Parbhani is primarily an agrarian district where agriculture provides means of livelihood to 76 per cent of the district population. And the annual agricultural productivity is very low, at just Rs 20,000/- per hectare, and the household income is rs.45,300/. This is besides the fact that the area falls under Godavari river basin with quality soil, and the district remains one of the poorest districts, both in State and in the Country.
We decided to change this situation and work with farmers to improve their farming system.
In the last three years, with support from IEEE Pune Section, we have partnered with around 1000 farmers from 6 villages to implement the concept of “Affordable farming” by motivating farmers to adopt better farming practices with a view to enhance their income levels. We have successfully worked together for capacity building, adopting best practices, setting up demo farms, establishing supply chains, organizing exhibitions and workshops. All this has been accomplished with a limited budget and committed efforts of different stakeholders. We feel that there is huge potential to transform the lives of the people in our region. We can make a big difference through training, collective farming, water harvesting, diversification, marketing, and technology leverage. We have already evolved a scalable, inclusive, and sustainable model to drive these changes to enable an integrated farming approach.