BBSRC-Bioscience for future & TIGR2ESS: Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies
BBSRC-Bioscience for future - TIGR2ESS (2017………..)
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 1970s 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, fertilizers, 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 objectives of this proposal are:
1. To define the requirements and set the policy agenda for a 'second Green Revolution' in India, framed by demographic
changes affecting rural communities and feminization of smallholder farming systems. The aim is to ensure a more resilient
outcome for the country's future food production, including overcoming the regional bias of the previous Green Revolution
that favored production in certain areas and created unbalanced markets and tackling its negative impacts such as
overuse of water, fertilizers, and pesticides.
2. To develop and strengthen alliances across a carefully selected network of UK and Indian experts, to build a
collaborative, long-term research partnership in sustainable agriculture that will set India on the path to a second Green
This will involve:
a) two-way knowledge exchange, working together from the outset to contextualize the challenge in terms of the
widespread changes taking place in Indian society today;
b) building a collaborative fundamental scientific research approach to address sustainable crop production and sustainable
resource use (with a focus on water use from farmer to consumer in a changing monsoon climate);
3. To develop and build ongoing capacity for research, innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture in both
the UK and India, training young scientists in areas critical to a sustainable agricultural system and enhancing their career
progression, across career stages.
4. To open a dialogue with both small-holder and large-scale Indian farmers, helping promote gender equality and stimulate
entrepreneurial activity through training workshops and on-farm demonstrations.
5. To create employment opportunities in India across the entire food chain from farm to fork, thus boosting the country's
economy, by interacting with Indian ministries, NGOs, multinational corporations and SMEs.
6. To engage with the wider rural and urban communities in India to overcome malnutrition, and enhance understanding
of food and nutrition through community educational programs, and empower local people to adapt sustainably
agriculture practices, improve nutrition and enhance the wellbeing of communities.
For us gems means GEMS, or G*E*M*S (genotype by environment by management by society) interactions, i.e. the fact that crop yields results from complex biophysical interactions while acceptance depends on farmer/consumer preferences. This complexity becomes an opportunity when it is cracked into components that can be analysed, understood, predicted, and then used to prioritise research investments to maximise return. This is what we do, and this is when GEMS become gems!
For us gems means GEMS, or G*E*M*S (genotype by environment by management by society) interactions, i.e. the fact that crop yields results from complex biophysical interactions while acceptance depends on farmer/consumer preferences. This complexity becomes an opportunity when it is cracked into components that can be analyzed, understood, predicted, and then used to prioritize research investments to maximise return. This is what we do, and this is when GEMS become gems!
A crop performs in different ways in different sites, years and agronomic managements. These are called genotype-by-environment-by management(G*E*M) interactions, and they are a main challenge for breeders and agronomists. There is one more layer of interaction, even more complex: the society (S). Farmers and consumers have different desires, needs, expectations, and a cultivar that fits one may not fit the other (G*E*M*S interactions). The puzzle is complex and challenging but if its components are understood, specific interventions can be undertaken.For instance, breeding for a particular genotype (G, with particular physiological characteristics), for a particular environment (E, with a particular kind of drought pattern that requires a specific adaptive trait), in a particular management practice (M, for instance a sowing density, or a N fertilizer treatment), and targeted to particular farmer/consumer (S, for instance a genotype that produces a lot of rich stover for cattle ranchers) is the need of the hour.