GT - Institutions, Markets, Policy & Impacts

Leader's Note

Dr MCS Bantilan
Theme Leader
Institutions, Markets, Policy and Impacts

Welcome to the Global Theme “Institutions, Markets, Policy and Impacts” at ICRISAT !

Our theme, referred also as GT-IMPI, evolved in response to the strategic needs of the Institute and to provide essential social science context for ICRISAT research. For us at ICRISAT, agricultural research is not only about generating knowledge regarding genetic resources, production systems and natural resource management, but is also aimed at increased incomes for farmers and improved quality of life among farming households in the semi-arid tropics. Since its inception in the mid-70's, social science research at ICRISAT provided well-documented analysis of similar changes in resource and social environments through micro-level studies in both India and Africa. While the semi-arid tropics (SAT) is continually changing, these changes will impact on the relevance of ICRISAT's research agenda. Inquiries both in space and time on farm household decisions and investment opportunities in the SAT become a critical basis for more effective targeting of research. Strategic assessments for agriculture and economic growth in the SAT - the dynamics of rural livelihoods, nature and determinants of poverty, as well as commodity and market trends (in increasingly globalized markets) and input supply and access constraints - are vital to inform and direct future investments in the SAT.

Addressing the complex challenges and emerging constraints facing agriculture in the semi-arid tropics requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses innovations in policy, institutions, and new technologies. The GT-IMPI tackles the urgency of identifying development pathways and alternative livelihood options with critical interventions to address poverty, water scarcity and marginalization in the rural SAT. In addition, by identifying binding constraints for agricultural transformation, social science based research produces required information and knowledge that will contribute to an understanding of agricultural transformation in the SAT with reference to the drivers of socio-economic, institutional and political change at the micro and macro level. ICRISAT's research on food security and poverty alleviation is highlighted in GT-Institutions, Markets, Policy and Impacts. Emphasis is given to understanding rural livelihoods and the dynamics and determinants of poverty, institutional innovations, diversification and commodity trends, impact assessment, and the direction of future investment in research. Mainstreaming gender, social analysis concepts and health issues in its research agenda is a key feature of this theme.

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