World Bank funds for agricultural research

Published: Sunday 15 October 2006

While the Indian farmer considers whether it is worth farming at all, the world's largest agricultural research and development project -- the National Agriculture Innovation Project (naip) -- is on stream in India. This project has been made possible with a us $200-million (Rs 900 crore) World Bank (wb) loan, the India government's contribution is substantially less, us $50 million. Macro-economic planners claim naip is the gateway to a second green revolution that can lead to the much elusive 4 per cent growth rate in agriculture.

Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar says "naip involves out-of-the box thinking and will make Indian agriculture a profitable venture." But general profitabality does not necessarily mean gains for the farmer it means making Indian agriculture amenable to private interests.So, the project is modelled on that favourite concept of the wb private-public partnership. The project is touted as the saviour of the national agriculture research system (nars), which is in doldrums since the first green revolution. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (icar) believes that naip will give nars research inputs and position them alongside its illustrious peer, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

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