Meet the FABLE India team
The team is led by the Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA). IIMA has been a research-focused organisation with individual members and research centres contributing to its progress. As a leading management institution, IIMA has close connections with industry and policy makers in India and abroad.
Their main areas of interest have been pathways for sustainable food and land use system, the food-energy-water nexus and its interlinkages with biofuel policies, closing the yield gap to achieve India's future food demand along with environment sustainability, water issues, healthy and sustainable diets, increasing land-use efficiency, protecting the forest land while keeping agricultural production levels, increasing the sustainability of the livestock production system.
Former member: Chandan Kumar Jha and Satyam Saxena.
Transforming food and land-use systems in India
India is home to nearly 17.5% of the world's population, 15% of its livestock, and 8% of its biodiversity, yet it has only 2.4% of the world's land. Nevertheless, India is one of the largest producers of rice, wheat, sugarcane, pulses, groundnut, milk, cotton, and fruits and vegetables, with the highest net cropped area globally. Agriculture contributes nearly 17.8% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), and nearly two-thirds of the population is dependent on it. The agriculture sector engages nearly 54.6% of the country's workforce, supporting nearly 86% of small and marginal farmers, of whom nearly 14% are women.
Despite India's food self-sufficiency and high economic growth, the country still faces numerous food system challenges. Although India's agriculture sector has been performing well for the past two decades, the country still has a high prevalence of underweight, micronutrient-deficient, and obese populations. Current Indian diets are largely cereal-based and deficient in nearly 11 of the 25 essential nutrients. The AFOLU sector contributed nearly 171 Mt of CO2 equivalent emissions, which is nearly 6% of India's economy-wide emissions in 2018.
The production activities that are centered around cereal crops have led to regional bias and resource-intensive production systems that pose serious sustainability challenges. India is the world's largest consumer of groundwater, and up to 70% of agricultural production depends on it. A less diversified food production system further complicates the agriculture system's resilience under changing climate conditions. With a rainfall-dependent agriculture system, climate change is expected to make India's monsoon more erratic, creating risks to food and nutrition security, livelihoods, and the well-being of the population.
The primary challenges facing India include transforming food systems to ensure high farm incomes, especially for small and marginal farmers, advancing equitable livelihoods for all, diversifying crop production, repurposing agriculture subsidies and pricing policies towards nutrition-rich crops, and strengthening the agriculture value chain to reduce food loss and waste.
Key national objectives and targets
COP26- Carbon Neutrality/Net Zero Targets:
The team has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders to inform discussions and decisions around sustainable food and land-use systems in India. These actors include: