MITRA focuses on empowering small and marginal farmers by nudging them to adopt latest technologies and best farming practices. The program bridges the lack of last-mile delivery of agriculture extension services at the grass roots by helping marginal farmers to access existing public extension facilities, engage with agri-scientists and embrace best farming practices, and more importantly, to impart this to other farmers through peer learning and sharing.
We envision a sustainable and scalable community platform to address the last-mile delivery challenges, which can be replicated across the country to benefit 100 million small and marginal farmers.
While the net income increase is just 0.44%, the cost of cultivation has increased.
of small and marginal farmers do not have access to agri-extension services.
Develop a community-owned platform at every village level and help farmers to use last mile connectivity efficiently with the help of “lead farmers”. The focus is also on improving irrigation and water management, as well as, digital & financial literacy.
Kanhaiya Yadav was nominated by his fellow farmers to become the “Lead Farmer” from Chandauli, a small indistinct village in UP. Other farmers respected Yadav because he was eager to learn about new techniques but more importantly, he was willing to share his knowledge with others.
He was indeed the kind of person MITRA wanted as a lead farmer and so without much ado, he was sent along with other lead farmers for the capsule trainings to different KVKs in Chandauli, to learn about different crops and farming practices.
In twelve months, Kanhaiya Yadav along with the other lead farmers attended several trainings. And on his return he applied the techniques and encouraged others to do the same. Their profits, was there for others to see. According to Yadav, “the trainings equipped me with practical information about each crop. I also learnt to use new farming techniques and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and this helped me to reduce my input costs.”
In his village, banners with his name and photograph along with the title “Lead Farmer” compete for space with the banners of other local politicians – a mute testimony of how a MITRA farmer is respected.