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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies (TIGR2ESS) was a Global Challenges Research Fund award to support cutting-edge research and innovation addressing the global issues faced by developing countries.

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The record grain outputs of India’s Green Revolution in the 1960s established the country as one of the world’s largest agricultural producers, sustaining its booming population and boosting its economy. Yet the level of success varied across different regions of India, and the continued overuse of water, fertilisers and pesticides is putting increasing pressure on natural resources.

India is developing fast. Agriculture needs to take account of urbanisation, for example, which has drawn so many – particularly men - away from farming. Combined with challenges associated with climate change, a new approach is urgently needed to ensure a more resilient outcome for the future of India’s food production.


TIGR2ESS will define the requirements for a second Green Revolution in India, set the necessary policy agenda, and engage an extensive network of academic stakeholders, NGOs and industrial partnerships to deliver the requirements for it to become a reality.

At its core is a research programme focused on how to attain sustainable crop production and resource use in different regions of India, with a particular emphasis on water use. The challenge will be contextualised within the widespread changes taking place in Indian society today, aiming towards a realistic outcome that is both technically and socially acceptable.


“The TIGR2ESS programme will help to deliver our vision, in partnership with institutions in India, to improve Indian crop science and food security.”

Professor Howard Griffiths, Co-Chair of the University of Cambridge Global Food Security initiative and Principal Investigator of the programme.


TIGR2ESS involves three key components:

  • Themed, interlinked research projects to address fundamental questions relating to crop productivity and water use in India, and identify appropriate crops and farming practices for different climatic regions. Research will also define the policy requirements for a second Green Revolution;
  • Capacity-building exchanges, enabling leading researchers from India and the UK to work together in framing collaborative research, and junior researchers to access training and skills development opportunities in areas across the research programme;
  • Training workshops, on-farm demonstrations, and education programmes for communities in rural India, to promote engagement and stimulate entrepreneurship, and empower the next generation of female farmers.



TIGR2ESS is a collaboration between the UK and India

UK Partners: University of Cambridge (lead), National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, Centre for Global Equality, The British Dietetic Association.

Indian Partners: 19 higher education and research institutes, 7 NGOs

“An increasing number of India’s smallholder farmers are women. We need to ensure that state resources and services, and knowledge, are equally accessible to women farmers.”

Dr V Selvam, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, India.



On 21 July 2017, funding for this major Cambridge-led collaborative project was announced by Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. The project one of the first to receive funding from the new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which forms part of the UK Government's Official Development Assistance commitment. The fund supports cutting-edge research and innovation to address the issues faced by developing countries, harnessing the expertise of the UK's world-leading researchers.




Banner image credit: Dr Bhaskar Vira