Agriculture in Gujarat forms a vital sector of the state’s economy. The state’s agricultural productivity is low. The yields are poor and in most cases do not even approaches the low level of average yield for the country. Low yields result from poor soils, inadequate rainfall, frequent droughts and floods, bad drainage, and undeveloped irrigation facilities.
The success story describes the journey of Farm Fresh Banana, a private company based in Tamil Nadu, India, in promoting precision farming technology in banana cultivation which evoked a good response. The effort has been successful in increasing the bunch weight, area and production of banana as well as the income of banana farmers in Theni district.
Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) need new capacities at different levels to effectively deal with the new and evolving challenges faced by rural communities.
The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a trade union in India with 1.9 million women members who work in the informal economy. Two thirds of SEWA members are from rural areas and their primary occupation is agriculture and animal husbandry. Many of them are from small and marginal farmer households who face many problems including low productivity, high input costs and crop pests and disease.
The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is working with small and marginal farmers who have very little land and income, lack access to quality seeds, fertilizer, and are poorly linked to markets. Such farmers cannot afford agriculture tools such as tractors or threshers and have to rent these from richer farmers. Sometimes, the equipment is not available, even when they are willing to pay a high sum to rent it, resulting in low yields on their farms.
To address this issue, the SEWA Agriculture Campaign initiated Krishi Sadhanalay – Agriculture Tools and Equipment Library, run by village farmer development groups. Nine Krishi Sadhanalayas promoted by SEWA are working successfully in India’s Gujarat State.
On 26 November 2014, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, hosted the training ‘Post-harvest Management and Market Linking for Vegetables and Fruits in South Asia’. The three-day programme was the final sub-regional SATNET training session in South Asia and was organized by the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT), in partnership with the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC) - South Asia.