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... Self Developement Through Rural Developement ...
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T he phrase "India lives in its villages" is as true today as it was 50 years ago at India's independence. If we are to make any impact upon the lives of rural families we must impact upon their source of livelihood - Agriculture.

T here is no getting past the fact that rural India's economy is still entirely an agrarian subsistence economy. Is also the case that the large majority of farmers (at least in our areas of activity) are dependent upon seasonal rainfall to water their main annual crop and grow drought crops such as pulses in the dry months. The kind of agriculture practiced is so traditional and nonscientific that any intervention on our part has resulted in improvement.

Sowing of subsidised seeds Healthy crops

O ur approach to Agricultural reforms has been multifold:

  • Optimize the use of natural resources so that appropriate rather than traditional crops are being grown.
  • Increase yields per acre by providing better seeds, crop protection and fertilizers.
  • Provide access to information and training regards improvements in the agricultural arena.
  • Provide ecological and environmental education about crop rotation and land use.

I n the past three years we can claim to have had some success in this area. With the help of agricultural university faculty as well as consultants, a number of farmer training camps as well as exposure visits to agricultural centers have been held. For the first time farmers have someone who is qualified to advise them and help provide immediate solutions to their problems. Some demonstration plots have been cultivated to introduce alternative crops and demonstrate hands on modern techniques and thus overcome the farmer's natural resistance to change.

Agricultural visits Healthy soyabean crops

Some Milestones..........

I n the village of Bharan, Gujarat, in 1998 approximately 90 acres were cultivated with a new crop- Soybean. This not only provided viable alternative to the water intensive traditional sugarcane, but also helped to improve soil quality by fixing nitrogen.

Tree Plantation Healthy field

T o demonstrate the viability of drip irrigation, villagers in 3 locations have volunteered their land for an ongoing demonstration.

T o encourage the planting of trees and to demonstrate the importance of orchard crops, 80 farmers were provided with highly subsidized varieties of mango, coconut and cashew trees along with expert advice of their cultivation.

 
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