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New Books – Finance for farming

OEB: Book Review: Rainfed Agriculture in India: Prospectives and Challenges_by Surjit Singh M.S. Rathore
OEB: Book Review: Rainfed Agriculture in India: Prospectives and Challenges_by Surjit Singh M.S. Rathore

Rainfed Agriculture in India

Macro & Micro-Aspects (2-Volume Set). By Dr. Surjit Singh & Prof. M S Rathore, IDS – Jaipur; 2010. 336 Pages. Hardbound. Price: US$ 44.95

India’s agriculture growth after independence has moved the country from the severe food crisis of the sixties to aggregate food surplus today and rainfed agriculture has played an important role in this. In India about two-third of total net sown area comes under rainfed lands. Rainfed crops account for 48 per cent area under food crops and 68 per cent under non-food crops. One of the major challenges facing rainfed agriculture in India today is its sustainable development through conserving and enhancing the inherent capacity of its land and other natural resources to sustain it. Any erosion of this capacity will threaten country’s food security and agriculture substantially. In order to constantly address this concern, along with increasing production of food grains and other agricultural products, it is necessary to enhance and conserve the stock of available land, water and other natural resources and develop improved technologies, which maintain and improve the productive capacity of natural resources.


 “Climate-Smart” Agriculture

Policies, Practices and Financing for Food Security, Adaptation and Mitigation. By FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy, © FAO 2010 www.fao.org/climatechange; climate-change@fao.org

“Climate-Smart” AgricultureThe document was prepared as a technical input for the Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, to be held 31 October to 5 November 2010.

Agriculture in developing countries must undergo a significant transformation in order to meet the related challenges of achieving food security and responding to climate change. Projections based on population growth and food consumption patterns indicate that agricultural production will need to increase by at least 70 percent to meet demands by 2050. Most estimates also indicate that climate change is likely to reduce agricultural productivity, production stability and incomes in some areas that already have high levels of food insecurity. Developing climate smart agriculture is thus crucial to achieving future food security and climate change goals. This paper examines some of the key technical, institutional, policy and financial responses required to achieve this transformation. Building on case studies from the field,the paper outlines a range of practices, approaches and tools aimed at increasing the resilience and productivity of agricultural production systems, while also reducing and removing emissions. The second part of the paper surveys institutional and policy options available to promote the transition to climate smart agriculture at the smallholder level. Finally, the paper considers current financing gaps and makes innovative suggestions regarding the combined use of different sources, financing mechanisms and delivery systems.

Agriculture Risk & Insurance in India

By Dr. S S Raju & Dr. Ramesh Chand, NCAEPR, New Delhi; 2010. 106 Pages. HB.Price: US$39.95. Source:www.booksfordevelopment.org

Agriculture production and farm incomes in India are frequently affected by weather and climatic aberrations like droughts, floods, cyclone, frost, storms, land slides, etc. Outbreak of epidemics, fire, and market fluctuations are the other factors which seriously affect production and farm income. All these events are beyond the control of the farmers. With the growing commercialization of agriculture, the magnitude of shock due to unfavourable eventualities is increasing and the need to protect farmers against production and income losses is becoming stronger. Agricultural insurance is considered an important mechanism to effectively address the risk to output and income resulting from various natural and manmade events. Despite various schemes launched from time to time, agricultural insurance in India has not made much headway even though the need to protect country’s farmers from agricultural variability has been a continuing concern of agriculture policy. This book examines the genesis of agricultural insurance in India and discusses various agricultural insurance schemes launched in the country from time to time and the coverage provided by them. The book also looks into the role of government in implementing various agricultural insurance schemes and suggest effective agriculture insurance programme for India.


Saris on Scooters: How MicroCredit is changing Village India

By Sheila Mcleod, Dundurn Group Publisher, June 2010. ISBN 1554887224; Paperback. 352 Pages. Price: Rs. 1958.00; Renowned author and journalist Sheila McLeod

Saris on ScootersArnopoulos uses her talent for investigative reporting to take us deep into the poorest villages in India. Yet, far from being passive victims of their circumstances, the women who live there have joined forces and are making astute use of microcredit to break the cycle of poverty. Microcredit was made famous by Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and consists of very small loans made primarily to women for the production of essential commodities or to start small businesses. Basing the book on a number of trips to India between 2001 and 2008, Arnopoulos shows her sense of solidarity and desire for authenticity by sharing the daily life of these villagers. The first-person account of her extensive travels focuses primarily on these women’s inspiring success stories. After wit essing many such situations first-hand, she believes that these villages have a potential strength equal to that of the modern, high-tech cities in India.

Microfinance India 2010 – State of the Sector Report

November 2010, Access Publication, ISBN – 9788132105886; Pages : 160; Price: Rs.750/-

Microfinance India 2010Microfinance India: State of the Sector Report 2010 presents the growth of the microfinance sector in India in its entirety. It offers in-depth, well-researched and well-analyzed evidence on how the sector has made an impact at various levels of the economy and society. The report provides most recent statistical data relating to the sector’s growth and expansion across models. It highlights perspectives on current issues and documents new interest, new investments and innovations in the sector. The report collects information from authoritative sources, studies and reports on the sector and field studies on specific developments of interest. Included in the report are: a comparison of the performance of SHG and MFI models, Microfinance Penetration Indices that compare client outreach across states and discussions on innovations and novel experiments in the sector and themes of topical relevance. It also identifies knowledge and practice gaps that require further research and study. The best reference book on the annual trends and progress of the Indian microfinance sector, the report is a must for every microfinance practitioner.