Every year AERA holds an Annual Conference usually in the last quarter of the year. One conference topic is announced related to a recent issue for discussion during the conference and the call for papers is announced by the month of april to allow researchers to submit papers on the announced topic. Few selected papers, as recommended by the review committeeare published in full length and other papers as abstracts in the Conference Volume of Agricultural Economics Research Review.
AERA conference is an opportunity for the young researchers to present their research work to a very wide group of researchers from various universities, national and international research organizations, think tanks and even participants from the private sector, financial institutions, marketing institutions etc.
29th Conference of Agricultural Economics Research Association (AERA)
About the Conference
The 29th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Research Association (AERA), India will be held at the Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT) Bhubaneshwar, Odisha on 27-29 October 2021 and pre-conference workshop on 26 October 2021. Dr D K Marothia, Former Chairman, CACP will be the Conference President.
Theme: Public Policies and Agricultural Transformation in India
AERA Conference, 2021 Outline
Technologies and policies initiated during the 1960s have transformed India from a food-deficit to a food-surplus country and pushed up agriculture on the path of commercialization. A transition from subsistence to commercial system can be understood both from product and factor-side. The product commercialization is reflected in increasing surplus production, diversification towards high-value food commodities, rising share of export in output, etc. From factor-side, the commercialization may be understood as the adoption of modern inputs such as seeds, fertilizers pesticides, irrigation and power use. Such transitions offer opportunities to unleash the potential of agriculture by addressing the emerging challenges through technological, institutional and policy interventions.
Transformation of agriculture is also reflected in shifting agenda of agricultural development from production to income, food to nutrition, deficit to surplus management, and input-intensive to knowledge-intensive strategies. Further, the ongoing efforts aim to make agriculture competitive, efficient, profitable and sustainable so as to achieve the goals of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, becoming a US$5 trillion economy by 2024-25, and accomplishing sustainable development goals by 2030. Achieving such ambitious goals require a paradigm shift in the policy space.
Public policies assume critical role in providing enabling ecosystem for accelerating ongoing agricultural transformation. Public policy has been conceptualized in variety of ways and broadly can be understood as a course of action created/enacted, typically by a government in response to public real-world problems. In agriculture, it assumes as a lead role in improving irrigation and market infrastructure, developing technologies, framing guidelines for sustainable resources use, and providing conducive business environment for attracting investment in agriculture. The paper-writers may focus on following issues:
• Agriculture is supposed to contribute at least US$ 1 trillion to achieve the target of US$ 5 trillion economy by 2024-25. This requires agriculture to grow at a significantly higher rate than in the past. In this context it is important to identify the key sources of agricultural growth, and the enabling conditions for the same. Moreover, it is also important to understand policy implications of higher income growth on the production portfolio, resource use, food basket, and sustainability of natural resources.
• Public policy is essentially about the structure of technical and institutional environments that shape individual (farm and non-farm stakeholders) and group choice sets/alternatives (e.g FPOs or community management of inputs and production). In case of all-natural resource (NRs) based policies, the technical environment provides the tool and knowledge which define how a natural resource is used and how the techniques are applied. The institutional environment defines who can control the resource and how the technique is applied (tradeoff interest between individual and society). The papers can analyze the current policies related to NRs may be analyzed in terms of balancing or unhinging technical and institutional environments. Such analysis may provide ideology (a shared system of meaning and comprehension), efficiency and objective truth rules of the game pertaining to public policy problems.
• New farm laws aim at creating an ecosystem for transparent, efficient, and competitive agricultural markets and attracting private investment in agriculture. What are the critical conditions for successful implementation of the new laws?
• To what extent the existing price policy has served the purpose of supporting farmers and consumers? Towards this, the direct and indirect effects of price policy on farmers’ welfare and agricultural economy may be critically reviewed and analyzed.
• Public distribution system (PDS) has played an important role in enhancing the food security. In view of the changing consumption pattern, and policy discourse from food to nutrition security, it is essential to look into the likely shape of the PDS system. The issues such inclusion of the nutri-cereals in PDS, likely coverage of beneficiaries under National Food Security Act, and direct cash transfer may be deliberated.
• The ongoing structural transformation of rural employment necessitates acceleration in farm mechanization to address the problem of labour scarcity. What is the impact of ongoing government schemes on farm mechanization? Case studies on successful start-ups and apps based custom-hiring services can be brought out.
• How the pattern of efficiency and the associated profits in various production systems have been evolving? An assessment of the policy interventions such as input supply mechanisms, technology advancements, conservation practices, risk management strategies, and public- private partnerships needs to be undertaken. Foresight analysis on policy support to the changing production system is an important area that needs to be explored.
• Enabling market functionaries are critical to manage agricultural production systems. Towards this it is important to look into the facilitative roles of infrastructure, information and institutions. Post-harvest wastage of agricultural products and byproducts is a big issue, and paper-writers can focus on case studies on minimization of harvest and post-harvest losses.
• Value addition is essential to benefit from the global value chains. In this context, it is imperative to look into the efficiency of the agro-processing sector, and the associated institutional arrangements and public policy supports. The Government of Indian announced Agricultural Export Policy 2018 with the aim to double the agricultural exports by 2022-23. Can the target be achieved? What are the potential commodities for export? What are the key concerns that need immediate attention to achieve the target?
• Subsidy is an important component of public policies. How existing subsidy structure and mechanism can be tweaked to make agriculture sector more competitive and sustainable? What is the feasibility of shifting from input-based subsidy to area-based subsidy through direct cash transfer? Case studies on direct income transfer scheme to farmers (PM-KISAN) can be conducted to inform policy planners about feasibility of reforming subsidy disbursal mechanism.
• A huge outlay is announced for the MSME sector to rejuvenate economic growth. While the credit uptake is yet to be observed, how shall the agriculture sector be linked with the enterprises to benefit through this credit? What are the potential raw/processed commodities to be focused?
• Extensive efforts are being made to improve water use efficiency in agriculture by promoting efficient technologies like micro-irrigation. Although area under micro-irrigation is rising, it is still at meager level with regional concentration. What are the learnings from potential and progressive states in adoption of micro-irrigation and how the micro-irrigation fund shall be allocated among these states? What are the prospects of scaling up community based micro-irrigation in canal command area?
• Despite huge public investment on surface irrigation infrastructure, the share of canal in gross irrigated area is steadily declining. Studies on strengthening institutional structure of irrigation water distribution and management can be taken up.
• India has succeeded in its climate change mitigation efforts in recent times. Yet, agriculture is argued to contribute substantially to greenhouse gas emission. What technological solutions have been developed and how far they are adopted at field level? In what ways the agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emission should be brought down?
• The COVID-19 has amplified the use of digital technologies especially for e-commerce and mobile banking. How these should be used in agriculture? Case studies of such innovations are welcome.
• Macro policies also influence agriculture sector, especially investment by the private sector. How macro policies, especially interest rates, exchange rate, money supply, export policies, etc., are attracting private investment, creating enabling agri-business environment for agricultural transformation?
Date for submission of papers
Paper-writers are requested to follow ‘Author’s Guidelines’ and submit their papers before July 31, 2021 at email@example.com clearly indicating that this paper is for the 29th AERA Conference 2021.
During conference all presenters are given 12 min for presentation and 2-3 minutes for responding to question and answers. The presentations are evaluated by a committee for R.T. Doshi best paper presentation award. The presentations are scored out of 60 marks with 10 marks each for criterion – Rationale and review, innovation in methodology, robustness of results, visual presentation skills, oral presentation skills and time management.