The 7th annual partners meet of International Water Management Institute (IWMI) – Tata Water Policy Research Programme was held at Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) on November 28-30, 2012. The event attracted over 200 participants from the government, research institutes, civil societies and international organisations.
The event was inaugurated by Jeremy Bird, director general, IWMI, and Shirin Bharucha, trustee, Sir Ratan Tata Trust. Numerous studies, papers and research reports were presented and discussed during the three-day meet.
The highlight of the event was the Kurien Colloquium, which was named in memory of Dr Verghese Kurien, the father of India's white revolution. The colloquium discussed an initiative called 'Small farmer, prosperous farmer', where the viability of the youth choosing agriculture as a profession was discussed. Considering the fact that a large chunk of Indian farmers who own one hectare of land earn less than Rs25,000 annually, the colloquium tried to understand how a farmer can earn a decent income so that agriculture becomes a profession that the youth opt for out of free will instead as a last resort.
The other topics that were discussed over the course of the three day event included the impact of solar pumps on irrigation, the quality of water assets created under MGNREGA, effectiveness of groundwater recharge movement in Saurashtra, improving canal irrigation management, coping with effects of groundwater contamination, impact of the system of rice irrigation, promotional strategies for drip irrigation, and the urban waste-water economy of India.
The event was well attended by several delegates, which included Dr Uma Lele, world-renowned agricultural economist; Sunita Narain from the Centre of Science and Environment, New Delhi; and Rohini Nilekeni, chairperson of Arghyam, an NGO that works in the water and sanitation sector.