New Delhi December 14, 2010. The launch of the World Bank-assisted National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) four years ago marked a new chapter in agricultural research. Researchers began viewing agriculture as a business and not just a means of subsistence for farmers.
As a result, research models now encompass the entire value chain from farm to market. The project broadly aims to make Indian agriculture and agricultural research knowledge-based and IT-enabled so that it can cater to the market and meet fast-changing consumer demands.
The mantra is to capitalise on innovations and innovative ideas regardless of whether these are generated within the farm research system or outside. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which is implementing NAIP, is reaching out to non-agricultural knowledge centres such as general universities, science and technology institutes, private bodies and even civil society organisations for innovative ideas and research.
The concept of innovation, which is interpretable variously, has been given a precise definition to guide NAIP’s philosophy: “Using something old in new ways or applying something new to successfully produce desired social and economic outcome is innovation.”
Surinder Sud: Cultivating farm research