Agriculture, Rural Sector and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises – Indian Perspective

The Indian Agricultural sector is in deep crisis.  Present COVID 19 and migration of labour added more pain with the existing malady. There are several dimensions to this problem. The proportion of the population employed in agriculture is as much as 52 percent, yet agriculture contributes just 18.5 percent to the national GDP. Thus per capita GDP and average living standards in agriculture are significantly lower than in the non-agriculture sector. Growth in terms of yield per hectare and employment creation has also slowed down in the sector and per capita availability of food grains has shown no discernible increase for more than three decades. The recent suicides of farmers are symptoms of a much deeper malaise. Thus, in order to transform India into a high generated Agro-economy, it is imperative that we focus on agriculture on a priority basis. In this regard, the appropriate application of Information in agriculture can play a major role in boosting the agrarian economy and giving the Indian farmer a competitive edge in the global market.

  • Agriculture-Gateway

    • Government Policy and International Regulatory Regimes
    • Agricultural Credit
    • Technology
    • Organic Farming
    • Agriculture NON-Governmental Agencies (NGOs)
  • Rural Development-Gateway

    • Government Policy and International Regulatory Regimes
    • Land Reform
    • Governance
    • Infrasture And Basic Needs Development
    • NON-Governmental Agencies (NGOs)
  • Small and Medium Scale Enterprises-Gateway

    • Government Policy
    • Credit
    • Technology


  • FAO- UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • ISNAR- International Service for National Agricultural Research is a database of the websites of all major national and international agricultural research organizations.
  • Agriculture Industry today
  • Ministry of Agriculture ( India).
  • ICAR- Indian Council of Agricultural Research runs research centers, agricultural institutes, and bureaus.
  • Indian Agro Industry Overview
  • USDA- United States Department of Agriculture.

Government Policy and International Regulatory Regimes

International Trade in Agriculture: A Research Guide by Lee Peoples.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).
AGRIFOR high-quality resources in Agriculture, Food, and Forestry.
International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council- Up to date reports on Agro trade negotiations.
WTO Negotiations and Agreements on Agriculture.
National Agriculture Policy ( India).
Follow up action on the National Agriculture Policy.
India ’s National Agricultural Policy: a critique.
Alternative National Agriculture Policy ( India) suggestions for new policies .
Overview of agricultural sector and policies in India.
Analysis of Agrarian Reform in India.
Long-term Agricultural Growth and Agricultural Policy in India and Pakistan
Impact of Agrarian Reform on Dalits in India
Homepage of the European Commission’s ‘ Agriculture and Rural Development’ website.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (EU) Agricultural Codes and Schemes for International Trade.
BBC Q&A on EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
USDA brief on CAP
European Commission brief on CAP reform
HM Treasury Department vision for CAP
WWF report on the effects of CAP on the environment on international trade and environment
USDA Laws and regulations page
National Agricultural Law Center (US).
Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)
FAPRI U.S and world agricultural outlook.
Agricultural Policy Analysis Center ( Univ. of Tennessee)
Effects and remedies of US farm policies worldwide
An analysis of the likelihood of change in US agricultural policy

Agricultural Credit

UN FAO page on rural and agricultural finance
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
Agricultural Policy in the United States
The Structure and Organisation of the Agricultural Credit in India
World Bank website on agriculture and rural development.
The World Bank and India (brief article)
The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association
Rural Finance Learning Center aims to assist organizations in developing countries to improve improved financial services to rural households
Farm credit issues in East and South East Asia.


Directory of Agricultural Technology Information Centres (ATICs) in India.
Indian Society for Agricultural Information Technology. See details of conference on Information Technology.
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) assembles science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally.
European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment.
Chinese Government White Paper on adoption of technology in agriculture.
Profits and Politics: Coordinating Technology Adoption in Agriculture (Academic Paper).
The North- South divide and its effects on the success of technology adoption in the south.
Various Agricultural Technology links including common pesticide names, technology and methods (State Library of Tasmania).
Appropriate Technology Agriculture Resources. (including non-web resources)
Precision Agriculture Technology for Horticultural Crop Production.
General Accounting Office (US) comprehensive report on biotechnology developments and policy and its effects on US agriculture.
Briefing on Gene Technology in Agriculture (Government of Queensland).
Briefing on GM foods including how it works, what it means for food, how it is checked for safety and sold and the global picture of production and consumption
A brief history of agricultural biotechnology
UNFAO website on biotechnology
USDA website on biotechnology in agriculture
The benefits and risks of GM foods.
GMO Organizations database.
Daily news on agricultural biotechnology.
Up to date news on GM technology.
Union of concerned scientists website on GM foods
Agricultural biotechnology in India: ethics, business and politics. Academic paper on the state of GM foods in India with particular reference to Bt cotton in Gujarat
Understanding the Bt Cotton Maze
Crop biotechnology: The next revolution in agriculture. An Article by the CMD of Monsanto in India.
India Resource Center is an NGO that promotes justice in the application of biotechnology in India
Agricultural biotechnology research in India: status and policies (academic paper)
Agricultural biotechnology sector: issues impacting innovations .
Biotech policy : task force report
Indian firms embrace biotechnology (BBC news)

Organic Farming

Organic Farming resources for India
International Foundation for Organic Agriculture Movements
UN FAO website on organic farming
Organic Farming Research Foundation (general information)
Organic Farming vis- a – vis modern agriculture
Organic Farming: Potentials And Strategies (by ICAR director)
Indian organic farming news.
National Centre of Organic Farming Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (ministry of agriculture)
Agriculture and Organic Farming Group with contacts of organic farming

Agriculture NON-Governmental Agencies (NGOs)

Listing of Various NGOs in India.
Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC)
Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals
Various NGO background papers on a variety of topics in agriculture
Large NGO resource ( UK) on various agricultural issues including IPR, sustainable development and governance in agriculture.
European NGO network on genetic engineering in agriculture (GENET)
List of NGOs participating in global trade negotiations relating to agriculture.
Non-governmental Organizations and Sustainable Agriculture Development in India (an academic paper)
Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation
Sustainable agriculture NGOs in the global arena

Rural Development-Gateway Websites

Rural development gateway website
Ministry of Rural Development (GOI)
National Institute of Rural Development
UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security
AARDO- Afro- Asian Rural Development Organization

Government Policy and International Regulatory Regimes

World Bank Agricultural and Rural Development Policy
The private sector’s role in the rural development and the UN Millennium Goals.
GOI policy with regards to NGO participation in rural development
GOI child labor policy
Shining India? Economic Liberalization and Rural Poverty in the 1990s in India’s development since liberalization
Indian Agriculture and Rural Development: strategic issues and reform options (a policy paper)
USDA Infrastructure and Rural Development Policy
Role of Government Institutions for Promotion of Agriculture and Rural Development in Asia and the Pacific Region (UN FAO)
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Rural Investment and Enabling Policy (an academic policy paper)
EU rural development policy primer


Basic definitions, information and issues surrounding microcredit
Grameen Foundation
The design and management of one undp program
An article on the growth and development of microcredit in India
India Collective for Microfinance including list of microcredit institutions in India
A one stop gateway to the microcredit industry

Land Reform

Detailed articles of different aspects and importance of land reform for sustainable development by UN FAO
Case studies of land reform in various countries including Brazil, Philippines and Australia
World Bank Land Policy and Administration
Indigenous People Helpless Against Land Grabbers an article about land exploitation of tribal groups in India
Land Reform and Poverty Reduction in India (an academic paper)
Land Reform Issues and Challenges in India
Current land policy issues in India


Decentralization, Local Governance and Urban/Rural Development
ICT and e-governance for rural development (an academic paper)
Rural Informatics in India – An Approach Paper
The changing paradigm of rural governance for sustainable development: Defining the niche and role of GIS
Development news on governance in India
National Institute for Smart Government
The Better, Faster Way to Help Rural India (Perhaps the answer to India’s rural development woes lies in creating cities instead)
Governmental issues in rural India including the Common Minimum Program (CMP)

Infrasture And Basic Needs Development

Issues in Promoting rural infrastructure in India
Budget 2005 (India) allocations towards rural infrastructure development
Rural access to ICTs in India
The relationship between infrastructure development and human development: a UNDP report
Rural Water Supply: Simple Technology, Big Benefits for the Poor, a World Bank report on India.
An Article on the abysmal state of college education in the countryside of India
Ensuring equitable development through reforms
New rural infrastructure initiatives in India
Sustainable development in rural India
India sets Rs.80 bn plan for rural infrastructure development (news article)
Rural Infrastructure Development Fund – IXth Tranche
Prime Minister’s speech at the conference on Bharat Nirman, ‘Unlocking Rural India’s Development Potential through Infrastructure’
The India program at Harvard University’s Center for International Development

Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)

Rural Development Institute is an international land law and policy group fighting rural landlessness.
India Rural Development Fund (IRDF), finances rural development projects run by in India. U.S. based with a focus on education, vocational training, health, family planning, and infrastructure development.
Association for Rural Development and Action Research (ARDAR): NGO doing rural development work in India
The relationship between infrastructure development and human development: a UNDP report
All India Women’s Education Fund’s Association’s (AIWEFA)
A novel experiment in NGO lead development
Number of rural development case studies by NGOs in India
Transforming Rural India, the NGO way: an article

Small and Medium Scale Enterprises-Gateway Websites

Knowledge Gateway

UNIDO- United Nations Industrial Development Organization
Ministry of Small Scale Industry (GOI)
FISME- Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Scale Enterprises
Confederation of Indian Industry
SIDO- Small Industries Development Organization
SME Network- Small and Medium Entrepreneurs of India
A portal for all aspects of SMEs

Government Policy

Effective policies for small businesses: UNIDO
Review of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) clusters in India (UNIDO).
The role of clusters in fostering innovation in SMEs in India
Export Performance of SMEs in India (a report by the U.S. Exim bank)
Department of Scientific & Industrial Research report on SMEs in India including brief history.
Bank Loans to Micro Enterprises, SMEs and Poor Households in the Republic of Korea. Has several important lessons for anyone interested in SME credit in the developing world
Development challenges to SMEs in China
SME experiences in Central and Eastern Europe
A market oriented strategy for SMEs (World Bank paper)
A guide to Intellectual Property Rights for SMEs by WIPO


SSI shackled by high credit cost, inspector raj: an article
International Finance Corporation website for SMEs
Small and medium enterprises (SME) present banks with huge untapped business potential (an article)
World Bank SME projects in India
ADB report on the building up of SME credit infrastructure in China
Bank Credit to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Role of Creditor Protection
Flexible and Innovative Credit for Small and Medium Women Entrepreneurs by USAID
The Asia Foundation for promotion of SMEs
Sources of funds for enterprises in India
Govt unveils new package for SMEs — Credit to double by 2009-10b
Indian Bank Association review of SME credit issues
IBA suggestions for credit flow
CRISIL credit ratings for SMEs in India
Small and Medium Enterprise in India – Overcoming Policy Constraints to Achieving Rapid Growth in a Globalizing Economy


Technology transfers to SMEs (a slideshow)
Marketing Information Technologies to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises : a report by Deloitte
Wireless and security head SME technology priorities
Articles on technology adoption by SMEs in India
SME center of Software Technology Parks of India
Weblog on emerging technologies and industries
IT solutions for SMEs in India

Photo credit: Lhaineihoi Hoinu Hengna Kuki