Skip to Content
X

India

31

Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 3,494.67 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 1,159.87 million

Total IFAD financing

5,781,436

Households impacted


categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090793

projectCategory = 0

The Context

India ranks second worldwide in farm outputs. Agriculture employs 42 per cent of India's workforce and contributes 17-18 per cent to the country's GDP.

India is the world’s seventh largest country by land area, and the second most populous country in the world with 1.35 billion inhabitants, 66 per cent of whom still live in rural areas. The rural population is expected to peak around 2030 and then decline.

India ranks as the third biggest economic global power at purchase power parity. The economy is projected to be the fastest growing of all G20 economies. With structural transformation well underway, India’s service sector is the fastest growing part of the economy, contributing 54 per cent of GDP in 2016; industry contributes 30 per cent and agriculture contributes 17 per cent. The long-term prospects for growth are positive, thanks to India’s young population, corresponding low-dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy. 

Over the last 50 years, India has gone from food aid dependency to becoming a consistent net exporter of food. Food grains and oilseeds still account for almost 80 per cent of crop area, though India has diversified into high value commodities and has become the world's largest producer of milk, pulses, horticulture and livestock as well as the top exporter of shrimp and spices globally. Although most crop yields have at least tripled, they are still relatively low by regional standards. Despite increased area under irrigation, over half of India’s total cropped area and 40 per cent of all crop production are still rainfed and more vulnerable to monsoon variability. Consequently, Indian agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change. Seasonal water scarcity, rising temperature, more frequent drought risks jeopardize the country’s food security.

Climate change will particularly affect the most vulnerable groups – farmers in rainfed areas, landless labourers and women, whose incomes are likely to reduce by 20-25 per cent (Economic survey 2017/18). Hence, a major challenge for India is to promote the widespread adoption of climate-smart techniques and other adaptation measures that sustain production and productivity, and ensure continued national food and nutritional security.

Although India still has the highest number of poor people in the world, extreme poverty has been substantially reduced. In 2011-12, the overall poverty rate was estimated at 22 per cent, though this figure hides a considerable rural-urban gap (26 per cent vs 14 per cent). Some 80 per cent of 270 million poor people live in rural areas. The rural poor consist of marginal smallholder farmers, the rural landless and many of these will be drawn from scheduled tribes, scheduled castes and other vulnerable groups.

The Strategy

IFAD has been working in India for more than 30 years. The current country strategic opportunities programme is fully aligned with the government’s policy framework of doubling farmers' incomes in real terms by 2022. During the period 2018-2024, IFAD will support the government's efforts in developing necessary services and producers' organizations to render smallholder food and agricultural production systems remunerative, sustainable and resilient to climate change and price shocks.

IFAD works at the grassroots level, targeting the poorest marginal farmers, women, youth, landless people, tribal communities and scheduled castes. Projects have consistently tackled structural issues such as socio-cultural exclusion, lack of access to natural resources, agricultural land and quality public services, as well as market asymmetry and weak bargaining power of smallholder producers.

Over the years, IFAD and the Government of India have achieved significant results investing in the commercialization of smallholder agriculture and building small farmers’ capacity to increase incomes from market opportunities. These projects facilitate innovative partnerships between farmers and private-sector companies. As a result, farmers are acquiring improved technical packages, achieving higher yields, and obtaining better prices for their produce.

IFAD’s focus is on strengthening people’s ability to manage their own development. Its approach features a fully participatory planning and implementation process, reflecting indigenous knowledge and taking into account participants’ capacities and interests. Through IFAD’s investment in grassroots organizations such as self-help groups, and our support for the federation of such groups over time, rural poor people have gained greater bargaining power for access to services, inputs and markets.

Projects empower women to participate in decision-making and resource allocation in rural communities. Women’s groups such as the Courage Brigades (Shaurya Dal) formed to reduce gender-based violence, change social attitudes and enable women to start up small businesses, have proved their effectiveness. IFAD-supported projects have also provided women with access to financial services, such as by linking women’s self-help groups with commercial banks.

IFAD also works with tribal communities, typically located in the most remote, underdeveloped areas of the country. Projects have helped them better their livelihoods by improving their natural resource management, access to land, agricultural production and vocational skills.

Country Facts

With an annual population growth rate of 1.0 per cent, India is projected to grow to about 1.45 billion people by 2025, making it the world’s most populous country.

More than 296 million people in India still live in poverty, accounting for one-third of the world’s poor.

India’s population is composed of thousands of ethnic and tribal groups, speaking over 1,000 languages and belonging to six major religions. 


categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090793

projectCategory = 0

Country documents

India: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme 2018-2024

Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme
Region: Asia and the Pacific

Projects and Programmes

PLANNED Under design after concept note approval

APPROVED Approved by the Executive Board or IFAD President

SIGNED Financing agreements signed

ONGOING Under implementation

CLOSED Completed/closed projects

No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090793

projectCategory = 0

Related news

India - economic and social empowerment for one million women

March 2020 - NEWS
Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, IFAD has highlighted the role community organizations have played in empowering one million women to fully participate in economic, political and social life in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

Head of UN rural development agency in India to boost efforts to eradicate poverty

October 2019 - NEWS
Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, will meet with government leaders in India this week to strengthen joint efforts to boost farmers’ incomes and build sustainable food systems, and review project activities that have already empowered more than one million rural women.

Let’s talk about goats: Boosting India’s goat sector could double rural incomes

April 2018 - NEWS
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is partnering with the Government of India, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Creative Agri-solutions, to host a two-day conference starting today to discuss how to significantly improve the goat sector in rural areas, specifically in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha states.

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090793

projectCategory = 0

Related stories

Indigenous youth in agriculture during COVID-19

August 2020 - STORY
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to re-examine everything: their priorities, their jobs, even their roles in society.

One small step: Empowering micro-, small and medium businesses across South Asia

July 2020 - STORY
It is something of a paradox that, while there is broad agreement that micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are an integral part of the economy in developing countries, they remain underserved.

Bees, biodiversity and COVID-19 - World Bee Day

May 2020 - STORY
Bees support countless ecosystems, bolster biodiversity, anchor food chains and help ensure humans’ agricultural security. Not bad for insects no bigger than a paperclip.

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090793

projectCategory = 0

Related publications

The IFAD–India partnership

July 2020

India is a founding member of IFAD, and the IFAD–India partnership spans more than 40 years. India is not only the largest recipient of IFAD’s investments, but also a significant contributor,

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Advantage: Fostering food security and nutrition, increasing

November 2019

This report presents selected achievements and lessons from the growing portfolio of fisheries and aquaculture investments supported by IFAD.

Investing in rural people in India

October 2019

IFAD has been working in India for more than 40 years. The current country strategic opportunities programme is fully aligned with the government’s policy framework. 

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090793

projectCategory = 0

Related videos

India: Radiant Women

June 2020 - VIDEO

"Tejaswini" means “a woman who is radiant”. And the one million Indian women who are part of the Tejaswini Rural Women’s Empowerment Programme, are indeed radiant.

India: Barring Malnutrition

March 2019 - VIDEO
With traditional crops abandoned for lucrative cash crops, malnutrition rates can quickly rise.