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Driving modern agricultural practices to benefit farmers

Dec 29, 2017

Reduced expenditure and water conservation measures have ensured that 28% of farmers in SST project areas earn over 3.5 lakes per hectare each year.

New Delhi: National Farmers’ Day celebrates the hard work put in by farmers in the country to feed the nation and their significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India. However, agriculture is becoming an increasingly challenging profession; climate change, availability of water for irrigation, inadequate usage of modern farming techniques, etc. are posing as deterrents in regular agrarian life.

Economists estimate that climate change has led to a loss of 1.5 percent of India’s overall GDP with agriculture being primarily hit. Agriculture contributes nearly 15 percent to India’s GDP and also employs 47 percent of the nation’s labour force. To address these challenges, Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company, is working on a multi-pronged approach aimed at driving modern agricultural practices.

These include integrated nutrition management, pest control, mechanization, use of technology, organic farming, etc. SST enables farmers in their project villages across 5 states to have access to agricultural credit from banks and conduct improved marketing of their produce.

SST helps farmers access information on modern agricultural practices and technology. They also organize training and visits to model farms etc. so that the farmers get a demonstration on the concepts explained to them and understand the advantages. SST also facilitates assistance from banks, financial institution, etc. for the farmers. Farmers are educated on Government schemes and subsidies which they can avail to their benefit. Long term programmes and awareness camps are organized on water conservation, dry land cultivation, etc.

Developing supplementary sources of income: SST works with the community to development alternate sources of income for the famers and their families. Rearing livestock is one of the key supplementary source of income for the farming community. Effective livestock management helps improve food security and also helps generate income and employment in case of crop failure. SST works with the community on preventive healthcare of livestock, shed management, disease control thus enhancing their productivity.

The Trust works with Government agencies to generate awareness on advance feeding practices for livestock, cattle shed management, promotes fodder cultivation and involves veterinary experts to help the villagers raise healthy livestock.

Key highlights of the SST empowered villages over last 20 years with respect to agriculture include:

About 273, 004 farmers are able to produce yield above state average (Comprising of 73% farmers in project villages)

About 245, 367 families earn an income of Rs. 3500 per month through livestock (Comprising of 69% of the total families engaged in livestock)

Better income, reduced expenditure and water conservation measures have ensured that 28% of farmers in SST project areas earn over 3.5 lakes per hectare each year. This has encouraged many educated youngsters to adopt farming as their main source of income.

Rs. 32.70 crore has been received as loans by the farmers. The loan repayment percentage for these loans is 100% in project villages

Meaningful change comes from leadership of thought, the pursuit of holistic development and a quality-driven process to see it through. Improved management of natural resources translates into better livelihoods now and in the future. SST realizes that unless communities become agents of change themselves, and learn to be self-reliant, the change cannot be self-sustaining. Therefore, the focus remains on empowering communities to take ownership and become active partners in the effort.

Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company, was founded in 1996 with its employees and which now extends to the greater community. SST started from merely two villages in 1996 and works in over 5000 villages today touching more than 3 million lives. SST works with over 180, 000 women in SHGs, Panchayat leaders and community representatives in these villages.

SST has sought to help villages develop in a holistic and sustainable manner, creating self-reliant communities across 6 core areas: Economic Development, Health & Sanitation, Education, Environment, Infrastructure and Social Development.

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