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

A Global Challenges Research Fund project
A crop of unharvested tomatoes

Broken supply chains: COVID-19 lockdown is having a devastating effect on livelihoods in rural India

5 April 2020

The 21 day lockdown of India to control the spread of COVID-19, announced by PM Narendar Modi on 24 March, is already creating lasting impacts on Indian farmers. Progressive and enterpreneurial small and marginal farmers cultivating perishable commodities are amongst the worst hit. Our interactions with farmers in the states of Telangana and Karnataka, and information sourced from news and print media, show that food supply chains for perishable foods are now completely broken. Here, the Flagship Project 1 team at ICRISAT , Hyderabad, sheds light on the dire impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small holder farmers in India.

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Read more at: Rural youth aspirations: Can Indian agriculture regain the interest of rural youth?

Rural youth aspirations: Can Indian agriculture regain the interest of rural youth?

2 April 2020

The TIGR2ESS Flagship Project 1 team at ICRISAT recently conducted a field survey at its research site villages in Warangal district. The survey used Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews to engage with farmers, farm women and rural youth. One of the key questions we asked was: What are the aspirations of rural youth to continue in agriculture and farm parent’s aspirations towards their children? Here, we summarise our findings.

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Interview with a young male from Jahagirdarwadi with his proud mother beside him

From pumpkin to Pina colada: Changing food culture amongst the tribal youth

18 March 2020

Changing food consumption practices among the tribal youth in India is a recent phenomenon. Job prospects and new livelihood options are influencing many lifestyle changes. Changes in food consumption bear an impact on the health and well-being of the youth. Moreover, the decline of traditional ecological knowledge is a worrying trend from a sustainable food systems approach. Here, Dr Anuprita Shukla of Flagship Project 6 discusses her research focused on the tribal youth of Maharashtra.

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Members of TIGR2ESS, PAU and Punjab state government in discussion during the workshop

TIGR2ESS programme shaping state-level policy intervention for agri-business in Punjab

11 March 2020

On Thursday 5 March 2020 TIGR2ESS Flagship Project (FP) 5 held a workshop on policy interventions for agri-business in Punjab. This event, held at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) , Ludhiana, was co-hosted by key members of FP5, Dr Sandeep Kapur (PAU) and Dr Jag Srai (University of Cambridge), and chaired by PAU Vice Chancellor Dr BS Dhillon. In attendance were key state government officials, including Suresh Kumar (Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister), Viswajeet Khanna (Additional Chief Secretary, Development), and leaders from the major state Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and Cooperatives.

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Contaminated pond at village Malakpur in Punjab (Photo by: Paramvir Singh Bhogal)

Revitalizing Natural Water Sources in Rural Punjab: Village Ponds

4 March 2020

Amidst the ongoing debate about mismatched demand and supply of water for farm use, alongside escalating cost of irrigation in rural Punjab, disused village ponds – and surface water in general – are now being promoted as a cost-effective incremental water source. Here, Dr Shruti Bhogal from Flagship Project 4 , based at the Centres for International Projects Trust, New Delhi, discusses the importance of reviving these ponds as a sustainable water source for the future.

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A snapshot of the staggering variety of food and cultural heritage on offer at tribal food festivals

Tribal food festivals - reviving a forgotten heritage

28 February 2020

Food festivals represent an important part of tribal food culture. They are an opportunity to celebrate food heritage; by sharing this heritage with the wider world there is scope to build economic prosperity in often forgotten about villages. Here, Dr. Rekha Bisht Sirola, TIGR2ESS Flagship Project 6 Post-doctoral research associate, from IIT Bombay, Mumbai , shares the rich cultural experiences on offer.

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The Santhal Pargana in Godda village

A week in Bihar: Laying the foundations for field research

19 February 2020

Following the TIGR2ESS General Assembly in Hyderabad, Charlotte Milbank, a University of Cambridge PhD student, and Shuvajit Chakraborty, executive of TIGR2ESS collaborator PRADAN , travelled to Flagship Project 1 field sites in south Bihar. Here, Charlotte recounts their insights from a week with the Santhal Pargana and Pahariya tribal groups.

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Read more at: An eye opening experience at ICRISAT: Thanks to TIGR2ESS

An eye opening experience at ICRISAT: Thanks to TIGR2ESS

13 February 2020

At the recent TIGR2ESS General Assembly at ICRISAT , Hyderabad we were joined by Dr Hirut Assaye Cherie and and her PhD student Helen Walle Endalew from Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. Hirut and Helen are partners on MillNETi, a sister project to TIGR2ESS which aims to improve the iron nutrition status of people living in Ethiopia and The Gambia. As a sister project, MillNETi will build on learnings from India, and help build research links between India, The Gambia and Ethiopia. Here, Hirut and Helen discuss their takeaways from a week at ICRISAT.

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The grounds of ICRISAT who hosted the TIGR2ESS General Assembly

Reflections on the TIGR2ESS General Assembly

10 February 2020

University of Cambridge PhD student, Charlotte Milbank, a relative newcomer to TIGR2ESS, shares her reflections on the recent TIGR2ESS General Assembly, hosted by collaborator ICRISAT in Hyderabad, 20-24 January 2020.

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Members of the Lahanti club

Youth civic engagement: A ray of hope for community development

19 December 2019

Owing to the sheer diversity of the nation, development work in India is inextricably linked to ethical challenges. These challenges become more intense when ‘development’ translates across marginalised communities, who already have a long history of exploitation. Here, Gautam Bisht and Shuvajit Chakraborty from TIGR2ESS Flagship Project 1 collaborator PRADAN highlight the work of youth group Lahanti Club, which is invested in transforming an alienating education system into one which is inclusive of indigenous socio-cultural capital.

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