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- Napoleon Bonaparte

Agri Plus - Income For Farmers

Background

The Indian economy has been growing at a healthy rate of over 8% for over a decade now, resulting in growth and prosperity for the 350 million strong Indian Urban Middle Class. This rapid economic growth has created skilled jobs in urban India, but majority of the 800 million people living in Rural India have not benefitted from the resurgent Indian economy due to lack of skills needed for New Economy jobs.

Small Farmers with meagre landholdings, mostly dependent on the Monsoons, are living at the margins of the economy. One poor monsoon or a flood makes them struggle for survival. With mounting debt and unable to feed their families, they are forced to migrate to the cities, to work on construction sites, living in slums under appalling conditions. Once in cities their life changes and they live life of indignation and poverty forever.

Project Details 

The pilot project of our 'Agri PLUS' initiative is located in Village Sonari, Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh (UP). 2000 families of nine villages of local Village Panchayat are part of this pilot project.

Most of these farmers are small to marginal farmers. Agriculture for them was non-remunerative profession as last resort and many were looking for ways to leave their villages for unskilled jobs in nearby cities and towns.

As part of 'Agri PLUS' initiative, we educated and encouraged these farmers about the monetary benefits of planting Horticulture and Medicinal cash crops

Traditionally these farmers planted only wheat and paddy crops, which are not remunerative given small land holdings. As a result of this effort, many farmers are now successfully harvesting Banana, Papaya, Capsicum, Potato, Sugar Cane, Spear Mint, Seasonal Vegetables and Artemisia etc.  This has given them additional income and protection against the vagaries of nature.

Apart from promoting cash crops, a Model state-of-the-art ‘Community Dairy’ has been set-up as a Milk Cooperative to supplement farmers’ agricultural income by dairy business.

This Community Dairy farm has modern dairy equipment and provides facilities for cattle feed, medical care and artificial insemination. Members of milk cooperative also receive support in securing bank finance to purchase the cattle. Farmers can sell their milk at the dairy farm without needing to travel to nearby towns and cities. 

‘Community Dairy’ has been operational since December 2009. It has been successful in motivating small farmers and rural poor to adopt dairy business. Dairy business supplements their agriculture income and helps in improving their livelihood.

This initiative has been financed by RK Misra and his not-for-profit trust SAHYOG. This successful social entrepreneurship model is replicable and scalable across the country.