A group of professionals from elite institutions, including the IITs, has stepped into improving crop yields and ensuring sustainable returns for farmers through better marketing in select districts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
The Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP), through a ‘tech-knowledge’ drive, focussed on raising yield using quality seeds with appropriate spacing and plant population while reducing the use of fertiliser as well as cost of production.
Through the project called SHARE, it has also sought to establish better supply and marketing chains to directly source produce from farmers and sell the items to maximise realisations for them.
The new initiative focussed on raising yield using quality seeds with appropriate spacing and plant population while reducing the use of fertiliser as well as cost of production. According to a study by Sambodhi, a Delhi-based research organisation, the farmers who adopted the strategy witnessed an increase of 20-30% in their incomes due to better productivity, compared with that of 0-10% for those in the same areas adopting traditional practices.
In the irrigated land in Adilabad district, by adopting the strategy, farmers witnessed Bt cotton yield rising up to 5.7 quintals per acre, compared with 4.9 quintal for others. In Rajasthan, for irrigated land, the yield for desi and hybrid corn rose to 9.7 quintals and 18.9 quintals per acre, respectively, as against 7.8 quintals and 14.5 quintals per acre, respectively, for others.
Besides the cotton farmers in the select districts of AP and Maharashtra, the project also covers corn farmers of Bundi and Bilwara districts of Rajasthan. As many as 10,000 farmers are covered in these four districts for the project.