• ITC's Sustainable Agriculture Programme - Increasing Farm Productivity and Farmer Incomes across 4,15,000 acres

The Indian Context

The majority of Indian farmers own very small plots and practice rain-fed agriculture, depending almost entirely on the yearly monsoon for irrigation. A bad monsoon - too little, too much or untimely rain - means that they are unable to sow or harvest successfully. Poor soils, high cultivation costs and inefficient farming methods worsen the situation, leading to low productivity and uncertain incomes. Erratic weather patterns caused by climate change are making their risky livelihoods even more precarious.

ITC's Contribution

ITC's Sustainable Agriculture Practices Programme is designed to assist such small farmers to cope with these challenges. Demonstration plots and farmer field schools in villages give them information and practical training on climate smart farming practices and technologies, e.g. water saving irrigation devices, organic pesticides and fertilisers, mechanisation appropriate for small plots, etc.

The interventions help farmers to conserve and manage soil and water resources, improve crop yields and reduce cultivation costs - leading to higher incomes and fewer incidences of crop failure, making farming less risky and a more sustainable livelihood now and in the future.

ITC's Sustainable Agriculture Programme

Strengthening Farmer Resilience to Climate Change through collaboration

Small &
Marginal
Farmers

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Primary Beneficiaries, Key Decision-makers, Financial Contributors

NGOs

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Project Implementation, Domain Expertise, Local Experience

Academic /
Technical
Institutes

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Research & Best Practices, Appropriate Technology

ITC

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Facilitator, Programme Design, Funding, Monitoring & Evaluation

Strategies and Key Interventions
  • Transferring knowledge & technology to farmers Special Focus: Women Agriculturalists
  • Demonstration Plots
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    Demonstration Plots

    Target group - small/marginal farmers

    Farmer Field Schools
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    Farmer Field Schools

    Practical and classroom training in modern and traditional best practices

    Platform for interacting with experts and experience-sharing with peers

    Exclusive schools for women farmers work towards transforming their role from labourers to decision-makers

  • Promoting climate-smart agricultural practices
  • Micro-irrigation
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    Micro-irrigation

    Promoting water-saving technologies:

    Drip and sprinkler systems

    Construction of group irrigation wells

    Organic Inputs
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    Organic Inputs

    Making and using fertilisers and pesticides from farmyard waste and cattle manure to protect and enrich soil nutrients naturally

    Farm Mechanisation
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    Farm Mechanisation

    Equipment that enables farmers to adopt time, labour and cost saving practices like zero tillage and broad bed furrow

    Mulching
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    Mulching

    By not ploughing after harvest and leaving crop residue as mulch cover :

    increases soil carbon content

    reduces greenhouse gas emission as crop residue is not burnt

    makes soil less vulnerable to water and wind erosion

    enables sowing of another crop straight after harvest with the use of appropriate machinery

    Agro-forestry
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    Agro-forestry

    Combining tree plantation with seasonal cash and food crops:

    Crop diversification helps to reduce risk

    Trees prevent erosion, enrich soils, retain water, absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, improve biodiversity

    Select tree species to increase incomes e.g. fruit trees = higher annual incomes, pulpwood species or mahogany/teak, etc = lump-sum incomes at periodic intervals

  • Building robust community institutions
  • Agri-business
    Centres
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    Agri-business Centres

    Assisting small farmers to act collectively and take advantage of economies of scale e.g. purchase of quality agri-inputs at bulk rates, transportation savings, purchase/hire farm mechanisation equipment, seed banks, seedling nurseries, etc.

    Custom Hire Centres
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    Custom Hire Centres

    Farmer-run custom-hiring centres offer farm equipment to the small farmers.

    Women-managed
    Agri-enterprises
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    Women-managed Agri-enterprises

    Women-run Agri Business Centres (ABCs) hire out agri equipment, undertake seed production and establish nurseries.

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