Despite rapid strides in development, India continues to face the challenge of achieving inclusive growth especially when it comes to small and marginal farmers. Over 80% of Indians farmers are classified as small or marginal with landholdings less than 2 acres. These farmers who are vital for nation’s food security face numerous challenges because of small landholdings, lack of access to extension service, low farm mechanization, lack of access to finance & inputs, and fragmented markets.
In 2013, Dr. Reddy’s Foundation started a rural livelihoods program to support small and marginal farmers with knowledge on advanced farming practices and use of technology in addition to guidance on generating alternate income through livestock management.
Today, our rural livelihood interventions focus more on scale and sustainability. The programs leverage community based farmer-to-framer extension model to help improve access to quality extension services and the markets.
While the net income increase is just 0.44%, the cost of cultivation has increased
more than 20%.
of small and marginal farmers do not have access to agri-extension services.
Alignment with UN SDGs
All our work in the area of rural livelihoods aligns with the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
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. The focus is also on improving market linkages, and digital and financial literacy.