NON PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT IN AGRICULTURE (NPM Project)
This project covered 22 CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) spread across 5 states in Central and Eastern India. The partners’ list was revised in July 2021. Six old partners were no longer deemed to come under the purview of the project (due to various technical and operational reasons) and seven new partners (six in Chhattisgarh and one in Odisha) were added to the project. All the partners are based in some of the most remote districts of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. In Madhya Pradesh, the project works with two partners based in two districts, in Chhattisgarh the project works with six partners based in five districts, and in Odisha under the Agricultural Production Cluster (APC) Program, the project works with 14 partners based in nine districts. In Central India the focus is on non- perishable crops whereas in Eastern India the focus is more towards perishables.
The project ‘Improving market readiness of smallholder farmers practicing NPM (Non-Pesticidal Management) of Agriculture’ aimed to strengthen the capacities of partners, who are advocating NPM, to promote community based, producer-led, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). The project built the capacity of existing, and recently identified partners of BRLF to reach out to members to institute FPOs and to build the capacities of instituted Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to make them market ready. Another important goal of the project was to enhance the market preparedness of the partner FPOs/CSOs and open up for them the possibility of working at scale to connect farming communities with organized markets. This was attempted through strengthening their capacities on NPM (Non-Pesticidal Management) production, setting up the NPM Guarantee System and setting up relevant supply chains for NPM produce.
The project was anchored by SEEDS (Social Education Economical Development Society) and was implemented by the NPM Network. It was carried out over a period of three years from 2019 to March 2022. The project was funded by Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF). The project built on the earlier initiative of BRLF to work with these CSOs to promote NPM production. A majority of the farmers covered under the project were women and tribal and were based in some of the most remote and toughest geographies of our country. The project, by improving the market readiness of the smallholder farmers practicing NPM and by enhancing the capacities of their organizations, not only aimed to promote the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices at scale, but also attempted to augment their incomes by enabling them to leverage organized markets.
Complete progress of the project
The project organized many training sessions and an exposure visit to the partners to build their capacity for forming and strengthening Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). As a result, 18 FPOs were initiatedby the project partners, besides the one existing FPO. By March 2022, 15,845 farmers were enrolled in these 19 FPOs and a share capital of INR 62,32,200 was mobilized. Eleven partners were also able to mobilize resources to promote their FPOs and build supply chain infrastructure from government schemes and donor agencies.
Regarding NPM production, almost all the partners scaled up the extent and reach of their NPM program to bring in a total of 39,518 farmers cultivating 19,833 acres during Kharif season and 14659 farmers cultivating 10035 acres during Rabi. With support from the project, all the partners have set up 47 small scale and two medium scale bio-input units. Up to March 2022, 56,358 liters of liquid bio- inputs and 22,714 kgs of solid bio-inputs were produced using the locally available natural ingredients and sold to 16,662 farmers. Some of the partners have been able to refine the Package of Practices (POPI), developed internal control standards and adopt the Farmer Field School (FFS) model for NPM production.
The project strengthened supply chain for NPM produce by developing NPM Standards and devising an Internal Control System (ICS) based guarantee system for NPM agriculture, known as the NPM Guarantee System. With support from the project, all the partners have learnt about NGS at the farm level and post-harvest handling level. Six partners have actually initiated setting up NGS in their respective locations.
All the project partners enhanced their capacities related to checking the quality of their NPM produce and protocols for aggregation, processing and storage. The project has been able to familiarize all the partners with the use of hermetic bags and insect traps to safely store grains and seeds and use of a moisture meter, by introducing these novel technologies. Additionally, the project has been able to equip three partners to install hermetic cocoons that greatly enhanced their capacity to store NPM produce.
About nine partners are now equipped with different kinds of processing equipment, including machines for processing pulses, spices, millets and groundnut. Of these nine units, six processing units were supplied with support from the project. Twenty of the 22 partners have been able to initiate collective marketing of perishable, semi-perishable and non-perishable agricultural commodities in local and regional markets. During 2021-22, 1,11,834 quintals of NPM vegetables, cereals, pulses and oilseeds were marketed by the partners.
Many knowledge products including case studies, manuals, short films, etc. were produced on pesticide-free farming and food chains by synthesizing the learnings and made available to the interested stakeholders for their wider adoption.
SEEDS and the NPM network has been working on a project on “Improving the market readiness of small and marginal farmers practicing NPM (Non Pesticide Management) of Agriculture, since October 2018. NPM is supported by BRLF (Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation). BRLF being an agency, supporting farming communities in backward regions of Central & Eastern India through NPM (Non-pesticide management). This project covers 22 CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) spread across 5 states in Central and Eastern India. The main objectives of this project are to promote FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations) by training the CSOs and prepare the CSO partners who have been promoting NPM in their working areas to aggregate, value add and connect them with organized markets.
To strengthen the capacities of inexperienced partners, who are advocating NPM, to promote community based, producer-led Farmer Producer Organizations (FPCs).
To enhance the market preparedness of partners who are already promoting FPCs and open up for them, the possibility of working at scale to connect farming communities with organized markets.