Contract Farming – Himalaya Drug Company
Naam foundation collaborated with Himalaya Drug Company for empowering farmers in Maharashtra through contract farming. The main objective is to promote alternative livelihood through the sustainable cultivation of medicinal and herbal plants. 13 farmers from Aurangabad district cultivated Tulsi in their farms as a pilot project. Before planting Tulsi, soil and water testing was done by Himalaya Drug Company to assess the possibilities of suitability of the crop growth. The farmers were also provided appropriate training on land preparation, cultivation, harvesting and packaging. They are also provided seeds, packing material and vehicles to transport the material.
The collaboration also provided market linkages ensuring a buyback the produce once it was ready by the company. The farmers understand the concept and came forward to try this in half of their land for the purpose and the rest of the land they used for growing cereals. A total of 10 acres land was brought under Tulsi cultivation during the pilot.
The significant impact was witnessed in improving the rural economy with the increase in farmers income level. The first yield provided and income in range of Rs. 15440/- to Rs. 31960/- within a span of 3 months. Many other farmers who witnessed the pilot are now interested and looking forward to take this forward in the next year in their farms.
The alternative : We suggested an alternative to the compensation protocol, that of rewarding the farmers in the affected areas for agricultural productivity in spite of the threat of damage. The reward or support is calculated as percentage based on the average deficit in the final yield in an agricultural belt of comparable risk. It is given to individual farmers as percentage of their own produce. All data in a given belt is based on self reporting by farmers which is verified by neighboring farmers.
This system is self operated by the farmer community and no external verification is needed since only honest reporting gives maximum payoff to farmers. For implementing the system the farmers need cooperation and organised behaviour.
The expected end result is that a model of cooperative self-organised system is established and demonstrated and the state government would be pursued to adopt the system for state-wide implementation.
The Support Cum Reward Scheme (शेतकरी आधार ईनाम योजना) is under trial implementation in two villages near Tadoba Sanctuary. The scheme is being carried out by senior scientist Dr. Milind Watve and Mrs. Poorva Joshi (Bioconcepts,Pune). Naam Foundation has supported this scheme by providing compensation to a group of 71 farmers.
Soil Testing Machines
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