Policy Research for Sustainable Agriculture and Poverty Alleviation; evolve the optimum management strategies for sustainable agricultural production, raising income and employment for poverty alleviation; role of women in sustainable agriculture and risk management; impact Assessment, Priority Setting and Resources Allocation with special reference to Food Security; environmental Accounting and Valuation of Agro-biodiversity; analyze the comparative advantage in exports of different commodities; socio-cultural organization and gender; socio-economic and cultural constraints in adoption of technology; participatory technology generation and development; participatory appraisal for inter sectoral micro-planning; rural enterpreneurship development; organizational strategy for commercialization; to grain insight into the technological needs of farmers cultivating small farms around Delhi city and introduce relevant technologies. Following are the divisions under this school:
- The School has been pioneer in suggesting policy and extension models for promotion of agricultural development in the country.
- The work on agricultural economics and policy research has focused on enhancing input use efficiency and productivity on farmers’ fields. Fertilizers, water, farm machines and credit have been of special attention. This was followed by work on farm mechanization and delivery of improved seeds. These issues were analysed in more detail in the context of Indo-Gangetic Plains, and the trends in partial and total factor productivity (TFP) were highlighted. Deceleration in TFP growth is an issue needing immediate attention.
- Use of energy in agricultural, market integration, agricultural trade, and public investment in R&D are other important research areas pursued by the School. The work on Ag R&D has clearly established the trends in the investment in India vis-à-vis other developing and developed countries and its allocations by major commodity groups. The evidence provided the support for higher public research investment for agriculture.
- There is greater degree of integration of agricultural markets in India. This is led largely by information flow and improvement in market infrastructure. However, the demand for energy is likely to increase rapidly. This will have impact on cost and prices of the commodities. Higher participation of private sector is needed for increasing access to modern inputs and services for higher productivity
- The Division of Agricultural Extension has examined in recent developments in extension models and it was found that IT-based information system is effective in delivery of information to the farmers. The work on empowerment of rural women has resulted into a number of training modules and encouraged women self-help groups.
- Action research was undertaken on the dynamics of gender empowerment; group behaviour and mobilization of farmers and farm women; development and functioning of SHGs; assessment and promotion of ergonomically designed drudger reducing technologies; adoption of viable income generating farm and non-farm based enterprises; and farming system development.
- Researches were taken up in the new areas like scientific productivity and creativity; organizational climate; socio-economic assessment of big dams and modern farm technologies; evaluation of extension systems; simulation of adoption behaviour; media research; evaluation and impact of development programmes (ATMA, Watershed, NREGA); axiomatic theory building; ICT application for development; rural livelihood security; gender empowerment; risk, perception and adaptation related to climate change; have broadened the horizon of extension research and scaled up the methodologies.
- Through action research, entrepreneurship development modules were developed for rural youth to enhance the employment and income generation opportunities and usher social-economic stability and prosperity in rural areas.
- Validation of indigenous technological knowledge was carried out through farmer participatory on-farm experimentation and criteria based ranking technique, which empowered farmers for grassroots experimentation, creativity and valuing local wisdom.
- CATAT has successfully demonstrated the potential of IARI technologies, especially crop varieties, management practices etc. It also established linkages with NGOs in different parts of the countries. KVK also provided vocational training to rural youths and conducted demonstrations of new technologies. It also organized training programs for farmers, farm women, and extension personnel in service.
- Spectacular results were obtained by successfully developing and testing concepts and approaches as Integrated Whole Village Agricultural Development Approach incorporating Operational Research Project, Lab-to-Land Programme, etc., Farmer-to-Farmer Quality Seed Production Programme, Single Window Delivery System, Group farming for oilseed and pulse based cropping system in flood prone areas, Community nursery raising among resource poor farmers, Block demonstration approach and Training and Education of Farmers and extension personnel. Recently the initiatives like IARI-ICAR / SAUs linked National Extension Programme, collaborative extension programme in partnership with Voluntary Organisations and Integrated Development of village through Model Village Approach are being executed by the institute.
- ATIC at IARI provides technology products for sale through a single window service. Some of the important products available for are : Seeds of cereals (Wheat, Paddy, Pearl millet), Pulses, Vegetable (Brinjal, Tomato, Cauliflower and other horticultural crops) Bio-fertilizers, small farm implements (Pusa Khurpa). Seeds and publications worth about Rs. 82 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh respectively were sold by ATIC during 2003-2012.