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Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Sector, India



Planting lime tree at Reddipalli

Backdrop

The One World – No Hunger initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) aims at addressing poverty and hunger by establishing Green Innovation Centre (GIC) for the agriculture and food sector in 13 countries, amongst them India. The objective is to leverage innovations to increase the incomes of small-scale farmers, increased employment and an improved regional food supply. To reach this objective, new ways of cooperation, such as farmer groups/ associations, will be promoted to improve the productivity, processing and marketing along the entire tomato value chain.


Project Info

  • Goal: Enhance the production, productivity and profitability of farmers across the tomato value chain through promotion a strengthening of Farmer Producer Organisations with special focus on women and youth in Chittoor and Ananthapur districts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Objective: Undertake tomato value chain interventions in AP and transfer the knowledge, approach and experience for replication across India.
  • Outreach: 4000 farmers in Chittoor District
  • Period:
    Phase Period Operational Area
    Pilot      Sept 2015 – May 2016 Ramasamudaram & V.Kota mandals in Chittoor & Nallamada mandal in Anantapur districts
    Phase I   Sept 2016 – Dec 2017 Ramasamudram, Palamener, Madanapalle & Nimanapalle mandals in Chittoor district
    Phase II  Jan 2018 – Dec 2019   B.Kothakota, Kurbalakota, Mulakalcheruvu mandals in Chittoor district
    Phase III  Jan 2019 – Mar 2021 Valmikipuram, Kalikiri, Peddapanjani / Gangavaram  mandals in Chittoor district
  • Donor: GIZ
  • Partnership :World Veg, DGRV, Departments of Agricultural Marketing,Horticulture & Agriculture etc, processing industries, retailers etc,
  • Team : Director, Value Chain Specialist, Project Managers (2), HEOs (5), MIS Officer, Associates (3), Finance Manager, Rythu Mithras (40) ,and part time consultants


This project contributes to achieve SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture and SDG 13 : take action to combat climate change.


Major Activities/ Achievements


Promotion and Strengthening of Farmer Institutions


  • Established GIC Offices in Madanapalle, Ramasamudram, Nimmanapalle and Palamaner and placed Project Director & Managers, Tomato Value Chain Specialist, Five Horticulture Extension Officers, Two Computer Operator, MIS Officer and 40 Rythu Mithras
  • Good rapport established with the farmers and the line departments through awareness programs, campaigns and celebration of events such as Sankaranti Sambaralau, Janmbhoomi – Mana Vooru, International Women’s Day, Environment Day and entry point activities
  • Organised 6 trainings on Best Practices in Tomato cultivation, nurseries, tomato value chain, and 2 exposure visit to IIHR, hi-tech horticulture in AP for the pro-active farmers, RMs and staff on role & responsibilities and structure & functions of FPOs
  • Mobilised 2664 farmers (with 1806 male and 858 female) into 235 farmer groups in four mandals. Out of which 1307 members paid share capital.
  • 26 GRS formed and 7 are registered under APMACS Act in Ramasamudram. The FPO in Ramasamudram Mandal FPO is formed and to be registered soon.
  • Prepared and disseminated resource materials to farmer institutions and staff - reference guidelines for Rythu Sangams on conduct of meetings & maintenance of books; role & responsibilities of Rythu Mithras. training material on Tomato Package of Practices, pamphlet on farmer groups, Grama Rythu Samakhyas and FPOs
  • Through Farmer Field Schools, trainings and exposures, about 504 farmers and staff are trained on land preparation, production management, irrigation methods, FPOs, organic farming, pheromone traps, nursery management, tomato value chain, governance, business plan etc
  • Collective Procurement and Marketing by Farmer Institutions
  • Eleven GRSs have taken up bulk purchase of Cattle Feed to reduce Input cost in dairy worth of Rs.8,80,000 and six GRS have procured fertilizers worth of Rs.3,50,000
  • Two GRS have undertaken collective marketing of 9 tons of tomato with the terminal market in Chennai for the first time and farmers benefited Rs.6 per crate inspire of downward trend of price
  • Exploring other terminal and retail markets and online platforms for collective marketing
  • Negotiations are progressing with SRINI foods for supplying processing varieties

Innovations


Grading of 39 tomato Nurseries based on Grading Tool developed by MAS team – One A grade, Five B Grade and 33 C Grade

One model nursery is promoted and efforts are underway to promote two or three model nurseries in each of the four mandals

Package of practices from land preparation to soil and water conservation, irrigation techniques, production improvement techniques are being adopted by the demo farmers and the progressive farmers in each mandal

Farmer Resource Centre is established at Madanapalle Tomato Market Yard in collaboration with Agriculture marketing department. The centre provides bulk SMS services on tomato prices in the district to 1800 farmer members

Established partnership with the World Veg Centre as a technical agency for necessary support in tomato nursery management and production techniques

Established partnership with DGRV, Germany to enable farmers institutions as self-reliant organizations

Established partnership with agriculture and horticulture departments and leveraged various schemes to the farmers and also resource persons to interact with the farmers and staff during trainings and convergence meetings

Established collaboration with the Krishi Vignan Kendra, Kalikiri in conducting trainings and crop advisory services.

Established collaboration with IRMA in conducting value chain studies and advising on value added interventions and collectively taking up advocacy for policy influencing

Initiated organic farming and NPM practices with majority farmers in Ankisetty palle GRS at at Madanapalle.


Challenges and Constraints

  • High expectation of the communities and less interest in taking responsibilities
  • High fluctuations in tomato prices
  • Declining interest in farming especially due to crisis in the sector
  • Continued drought and other natural calamities
  • Ineffective and delayed implementation of government schemes and programmes
  • The small landholders need strong agency/platform to raise their voices and influence the policy makers in their favour and negotiate with market players
  • Women farmers are not recognised and gained their identity as farmers

Way Forward

Plan to reach out 10000 farmers in coming five years in 10 high tomato growing mandals in Chittoor district and strengthen FPOs as self-reliant institutions to take up agri-business and value chain interventions in a successful manner. Create models and demonstrate innovations in terms of partnerships, adaptation of technologies & value-added interventions to enable farmers for moving ahead along the value chain, negotiating strongly with the government and other stakeholders for necessary support and assertion of their rights and entitlements. There is also a plan to promote one producer company for all the farmers under GIC project in Madanapalle area.


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