Buchkewadi - Model of Community Led Village Development
  • Amazing Journey from Deprivation to Abundance - Agricultural Development In India

    Amazing Journey from Deprivation to Abundance

Agriculture

A perfect example of radical change through awareness, unity and profitable agricultural practices

Agricultural development in India has seen different innovative interventions. Agriculture in the country was dependent on monsoon to a large extent. Through the years, monsoon has differed in its pattern and has adversely affected the crops in various regions of India. Farmers have been turning to alternate occupations for livelihood.

Observing the dim scenario of the village, various awareness programs were planned and successfully implemented.

Study and Awareness

Study tours to PunjabraoDeshmukhKrishiVidyapeeth, Dapoli were arranged to learn about the latest techniques and practices in agriculture. Model villages like Ralegan Siddhi, Hiware Bazar, Hivare-Korada were visited, which provided the required insight towards improvement. Field Area of YuvaMitraSanstha at Sinnar and model projects implemented in villages of Vai block of Satara district were studied. Several training programs were arranged with the help of KrishiVigyan Kendra Narayangaon to guide the farmers about newer ways of utilizing their lands. These programs educated the farmers in the methods of floriculture and vegetable cultivation and made them up-to-date regarding the state of Agricultural Development in India. Farmers also learned about the use of organic manure and improved agricultural practices through this program. Other processes like proper tillage, use of better quality seeds & fertilizers and, micro irrigation were also introduced to the farmers in the course of action.

They were also sensitized to the use organic manure through construction of vermicompost units. Drip irrigation facilities were installed in the farms and it certainly was a turning point in this journey, for the farmers of Buchkewadi. It proved to be an important and useful investment.

Working together for Cost Saving

Group farming was encouraged through Joint Liability Groups. Two groups comprising of 20 farmers each, grew potatoes in their fields and supplied them to Pepsi Company for wafer production. These groups received micro finance through NABARD supported UPNRM program. Collective and bulk purchase of the raw material helped in keeping the costs down. Thus, farmers achieved financial benefit leading to fair profits.Entire loan amount was repaid by the group in a short period. Thus, the new model proved successful, as farmers not only earned profits but also gained credibility in the eyes of the financial institutions. After the success of this experiment, State Bank of India, Narayangaon offered to help the further ventures by approving loans to the farmers. An environment conducive to efficient agricultural practices was thus created in Buchkewadi, through different strategies.

Implementation of New Concepts

The agricultural development in India mainly focuses on the alternate farming practices through useful innovations. In Buchkewadi, a new concept of farm equipment bank was introduced in order to improve the finances from agriculture. Expensive equipment essential for speeding up certain processes in farming, could be made available for use, through this scheme. Some of the equipment were manufactured locally and utilized to save the costs while, others were purchased from the market and shared by the farmers. Sharing was accomplished by renting out the equipment to the farmer. The amount generated through the rents was deposited in a bank account to use as maintenance costs and also to purchase more equipment in future. This exercise has helped in fulfilling the farmers’ needs to employ latest techniques for economical farming.

New storage facilities were erected for the onion-potato produce in the form of storage sheds or ‘Kanda-batatachawls’.Storage sheds of 25-50 tons capacity were constructed with the help of NABARD supported UPNRM programs and other ongoing government schemes. Earlier, due to the lack of proper storage facilities, the farmers were compelled to sell their onion and potato produce at prevailing prices and compromise on the profits but storage sheds changed this picture. This activity helped immensely in obtaining good profit margins, thereby increasing the income from agriculture.

The practices were new and targeted at improving the finances from the agricultural produce in the area. The agricultural development in a few villages of India has been helped through similar water and crop conservation and innovative storage practices.

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