Nearly 85% of India’s agricultural sector comprises of small and marginal farmers, most of whom face challenges such as high production costs, low access to credit, and poor market linkages. Community Institutions such as Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) are a great way for these farmers to come together to overcome these issues and have economies of scale. FPOs provide a great opportunity for diverting a part of development funds into implementing technology projects for small and marginal farmers to meet their aspirations in the agriculture sector.
The partnership with CInI is being implemented through community institutions that are led entirely by women farmers. These tribal women farmers are responsible for timely and effective monitoring of the farmlands along with providing regular guidance to the farmers. The program not only looks at poverty alleviation but also focuses strongly on women empowerment.
The CInI’s program has witnessed great success since its launch in 2015 and has impacted the lives of over 100,000 households, bringing them in the ambit of institutional structures for driving change. They now want to strengthen their impact and efficacy by leveraging the advanced technologies in the field of agriculture to address the specific constraints faced by the tribal population in the region. CInI also believes in the merits of livestock development for which they are looking to initiate better animal husbandry practices. For taking the program to the next level with the help of a cutting-edge technology solution, CropIn will play an important role in achieving CInI’s vision of changing human lives for the better.
The partnership announcement event held in Ranchi witnessed a community interaction that focused on the "Role of technology in enhancing smallholder farmers’ income”. The gathering was attended by invitees from various like-minded organizations. Speaking on the occasion, Ganesh Neelam, Executive Director of CInI said, “Achieving aspirations of tribal communities through the focused Lakhpati Kisan programme has been the focus at CInI. For us, innovative technologies and approaches are core for achieving the outcomes of these communities. The partnership with a well-known technology partner such as CropIn is very unique and important for us to meet the audacious goals of our programme. We proactively look for this partnership to be taken at scale for larger benefits of small and marginal farmers.
The first phase of this partnership started in 2018, during which CInI leveraged CropIn’s SmartFarm to improve the livelihood of 4,300+ farmers across the Gorabanda and Dhalbhumgarh regions in Jharkhand. Looking at the outcomes and impact generated by this pilot, CropIn and CInI have decided to set a bigger goal of scaling up to reach more than 40,000 households.
SmartFarm uses cutting-edge technologies like real-time satellite-based plot monitoring to intervene at every stage of the crop lifecycle. The solution helps build accurate farmer and produce profiles through proper channelization and digitization of data. It also actively engages farmers by sending them farm best practices advisories — not only for agriculture but also for livestock like pigs and goats. SmartFarm also helps monitor the field team that consists exclusively of women tribal farmers. The field staff engage with the farmers on a day-to-day basis and gather critical farm data using SmartFarm’s easy-to-use modules. SmartFarm helps conduct yield analysis, allowing CInI to measure the impact of the interventions and improve outcomes going forward.
"Through our partnership with CInI, we aim to promote technology in the larger space especially in the tribal areas. Additionally, we are also providing our solution for the livestock sector. The uniqueness of this program is that it is managed by women-led FPOs thereby emphasizing our focus on women empowerment. We are incredibly excited about this partnership and look forward to creating a positive impact in the lives of farmers." Jitesh Shah, CRO of CropIn Technology added.
About Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI)
Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI) is a nodal agency of the Tata Trusts, working on transforming the lives of tribal households in the Central India tribal belt. The organization works with various civil society organizations, agriculture and other knowledge institutions, state agencies to establish sustainable development models for tribal communities.
In 2015, CInI launched a highly ambitious “Lakhpati Kisan – Smart Villages” program to work with over 100,000 families and make them lakhpati irreversibly and sustainably through agriculture and allied livelihood prototypes embedded with technology innovations led by community institutions and micro enterprises.