consultation and all stakeholders for their active participation.