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Food Security and Agriculture


India is one of the world’s largest agricultural producers of staple crops, fruits, horticulture, and dairy. Many of India’s agricultural successes emerged from its ability to develop and apply innovative, cost-effective solutions to farming challenges, such as low-cost tractors, seed systems, and water management technologies. USAID/India’s food and nutritional security and climate resilience programs focus on sharing and transferring these innovations globally, in partnership with the Government of India, civil society organizations, and the private sector to improve food security locally, regionally, and globally.

USAID Response

Feed the Future India Triangular Training Program: USAID partners with the Indian Ministry of Agriculture’s premier National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) to train 1,500 agricultural practitioners (farmers, processors, extension workers, and policymakers) from 17 countries across Africa and Asia on specialized farming practices to improve productivity and income. Phase I of the program trained 219 participants from Kenya, Liberia, and Malawi in agricultural marketing, dairy management, food processing and other best practices to prevent post-harvest losses. These farmers, food processors, extension workers and policymakers are now implementing new farming practices that improve food and nutritional security in their countries. Following the successes of these three countries, Phase II expanded to include training for hundreds more farmers, helping increase the agricultural stability of 17 target countries.

Cereal System Initiative for South Asia (CSISA): USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation jointly established CSISA in 2009 to help India’s smallholder farmers adapt to climate change and rainfall variability. CSISA works to improve crop production by integrating cutting-edge technologies such as two-wheeled tractors, rice planters, and irrigation methods with resource conservation and sound farm management practices. These innovative solutions increased incomes and crop yields for 620,000 farmers in India. Tested technologies are currently being transferred and applied in Bangladesh and Nepal to improve agricultural productivity and increase farmers’ incomes regionally.

Feed the Future India Expanding Nepal’s Business Access to Indian Technologies for Agriculture: USAID and the private India firm iDE are helping Indian agro-companies and their local partners develop supply chains in Nepal to reach poor, smallholder farmers, including women, with agro inputs and technologies made in India that enhance productivity. The project works to increase annual incomes for 50,000 households in Nepal and improve women’s participation and food security regionally.

India-Kenya Dairy Innovation Bridge Program: USAID is partnering with Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) — a leading infrastructure development and financial services group — to transfer and pilot India’s successful smallholder dairy production and marketing business model to Kenya. The program has introduced and piloted feed and fodder management best practices, as well as a micro-milk processing unit in Nakuru County, Kenya, that increased milk production by more than 50 percent in the target communities where the model is being piloted.

Feed the Future India Africa Innovation Transfer Platform: USAID partners with the U.S. non-profit organization Technoserve to share and transfer innovative Indian soil and water management techniques – known as Khadins and Taankas – in Kenya and Malawi. These techniques help local communities improve off-season crop production, provide water for their cattle, and explore options for growing additional fodder crops. To date, 15 hectares of land has been brought under improved agriculture management practices in Dedza in Malawi and Kajaido County in Kenya, demonstrating the benefits of these technologies for wider use.

Bullet Santi and Seed Dibbler: USAID supports the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) to transfer two- and three-wheel tractor “Bullet Santi,” Seed Dibblers, and food processors to Kenyan farmers. In India, these technologies have helped increase agricultural productivity and improved the resilience of more than one million households. With USAID’s support, SRISTI is forging new partnerships with the Kenyan private sector to transfer and deploy these same innovations in 10 counties of Kenya.

Solar Conduction Dryer: In Kenya, USAID supported an Indian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Science for Society, to pilot a cost-effective Solar Conduction Dryer (SCD) used to dehydrate farm produce. This SCD technology — developed by five engineering students in India — is now being used by 1,000 farmer groups across Kenya to process and preserve perishable fruits and vegetables, enhancing produce shelf life and increasing its market value ten-fold. In two provinces of India’s Maharashtra state, USAID helped pilot-test 50 Solar Conduction Dryers; farmers reported an average annual income increase of $1,000 due to sales of dehydrated farm produce.

Agriculture Innovation Partnership Program: The USAID Agriculture Innovations Partnership (AIP) program has helped three leading Indian universities — Banaras Hindu University, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, and Assam Agricultural University — adopt state-of-the-art agricultural education curriculums, including extension management training programs. AIP will also launch research initiatives to better prepare a market-ready workforce and promote new innovative technologies in agriculture. This successful program is now being replicated in Nepal at the Agriculture and Forestry University, as well as in Malawi at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). Under a $165 million project, USAID will work with the World Bank and the Government of India to scale up this successful academic program across all 71 agriculture universities in India.

Partnership in Climate Services for Resilient Agriculture in India: USAID/India is partnering with Skymet Weather Services Private Limited to expand their network of “Automatic Weather Stations” across 31 districts in nine states of India to make existing climate data, risk mitigation tools, and crop insurance services more accessible to vulnerable farmers. Under this partnership, Skymet is also developing a farmer-friendly mobile app that will provide crop advisory services and live weather data to farmers.

Pigeon Pea and Chickpea Molecular Breeding Program: In partnership with the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), USAID is developing improved, climate-resilient varieties of pigeon pea, locally known as “arhar” or “toor dal,” to increase farm productivity in India, as well as in African countries, such as Kenya and Malawi. USAID is also supporting a joint effort on global chickpea research through a consortium led by the University of California, Davis that leverages U.S. and Indian scientific expertise to develop chickpea breeding products to improve agricultural sector productivity in India, Ethiopia, and other countries.

Our Achievements

  • More than 760,000 farmers across India, Africa and Asia applied improved technologies and management practices.
  • More than 271,000 hectares of land were brought under improved technologies.
  • More than 23,600 individuals received short-term training.
  • Leveraged $200 million in new investments from the public and private sectors.


Last updated: August 30, 2016

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