Reported By: Arpita Macwan, Officer Programmes, Ahmedabad
Edited By: Communications Team
Rajasthan: Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood in the Badisadhari villages of Rajasthan. However, one of the key issues faced by the farmers is the lack of market linkages. This invariably increases their dependence on middle men and they end up getting less share of profit from the actual selling price. IGSSS organized a one day training programme, through its partner organization, Shrushti Seva Samiti, in Laksmipura village in Badisadhari block, to share key strategies with the farmers towards enhancing market linkages.
In the initial phase of the livelihood project implemented by IGSSS, ten farmer groups were formed in each village. They shared that they adopted the SHG model for savings and initiated bank accounts to avoid theft and third party involvement. Each of the ten groups saves around Rs. 50 to 200, as per the group capacity. The resource person shared that the concept of regular savings should be continued by the farmers so that they do not have to borrow the money at the higher rates of interest. Market linkages need to be developed for the common benefits of the farmers in the group, so that farmers can avail the fair market price for their products.
The concept of seed banking was discussed and the farmers were urged to save traditional seeds. Rather than buying new seeds at higher price, within the groups, they can take seeds as loan. Each group would save different kinds of seeds. This will also provide them with more opportunity to have quality seeds within the villages.
The farmers were also encouraged to adopt traditional organic farming practices. These may initially lead to low production but will gradually help the soil regain its lost fertility, resulting from the usage of chemical fertilizers in a span of two to three years. A farmer named Devisingbhai shared his success story. He had cultivated tomatoes adopting traditional farming practices and sold his produce at Rs.40,000. As a way forward, several exposure visits will be conducted to provide better understanding of the impact of organic farming.