Status of AgroEcology Research in India - Notes from 3-day Conference at IRMA

Sun, 11/19/2023 - 20:17

Notes from the National Conference on Defining Future Pathways for AgroEcology Research at the National Level in India

16 – 18 Nov 2023, IRMA, Gujarat


When I initially agreed to participate in this Conference and even write a paper for the same, I was  still in my US tour where I could quickly put together an Abstract of an idea over couple of mails with my two co-authors, the busy schedule after my return ensured that I could not really spend time to develop the paper, the strange monsoon viral fever followed by a dental surgery meant I was  uncertain about my contribution and could not complete the paper.  However an opportunity to meet up with a lot of practitioners of the AgroEcologial movement across India was way too tempting to miss and I went ahead to IRMA to attend this Conference with a bag of painkillers. It was extremely insightful and enriching. It proved to be one of the best academic conferences in India that I have ever attended. 







  • Climate Change, growing cost of Inputs, and, a potential global leadership has provided AgroEcology a strategic possibility to be developed into a major area of intervention.
  • The agriculture department and university system is still in a denial mode and is least equipped to handle the changed scenario.
  • Sustaining the vast agriculture and agriculture education superstructure that subscribes to outdated (an entire session referred to the ‘’absurdities’’ of the sector) ideas and irrelevant priorities.
  • Technology dominated agro-solution enabling ecosystem is creating more problems than solutions.
  • The AgroEcology space seems to be more driven by the Social Scientists, there is dearth of involvement / engagement with Economists, and Scientists.
  • Scale obsessive and short-term outcome demanding funding and project priorities are not helpful for AgroEcological interventions and research, often these are made by (flawed and inequality growing) market system oriented entities.
  • While isolated cases exist across the country of systemized and impactful AgroEcological programmes, they do not translate into policy inputs; inadequate studies, theorizing and reports are the reason for the same. Often Farmer Collectives and Grassroot CSOs with scare resources are pushed to doing these as well.
  • New frameworks, benchmarks and policies and programmes need to be developed, if India were to go this path of AgroEcological future.
  • Simple scientific interventions and process corrections can have major impact in overall Agriculture.
  • Our current ways of calculating the Carbon Sequestering are flawed, if properly calculated can prove that Indian agriculture is a nett sequestering and can fetch in the global market substantial amount of current Indian budget as returns.   

This is a quick summary, I have detailed notes that I will share in the next days with additional references and sources. The Conference itself resulted in agreeing to set-up a network of AgroEcology organizations and a parallel session during the Conference ended up with some shared responsibility in trying to resolve the long pending challenge of defining some basic definitions for Natural / Organic / Non-Chemical, etc., farming for Indian conditions.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.