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TIGR2ESS: Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies

A Global Challenges Research Fund project
Workshop in India, photo credit Toby Smith/TIGR2ESS

Overview of Flagship Project 1

Flagship Project 1: Sustainable and Transformative Agrarian and Rural Trajectories (START)

This Project will open a new conversation about the future of agriculture in India. What are the societal choices that will inform the second green revolution, and how will this be negotiated in India’s contemporary political economy? What should be the focus of the new agrarian ecosystem, and how should it balance the interests of farmers, agricultural labour, the food industry, distribution networks and supply chains, consumers and those involved in providing support services and inputs to this sector? How might different production systems, ranging from small-holder family farms to large-scale commercial production respond to these different needs and interests, of men and women, across generations? What is the relative importance of improving yields and efficiency, ensuring ecological sustainability, and ensuring equitable and inclusive outcomes that leave no one behind?

To address these issues, we will run a series of structured dialogues designed to challenge existing thinking and provide opportunities to articulate alternative visions for the future of Indian agriculture. Activities will include: 

  1. Deliberative workshops and facilitated dialogues across the diverse agro-ecological regions of India, with wide representation across a diverse set of stakeholders.
  2. In-depth follow up interviews with key thought leaders, and those promoting innovative strategies to address challenges, including rapid field research in a selection of demonstrator case studies.
  3. Policy workshops in India and the UK, with embedded engagement between the research and policy community through the Centre for Science and Policy’s Policy Fellowship Programme.
  4. The development of alternative visions and scenarios for the future of Indian agriculture, with implications for the activities of the other Flagship Programmes.


Lead: Professor Bhaskar Vira

Professor of Political Economy, Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute.


Dr Rob Doubleday (Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge)

Dr Shailaja Fennell (Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge)

Prof Nitya Rao (University of East Anglia)

Dr R Rengalakshmi (Director JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation)

Dr Padmaja Ravula (ICRISAT)

Dr Nedumaran Swamikannu (ICRISAT)

Dr Nivedita Narain (PRADAN)

Shuvajit Chakraborty (PRADAN)

PDRAs and RAs:

Samyuktha Kannan (MSSRF)

Dr Pratheeba (MSSRF)

Vivek Babu (MSSRF)

Dr Ravi Nandi (ICRISAT)

Dr Shreya Sinha (University of Cambridge)

Katie Cohen (University of Cambridge)

Astha Upadhyay (PRADAN)

Other stakeholders:


Forum for Women Farmers Rights;

ICRISAT, Hyderabad - Dr K V Raju, theme leader Policy and Impact; Dr R Padmaja 

Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi;

Indian Council of Agricultural Research;

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Centre for Management in Agriculture - Professor Anil Gupta 

GIAN Gujarat

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, School of Development Studies - Prof R Ramakumar, Dean;

Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch;