India West Champaran & Sitamarhi
$62,270 needed of $105,069
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 & Sitamarhi 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.
Successful Farmer Becomes an Entrepreneur
When farmers have affordable and locally-available technical support, they are more likely to be successful as they try out and adopt new farming practices. The new India West Champaran & Sitamarhi program trains Private Service Providers (PSP) to offer their support services to others.
After mastering rice-growing techniques that improved yields and reduced costs, Munna was the first in his area to see the value in using a tractor in his fields to plant seed and apply herbicides. Spotting an opportunity to start his own business, he used his savings to apply for a loan to buy a tractor and a used seed drill – a mechanical planting device. The program trained him to become a PSP and supplied him with printed materials to help him teach the new practices to other farmers in his area.
As Munna provides his affordable seed drilling services, he also covers the importance of following the correct planting procedures. His earnings from his PSP activities, in addition to his farm income, increase each season as he adds new farmers to his client list. He hopes to invest in more equipment to meet the growing demand for ag services.
A delighted Munna states “This program has put me on the path toward self-sufficiency as a successful service provider.”
India West Champaran & Sitamarhi Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services