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India: External Aid
Country Study > Chapter 7 > Agriculture > Marketing, Trade, and Aid > External Aid


Foreign aid -- financial and technical -- since the 1950s has made a significant contribution to the agricultural progress in rural India. Aid has come from many sources: the United States government, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO -- see Glossary) of the United Nations (UN), the European Economic Community, the former Soviet Union, Britain, and Japan, among others.

Agricultural aid also has come in many forms. Between 1963 and 1972, for example, under a program of the United States Agency for International Development, some 400 American scientists and scholars served on the faculties of India's agricultural universities, while more than 500 faculty members from Indian institutions received advanced training in the United States and other countries. Several hundred agricultural research projects, financed with funds generated from sales of American farm commodities under the United States Public Law 480 program, fueled technological breakthroughs in Indian agriculture.

Aid to the agricultural sector continued in the late 1980s and the early 1990s; the FAO, the European Union, the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided the bulk of the assistance. The FAO provided technical assistance in a number of emerging areas; it provided quality control for exports; videos for rural communication and training; and market studies for wool processing, mushroom production, and egg and poultry marketing. Operation Flood -- a dairy development program -- was jointly sponsored by the European Economic Community, the World Bank, and India's National Dairy Development Board forestry, agricultural credit, dairy development, horticulture, seed development, rain-fed fish farms, storage, marketing, and irrigation.

India has not only been a receiver of aid. Increasingly since independence, India has been sharing its agricultural technology with other developing countries. Numerous foreign scientists have received special and advanced training in India; hundreds of foreign students have attended Indian state agricultural universities. Among other international agricultural endeavors, India has contributed scientists, services, and funds to the work of the International Rice Research Institute, headquartered in the Philippines. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, India provided short- and long-term training courses to hundreds of foreign specialists each year under a variety of programs, including the Technical Cooperation Scheme of the Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific (Colombo Plan -- see Glossary) and the Technical Cooperation Scheme of the Commonwealth of Nations Assistance Program.

Data as of September 1995

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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