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Agricultural Economics Research Association (India)
22nd Annual AERA Conference
Leveraging Institutional Innovations
for Agricultural Development
18–20 November 2014
University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur (Karnataka)

Theme of the Conference

Agriculture, despite a significant decline in its share in the gross domestic product to less than 15 per cent in 2011–12, continues to be an important sector of Indian economy because of its strategic importance to food and nutritional security, employment generation and poverty reduction. The sector still engages more than half of the country's labour force, and is a significant, if not the sole, source of livelihood for the smallholders (< 2 ha) who comprise more than 85 per cent of the farm households. While the future of India's food security rests on small farms, the land-based livelihoods are becoming untenable for the majority of smallholders not only because of their limited scale but also due to a number of constraints, such as poor access to markets, inputs, technologies, information and services, they face in their endeavour to enhance farm incomes. At the same time, with unfolding of globalization, the competition in agri-food markets would become intense, and the smallholders would be affected more by it. Given this state of affairs, there arises a basic question: how to improve small farmers' access to these resources so as to empower them to sustain their livelihoods and to adjust their agricultural activities to the changing market conditions?

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