Overview

Agriculture has been the backbone of Indian economy with about 65% of the population involved in agriculture either directly or indirectly for their livelihood. It also feeds raw materials for various industries like textiles, sugar, edible oils etc. contributing to industrial growth. Though this is attributed to the astounding success of Green Revolution ushered in by Late Shri C Subramaniam in the late 60’s, agriculture sector has since then undergone paradigm shift in its approach from mere livelihood promotion to market oriented agriculture over years post liberalization. Of late, agriculture sector faces various complex problems in the form of non availability of labour, escalating cost of inputs without commensurate returns, exploitation by middlemen, vagaries of weather etc. resulting in farmers abandoning agriculture because of its non profitability. Unless and until farming is made profitable, this situation is likely to continue and a Country like India can ill afford to as it is likely to impact the livelihood of about 55 – 60% of the population. Climate change issues also play a detrimental role in making agriculture prone to risks and uncertainties. On the other hand, the growing needs of the ever increasing population, change in food habits of the consumers and increase in demand for quality and safe products have opened up the avenue for development of agriculture sector if these issues are addressed smartly. The shift in approach from “Agri – Culture” to “Agri – Business” also augers well with the economic performance of agriculture sector in India.

NAF is fully aware of the multi dimensional challenges faced by Indian agriculture and has played a key role in addressing these issues. One of the important initiatives is the demonstration on improvement in economic performance of agriculture through productivity improvement and reducing the cost of production without compromising on the per unit area production and quality of produce. NAF is also aware of the fact that large scale adoption of modern farming technologies and an entrepreneurial approach will help local economic development creating lot of employment opportunities. Addressing the entire value chain of agriculture and allied sector activities has been the focus of NAF for improving the economic performance of farming in its project area.

Apart from the above, NAF is also promoting several non-farm initiatives which are targeted at landless community for their economic upliftment. It also promotes several support services which can also contribute to economic development of the community. Credit facilitation, promotion of micro lending at reasonable interest have also been some of the key areas through which economic empowerment initiatives are addressed.

Focus areas:
  • Farm productivity improvement
  • Rural Enterprises

Farm Productivity Improvement

NABARD–NAF Pilot Initiative on “Farm Productivity Improvement through Comprehensive Technology Transfer, Training and Capacity Building Initiatives” in Tamilnadu

This project, sanctioned under NABARD’s Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF), was implemented by NAF during 2010- 2013. The project activities were implemented in six blocks of Kancheepuram District which have agriculture potential. Project activities included Comprehensive soil analysis for integrated nutrient management and setting up and handholding of frontline demonstration farms covering elements of lean farming; formation and nurturing of Farmers Clubs/ Joint Liability Groups; establishing model seed villages / model nursery units/ model vermi-composting units; Training and Capacity building; and formation of a Producer Group Company as a culmination of our efforts for empowering the farmers and institution building for their prosperity. More than 6000 farmers benefited from this project.

Pilot Project on “Lean Farming for Crop Productivity Improvement” In Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu

TN State Planning Commission supported project was implemented by NAF in partnership with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University during 2014- 2016. The project aimed at improving the yields of various crops using “Lean Farming” methods implemented in Villupuram District covering 30 villages. Scientific and technological interventions included establishment of frontline demonstration farmers in the smallholder farms.

Pilot project on “Transfer of Lean Farming Technologies for Sustainable Farm Productivity Improvement in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu”

NAF implemented a pilot project during 2014-15 under support from Council For Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India to impact the livelihood of people below the poverty line by augmenting income and quality of lives in five villages. Project activities included capacity building, technology transfer and extension services on Lean Farming practices.

DST supported “Popularization of integrated pest management and soil health management technologies for sustainable crop productivity improvement among small and medium farmers in Tamil Nadu”

Department of Science and Technology, GoI supported project was implemented by NAF in three blocks of Kancheepuram District, TN during 2013-2015. Project activities included establishment of frontline demonstration farms (FLD) and training the farming community on “Integrated crop management technologies”. Crop nutrient management advisory based on Comprehensive soil analysis were provided. Critical inputs like micro nutrients and pest control materials were also facilitated. There was substantial increase in crop yields due to adoption of these integrated soil and pest management strategies.

Mahila Kisan Shashakthikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

Tamilnadu Corporation for Development of Women Limited, an organization of Ministry of Rural Development has sanctioned MKSP project to NAF for three years i.e 2015 – 16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. NAF is a technical partner and will impart training to Mahila Kisans (women farmers) in Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts. The training would be imparted to them on low cost technologies, NPM, drudgery reduction, soil health management in crops like paddy and flowers and promotion of SRI etc. NAF also supports the Community Resource Person (CRPs) of the project in profiling the Mahila Kisans through survey and the same is uploaded into the website of TNCDW. Under the project 6000 mahila kisans will be trained (4000 in Kancheepuram and 2000 in Thiruvallur district)

Project on Development of Digital Platform for Financial Inclusion and cashless transactions for FPOs

The project has been sanctioned by Center for Digital Financial Inclusion (CDFI), New Delhi for development of ICT based Digital Platform for Financial Inclusion of farmers as well as promoting cashless transactions for the members of Farmers Federations and Farmers Producer Organizations. A MoU has been signed with CDFI. NAF is the project lead and M/ Flexicode Technologies Limited, a software company would develop the software platform. This two year project commenced from 18th July. The functional requirements have been gathered and User Acceptance Stories are being developed and validated.

IFMR- LANSA Project

NAF is a field partner with IFMR LEAD for implementing a research study on “Female agricultural labour and nutrition: Resolving conflicting time demands” in Kancheepuram District. The project aims at reducing the drudgery of women farmers through introduction of farm machinery thereby improving the nutritional status of women under “Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia - LANSA” a multi-agency project coordinated by MSSRF in India. IFMR LEAD has been sanctioned with the above project. The project period is for one year commencing from May 2016. NAF’s role would include helping IFMR LEAD to identify the potential villages (control groups as well as treatment group villages), facilitating survey, facilitating village awareness meetings, facilitating paddy transplanters to farmers, training the service providers and facilitating the project study as a whole for IFMR. This project is expected to generate empirical evidences to justify promotion of farm machinery for improving the nutritional status of the rural women.

Under Construction

Rural Enterprise : Agri-Business

To revitalise the Rural Economy and make it an engine for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development, it is crucial to bring about transformational change in the agribusiness sector with prime focus on:

  • Improving the economic efficiency of farming community.
  • Creating more sub-industries within the agricultural sector.
  • Bringing in more innovative mechanisms to boost employment opportunities in the agri-sector.
  • Promoting agripreneurs.
  • Enabling the rural community add to their agricultural resources.
Farmers’ Institutionalisation

With a long-term objective to improve the production, productivity and profitability of the farmers, NAF is working in collaboration with NABARD and TNSFAC for promoting and nurturing 14 Farmer Producer Organisations.

Through this initiative NAF aims at facilitating efficient forward & backward linkages for sourcing of inputs, credit, value addition and sale of output. This enables FPOs to handle provision of a variety of services and also to tap growth-oriented opportunities for attaining commercial viability and organisational sustainability. This further encourages rural entrepreneurship for offering service linkages with medium and larger commodity buyers and input sellers, thereby eventually creating a more integrated value chain

Key business
Details of TNSFAC Allotted Four FPOs to NAF
Name of the FPO’s No. of Member Farmers Commodities Block District No. of Villages Major Business Activities
THANGA THAMARAI PRODUCER
COMPANY LTD. (TTPCL)
1000 Pulses Mecheri Salem 38
  • Input shop
  • Agri produce marketing
  • Custom hiring center
RAJA DESINGH FARMER PRODUCER
COMPANY LTD., (RDFPCL)
1000 Pulses and Millets Gingee Villupuram 18
  • Input shop
  • Crop loan
  • Market Linkage for pulses
  • Grocery shop
ERIYUR MANIMUTHA FARMER PRODUCER
COMPANY LTD.,(EMFPCL)
1000 Pulses Kallak-Urichi Villupuram 25
  • Input shop
  • Crop loan
  • Pulses Procurement
VALWILL SUDHESI FARMER PRODUCER
COMPANY LTD.,(VSFPCL)
950 Pulses and Millets Rasipur-Am Namakkal 37
  • Input shop
  • Millets value addition products
  • Millets procurement
Details of NABARD Allotted Ten FPOs to NAF
Name of the FPO’s Commodities Block District No. of Villages Current Business Activities
Madurantakam & Acharapakkam Vegetables Madurantakam Kanchipuram 30
  • Input shop
  • Grocery shop
Lathur & Chithamur Watermelon Chithamur Kanchipuram 38
  • Input shop
Marakkanam watermelom Watermelon Marakkanam Villupuram 22
  • Input shop
Olakkur Vegetables Olakkur Villupuram 6
  • Vegetable Collection Centre
Thellaru Groundnut Thellaru Thiruvannamalai 13
  • Input shop
Gummidipoondi goodluck Jasmine Gummidipoondi Thiruvallur 25
  • Input shop
Puratchideepam Jasmine Gummidipoondi Thiruvallur 38
  • Input shop
Sholavaram Vegetables Sholavaram Thiruvallur 24
  • Vegetables collection marketing to sunnybee compa
Veerarajendra chozhanar Pulses Kattumannarkoil Cuddalore 33
  • Vermicompost Unit
Selvavinayagar fruits Fruits Panruti Cuddalore 9 Yet to be decide
Agri-clinic and Agri-Business Centre

Mrs.Sivasakthi –Nursery

Mrs.Vanitha –Agri Clinic & Consultancy Centre

Mr.Maniyarasu –Dairy Farm

Mr.E.Raman – Farm Machinery

To motivate and develop unemployed professionally qualified agriculture, veterinary and animal science graduates / diploma holders to set up agro – based self employment ventures and to offer quality agricultural extension services for the farming community , NAF, as a recognized resource centre by MANAGE (National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management, Hyderabad), is promoting agripreneurs by facilitating institutional credit linkage and supporting them in setting up their Agri-clinic and Agri-business centres.

So far NAF has enabled 198 agripreneurs mainly in the areas of Dairy, Goat farming, Broiler Production, Input Service Centre, Nursery Production, Mushroom Production and Farming Machinery Service Centre among others.

AGRIPRENEURS: success stories

Mr. K.Vinoth: Mushrrom Production Unit
Success Stories

To ensure holistic growth and development of the rural economy, NAF is also promoting several non-farm enterprises which are mainly targeted at landless community. Various income generating non-farm activities undertaken by the beneficiaries with the support of NAF includes: Weaving (Power Loom and Hand Loom), Tailoring, Embroidering, Garment sales, Petty Trades including small hotels, Provision stores etc.

Mr. N. Balaji: Agri-Clinic & Agri-Business Centre
Success Stories

Mr. Balaji coming from nonagricultural family is among one of successful first generation agripreneurs, hailing from Chennai metropolitan city, Tamil Nadu. He completed his B.ScAgricultural degree in the year 1994 and worked in a reputed private fertilizer company. He has joined the ACABC program at National Agro Foundation Chennai, as a sixth batch trainee and completed during 20.12.12 – 19.02.13 (ID No. TN 3382).

The training motivated him to a large extent and encouraged to go forward with his think towards “moving and living with farmers”. Upon completion of the training, he decided to start his own agri venture, at the time when ACABC scheme was just shaping up. So, it was difficult for the then trainees to avail bank loan. So he investing his own capital of Rs. 2,50,000/- and based on this experience he started Sri Ram Agri clinic and Agri Business center at Tambaram in the year 2012. Within a year his company made its place among the top 5 companies in input supply business.

Later he expanded his business to others district like VillupuramThiruvallur and Thiruvannamalai district. Now he is having a team of 13 employees for the shop as well as for field’s visits and customer relationship management. The Tambaram branch of KarurVysyaBank helped him a lot with required financial assistance of Rs 7,50,000/- after seeking his actual field extension services, self confidence and technical knowledge.

Coverage and impacts:

The input supply covers about 1500 farmers of 20 villages in three districts and earning is on an average of Rs. 25,000 per month, and from the sub dealer of input supply about 10 input shops in different district were also benefited, each earning on an average of Rs. 50,000 per month.

The Agriclinic play a vital role as a source of inputs (mainly seeds, pesticides and fertilizer) to farmers. However, the roles of agriclinic is not purely as that of an agribusiness for the sale of inputs. The added values that agriclinic brings is that the trained operators also provides advisory services. This agriclinic is also linked with soil testing laboratories and consequently facilitates recommendation for soil nutrient management. Free advice on pest & disease management and on crop production & diversification is also provided.

He also conducts village meetings during the preseason periods and create awareness among the farmers about the use of suitable varieties with quantity seeds, cultivation methods with low cost, labour saving techniques and farm machineries, plant protection with both organic and inorganic products, timely nutrient and micro nutrients supply based on soil test report, harvesting with machineries and above all the marketing techniques.His continuous extension work and good rapport with the government and non government agencies is making agripreneurship a progressive career with high remuneration.

Mr. N. Balaji: Agri-Clinic & Agri-Business Centre
Success Stories

Mr. Vedakiri coming from agricultural family background aspired to start an Agri Clinic through which he aimed to provide quality consultative service to the farming community.Mr. Vedakiri has completed Diploma in Agriculture and B.Sc. (Chemistry) and he is hailing from Chengatture village, Cheyyur Taluk of Kancheepuram District. He has joined training program at National Agro Foundation, in Batch No 1429 conducted during 24.04.15 to 23.06.15 (ID No. TN 5505).

After completing the training program, he started Yuva Agri Clinic & consultancy Centre at Nelvaipalayam in Pavunjur block with his own investment of Rs. Three Lakhs. Later he approached Karur Vysya Bank; Madhurantagam Branch got a loan of Rs. 20 Lakhs for his Input supply and consultancy centre.

Coverage and impacts:

Through input supply he covers about 1000 farmers from 30 villages and earning on an average of Rs. 10,000 per month. Through the Agri Clinic, Mr.Vedakiri supplies quality seeds, bio pesticides, bio fertilizers and pesticides. He has planned to supply vermicompost and panchakavyam to the farmers through his clinic for the forthcoming season. In addition to input supply, he regularly goes to field visits to provide a field advisory service which is lacking in his area. As value addition he has planned to link the farmers with soil testing services provided by National Agro Foundation, the Nodal Training Institute.

He also conducts regular village meetings to aware the farmers about use of suitable varieties with quality seeds, improved cultivation methods with low cost and labour saving implements, plant protection with both organic and inorganic formulations, soil test based nutrient management, post harvest technologies and value addition of their produces.

Appreciating his services, the Assistant Director of Agriculture Mr.Elumalai, Pavunjur block, advised Mr. Vedakiri to facilitate convergence of Agriculture Department Schemes to the farmers.His continuous extension work and good rapport with government and non government agencies is making him a successful agripreneur with high remuneration and an enriching career serving the Farming community at large scale.

Rural Enterprise: Non-farm sector

To ensure holistic growth and development of the rural economy, NAF is also promoting several non-farm enterprises which are mainly targeted at landless community. Various income generating non-farm activities undertaken by the beneficiaries with the support of NAF includes: Weaving (Power Loom and Hand Loom), Tailoring, Embroidering, Garment sales, Petty Trades including small hotels, Provision stores etc.

Thematic

Thervoy and Amarampedu SHG
Idly shop

Thematic

Boodhur Village
Embroidery

Thematic

Madharpakkam SHG
Garment unit

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