Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Plant Sciences

Abstract

TIGR2ESS: Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies

The record grain outputs of India's Green Revolution in the 1970's established India as one of the world's largest agricultural producers, transforming the country from a starving nation to a food exporter, creating jobs and boosting the economy. However, behind this extraordinary achievement were varying levels of success across different Indian regions, and overuse of water, fertilisers, pesticides and other chemicals on an unsustainable scale. In terms of agricultural productivity, the technologies of the Green Revolution plateaued in the 1980s, yet the continued adherence to a strategy of intensive agriculture has led to increasing pressure on water and nutrient resources.

The proposed project (TIGR2ESS) will develop and strengthen alliances across a carefully selected network of UK and Indian experts in crop science, hydrology, social science and policy, allowing two-way knowledge exchange partnership to define the requirements for a second Green Revolution in India, set the necessary policy agenda, and define a collaborative research programme focused on sustainable crop production and sustainable resource use (with a focus on water use from farmer to consumer in a changing monsoon climate).

Working together will enable us to contextualise the challenge in terms of the widespread changes taking place in Indian society today, including: urbanisation, drawing many away from rural work, particularly men; and technological developments transforming the employment opportunities within food sector away from primary production. Choices about modern agricultural practices in India must reflect societal needs, and our understanding of these needs will help us orientate the subsequent research programme and its translation towards an outcome that is both technically and socially acceptable - and possible - for today's India.

The target for this programme is India, but relevance is in other developing countries, which in moving beyond the first Green Revolution of the 1960's, face unprecedented change due to societal and environmental pressures. The TIGR2ESS consortium will combine two innovative approaches to tackle these issues in India:
Firstly, a series of Flagship Research projects will address fundamental research issues, and integrate their delivery and impact via a translational programme of outreach, education and entrepreneurial stimuli; secondly, a series of capacity building academic exchanges will support leading researchers from India and UK to frame collaborative research questions, and allow extensive training of more junior researchers to deliver these advances. At the heart of the TIGR2ESS proposal, the Flagship Projects will tackle fundamental research questions, with the first providing an overarching analysis to define the requirements for a 'second' Green Revolution in India.

Secondly, a programme of research capacity exchanges will allow over 40 senior and young researchers to work in India or the UK, providing training and skills enhancement opportunities in research areas across the programme. Additional field-based community surveys and workshops will promote rural community engagement and empowerment.

Overall, the programme will address the associated demographic and equality issues facing farmers in the context of increasing urbanisation. Two core Flagship Projects will use fundamental scientific approaches to address key issues in Crop Sciences (broadening the production potential of dietary staples and providing lessons for orphan crops) and Sustainable Resources (with a focus on water sources and sustainable use, from farmer to consumer, in a changing monsoon climate). The final Flagship project will translate these findings in order to promote equal opportunities, stimulate entrepreneurship and develop educational programmes for nutrition across rural communities.

Planned Impact

1. The growing population of India, in both rural and urban communities, whose health and wellbeing will be improved by ensuring a reliable food and water supply, distributed equitably and future-proofed to meet rising demand under changing societal and environmental conditions. This will be achieved through the project's direct benefit on the groups below:
2. Indian farmers and farming communities: who will be reached through the project's translation and education programme, using the extensive networks in place through our Indian collaborating Institutes, Universities and Third Sector Organisations including demonstration farms. The work aims particularly to empower female farmers, and drive equal opportunities to take up the new practices that are defined through the project's scientific research component to deliver resilient food production systems that generate wealth for the agricultural community;
3. Policy-makers in India: by strengthening existing collaborations, the project will ensure policy-makers are equipped with the knowledge to instigate effective policy for change for the sustainable use of water, and resilience in supply chains for food producers and consumers. Our partnership involves support from the Indian Government Ministry, and we will use the expertise and extensive network of Cambridge's Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) to reach relevant policy-makers for interactive workshops and discussions;
4. Young researchers in India: the project will employ 14 postdoctoral positions and support exchanges for a further 20 PDRA/PhD based in Indian Universities and research institutes to visit the UK, helping to grow the next generation of researchers needed for Food Security in India. Through the exchange programmes, PDRAs will receive wide-ranging training in modern techniques, as well as professional skills including grant-writing, and presentation and dissemination of results, and interact closely with researchers on an international scale. Enhanced career trajectory and empowerment of female researchers is anticipated. We will provide information and mentoring to ensure uptake of postdoctoral schemes, including regular progress reviews and career development plans.
5. Young researchers in the UK: the project will support 8.5 postdoctoral positions based in UK Universities and research institutes, and we will ensure benefits as for point 4 above.
6. The wider research communities in the participating Universities and research institutes: through involvement in project, participants have access to their collaborators' wider research networks and groups, for example the University of Cambridge's Global Food Security Strategic Research Initiative. By participation of PDRAs and senior academics in research exchanges and workshops, new perspectives will be brought together across India and the UK, sparking discussion and new ideas, and building vital interdisciplinary research capacity for the future in the UK and India for both independent and collaborative work;
7. The international fundamental and applied research communities: collaborators will publish results in high-impact journals in a timely fashion, with open access where possible, and present research results at international meetings and institutions in order to widely disseminate information for others to benefit from and build on;
8. Agro-industry and local SMEs promoted by the programme will receive information to underpin rational approaches to increase crop productivity and this will stimulate entrepreneurship for the creation of wealth and jobs in India. Across our collaboration we have vibrant contacts with relevant industries both in the UK and India;
9. The general public across the world: research on the future of our food supply is of great public interest, and thus the project will have wide educational value and represents an opportunity to draw more young people into scientific careers.
 
Description We have developed additional funding opportunities for research in India through charitable support and hopefully through the Department of Biotechnology, helping to build capacity for research in India into food security
Exploitation Route too early to tell in the grant cycle
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Creative Economy,Education,Healthcare

 
Description Following a collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in undertaking a survey of Millet use by smallholder farmers in contrasting regions of India, to act as a scoping study and assist Dr Shailja Gupta at DBT in initiating a parallel research programme. Up to 16 PDRA matching PDRA Fellowships will be awarded by DBT to work in parallel with the ongoing TIGR2ESS Project partners in India on the development of millet as a key component of semi-arid cropping systems.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Creative Economy,Education,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Bharti Foundation award to University of Cambridge
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Organisation Bharti Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country India
Start 08/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description Contract with DFID to support the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr Fennel and Dr Sidebottom.
Amount £24,750 (GBP)
Organisation Ministry of Science and Technology India 
Department Department of Biotechnology, India
Sector Public
Country India
Start 04/2018 
End 04/2019
 
Description Cambridge Global Food Security Initiative Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Promotion of Global Food security issues and opportunities for translational research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.globalfood.cam.ac.uk/events/Symposium2017FOLDER
 
Description FP1 and 6 Workshop Hyderabad 16-18 August 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A three-day workshop, held at ICRISAT during 16-18 August 2018. This cross-FP workshop included 25 delegates from FP1, 2, 3 and 6, to explore synergies and develop deliberative workshops, to enhance stakeholder engagement. The workshop facilitated cross-FP collaboration as well as solidifying of relationships that were initiated at the inaugural meeting in February 2018 in Delhi and included discussion on work plan roll out among FP6 UK (Rao, Ray and Fennell) and India (Kaur, Narayanan and Mishra) leads.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.icrisat.org/tigr2ess-an-interdisciplinary-project-to-revitalize-agriculture-sustainably-...
 
Description FP4 lead Dr Cameron Petrie was filmed for the PBS documentary, First Civilizations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The September-October 2017 season of fieldwork in NW India was filmed for the PBS documentary First Civilisations, which can be watched in the US and Australia.
The field research team was filmed identifying archaeological sites and landscape features related to water availability and agricultural management in the past, they were filmed whilst performing archaeological excavations at settlement sites, and whilst collecting samples for palaeoclimate reconstruction.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1277399107776/first-civilisations-trade
 
Description GCRF GROW Project Managers meeting, organised by COO Mrs Marla Fuchs, 18 July 2018, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The COO has also developed links with key allied programme administrators across the GCRF Grow Cohort and helped to organise and facilitate a cross GCRF workshop which was attended by nearly 30 Coordinators from across the country.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Meeting with delegation from multinational corporation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Top level engagement with Multinational corporations such as Pepsico, Nestle, IKEA during which general advances in science have been pitched in the context of Global Food Security and with a view to building partnerships through the EIT Food KIC, and the Cambridge Centre for Crop Science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
URL https://www.cambplants.group.cam.ac.uk/our-impact/3cs-cambridge-centre-for-crop-science
 
Description NNedPro 4th International Summit (organised by Co-I Professor Ray), 20th July 2018, Cambridge (UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of FP6 concepts and activities at the NNedPro 4th International Summit (organised by Co-I Professor Ray) by Professor Rao, Dr Smith and Dr Fennell, on 20th July at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.nnedpro.org.uk/international-summit/4594218448
 
Description Nutrition Kitchens event organised by NNedPro (Professor Ray) 22nd-23rd August 2018 (Kolkata, India) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Nutrition Kitchens event at Kolkata organised by NNedPro (Professor Ray) 22nd-23rd August 2018 and attended by Professor Ray and the new FP6 UEA PDRA (Dr. Shukla).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2018
URL https://nnedproblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/cn-september-article.pdf
 
Description Open Day and School visits hosted for Biological and Plant Sciences 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School visits, in association with Clare College and/of the University Open Days and Dept of Plant Sciences, included a Biological Sciences Taster Day, three full open days (July/September and hosting individual year groups (year 8/9, 10/11 or 12) to talk about plant processes and food security, impact of climate change, as well as admissions procedures
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://www.clare.cam.ac.uk/Information-for-Schools/
 
Description Oral presentation by Dr Gitanjali Yadav at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology Florence (Italy) 6th July 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Initial findings presented from the significant progress in identifying the genetic diversity and molecular regulation of photosynthetic components which enhance photosynthetic activity in model algal Chlamydomonas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.sebiology.org/events/event/seb-florence-2018
 
Description Policy workshop: Monitoring the global food system: building trust and resilience for UK citizens and consumers. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A CSaP (Centre for Science and Policy ) workshop funded through the Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre (co-Chair H Griffiths) which raised key questions regarding resilience in the food system and how policy should be developed to cope with future challenges
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/events/past/?category=1
 
Description Presentation by Prof Nitya Rao at the International Conference on "Critical Public Health Consequences of the Double Burden of Malnutrition and the Changing Food Environment in South and South-East Asia", New Delhi, 29-31 March 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Professor Rao made a presentation on the links between women's work in agriculture and nutrition at the International Conference on "Critical Public Health Consequences of the Double Burden of Malnutrition and the Changing Food Environment in South and South-East Asia", New Delhi, March 29-31, 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://phrsindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Brochure_Nutriconference.pdf
 
Description Prof Howard Griffiths and Cambridge Pro Vice Chancellor delegation meeting with delegates from India Government 17-18 Sept 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting between Prof Griffiths, the Cambridge Pro Vice Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations, delegates from the India Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and he India Department of Biotechnology (DBT), delegates from UKRI and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to discuss future collaborations and TIGR2ESS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Professor MS Swaminathan Research Seminar in Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact FP1/6 Co-Lead, Prof Nitya Rao, University of East Anglia (UEA), arranged for Prof MS Swaminathan to deliver a seminar on the origins and need for an Evergreen Revolution for India, held at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, 11th May 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/events/cambridge-and-beyond-green-evergreen-revolution
 
Description Smart Agriculture Conclave 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attendance at Smart Agriculture Conclave, New Delhi
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/international/offices/india/indianews/310817i/
 
Description Visit from Renuka Divan from BioPrime AgriSolutions to Prof Griffiths and the Judge Business School at University of Cambridge, 18 July 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Visit from Renuka Divan from BioPrime AgriSolutions to Prof Griffiths and the Judge Business School at University of Cambridge, 18 July 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Workshop and formal Launch of TIGR2ESS programme in New Delhi, India 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop identified extension beyond the existing scope of funding awarded through the GCRF programme, including additional government agencies in India, as well as representatives from DFID and RCUK offices in India.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.vertiver.com/tigr2ess/
 
Description Workshop by Sonam Wanchuk on Water Scarcity, organised by Co-I Dr Gitanjali Yadav, 6 April 2018 (India) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop by Sonam Wanchuk at NIPGR organised by Dr. Gitanjali Yadav in collaboration with the DST.
"An initiative to solve the water crisis in Ladakh valley; Innovation @ the interface of Art,Technology and Harmony". Attended by 400 students, Teachers and female regional representatives, and co-ordinated by Co-I Gitanjali Yadav at NIPGR, Delhi.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018