India West Champaran
$0 needed of $65,016
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.
Changing the Farming Methods of the Whole Village
Bhubneswar has the life he’d dreamed of. He is now earning a living as a Private Service Provider (PSP) – a cross between a university extension agent in the U.S. and an agriculture professional hired to carry out specialized work. He’d grown up using traditional farming methods and always wanted to become what he called a progressive farmer who uses modern tools and technology. He simply lacked the opportunity.
Until he met some of the staff of local partner IRRAS, that is. They invited him to a farmer seminar at a local university on topics ranging from high-yielding seeds, best agriculture and management practices, to using a seed drill for planting and establishing a farm plot. Observing his keen interest, organizers invited him to a workshop about how to use a seed drill and become a Private Service Provider.
Bhubneswar was able to purchase a seed drill through a government subsidy and initially used it on his own land. He showed his neighbors that when seeds were sown at equal distances and proper depth, he got fewer weeds and higher yields, and with the seed drill they were sown faster, with less labor.
Better yields mean greater income for Bhubneswar and his clients. So far, he has provided his services to 400 farmers in six villages. Anyone can hear the enthusiasm in his voice when he says, “Whenever you come, you will observe that I have changed the cultivation method in my entire village.”
Thanks to your generosity and support:
• The program is able to promote climate-resilient agriculture among vulnerable smallholder farmers
• 2,026 farmers have learned the benefits of seed drill technology and use of herbicide
• Participants have increased crop and livestock productivity and are better prepared to deal with
India West Champaran Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services and Local Partner IRRAS