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Empowerment of Farmers

Enabling small and marginal farmers to reap larger rewards: promoting scientific agricultural practices
“Of course the farmer is the father of the world. But it is his greatness that he is not aware of the fact. Those who devote themselves to good works of any worth are not aware of their own goodness”
– Mahatma Gandhi

In India, 70 percent of the farmers are small and marginal. Small land holdings, increased input costs, vagaries of weather, low yields, poor market linkages and fluctuating rates of yield make it difficult for small and marginal farmers to sustain agriculture as a secure source of income. Access to knowledge is a key link to tackle these problems.

farmers
Bridging the knowledge deficit

The benefits of agricultural research do not reach the small and marginal farmers, as user friendly channels to transfer the information to them often do not exist. Hence, the farmers fear and resist new scientific farm practices and favorable technological interventions that can enable them to tackle the challenges of the field positively.

Aatapi focuses on generating awareness among farmers. By successful demonstrations, training with experts as well as exposures, posters and audio material in a user friendly language, they were convinced and ready to change their practices for better yields.

 
Strengthening farmers' institutions

Aatapi empowers farmers by organizing the formation of farmers' groups as a forum for accessing resources (seeds, water, fertilizer services and finances) and learning about, adopting and sustaining scientific agricultural practices. In total, there are 47 farmers groups with 750 members in 15 villages. Leadership is identified in the groups. Aatapi engages with the leaders through leadership training sessions. Moreover Aatapi helps women to redefine their identity as farmers to reckon with. In all knowledge sharing events women have been active participants.

 
Major interventions:
  • Promoting salinity resistant cropping methods
  • Increasing access to water for irrigation
  • Improving land fertility
  • Use of improved certified seeds
  • Financial linkages for farmers
Future directions

While working with farmers in the area, Aatapi as well as farmers have realized the need of building clarities, creating options and exploring opportunities for their comprehensive development and sustainable agriculture. There is the need to understand the sustainable farming practices which are climate smart, low chemical inputs, issues of impact of climate change on their agriculture, water for irrigation, value addition to farm produce, forming a sustainable Farmer Producer Organizations, taking benefit of resources allocated by Government for development of small and marginal farmers in depth. Farmers also voiced the need to understand the policies and laws formed for farmers, voice their issues at various platforms.

Aatapi’s focus is to build a cadre of farmer leaders in the area who are aware about the issues mentioned above, are able to analyze benefits and drawbacks of various options available to them for betterment of agriculture and lead the farmers for transformation of agriculture in their area with clear vision.

 

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