India West Champaran
$60,786 needed of $130,051
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Climate change increasingly threatens the livelihoods and food security of millions of smallholder farmers in India through more frequent and severe drought and flood cycles. The West Champaran program builds on a highly successful pilot project through which farmers were able to increase yields for rice, wheat and pulses in both drought and flood prone areas. This program uses the Private Service Provider (PSP) approach, which trains and mentors community members to start their own businesses and provide fee-based seed drilling, custom herbicide application, and crop management services to the most vulnerable farmers in stress-prone areas. This approach presents an opportunity to not only expand the reach of climate smart technologies and improved access to inputs, but also places service provision in the hands of the community, creating greater ownership and sustainability.
A Win-Win for Farmers and Private Service Providers
Munna K., a farmer in disaster-prone Bihar State in Eastern India, is putting his experience to work for the good of fellow farmers and to increase his own income. He was an early adopter of an improved rice variety, agreeing to plant a demonstration plot for others to learn from. A few neighbors initially mocked him, saying he was risking his resources by planting in a field that was sure to be flooded. Yes, there was a flood, but after the waters receded his paddy crop recovered while his neighbors regretted not having followed the recommended practices or planted the improved rice seed. Munna’s plot became a popular place by the end of the season, and even the press noted his success.
Meanwhile, Munna began attending training to become a Private Service Provider (PSP) as a small business and as a way to support his neighbors’ farming efforts. The program promotes the use of mechanized planters known as seed drills that directly seed rice instead of transplanting it manually. Munna was able to buy a seed drill with his increased income, and offers the drill service along with instruction on appropriate agricultural technologies for a modest fee.
Having this kind of guidance and support available at affordable prices is helping area farmers improve their rice yields, and Munna’s demonstrated success has made him a much-sought-after guide. His income from his PSP work will allow him to acquire more equipment and expand his client base.
Thanks to Your Support and Generosity
• Climate-resilient agriculture training helps vulnerable farmers like Munna improve their rice yields in spite of an unpredictable cycle of drought and flooding
• Private Service Providers earn incomes and raise the level of farming expertise in their areas
• Direct-seeded rice operations have meant a 50% reduction in farming costs and an increase in funds available to households for food, medicines, schooling and more.
India West Champaran Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services