On-Farm Demonstrations

Crop demonstrations with field days:
The demonstrations serve as an effective instrument for rapid dissemination of technology. The effectiveness of demonstration would increase with organization of field day around each demonstration. The demonstrations to be organized under this project would be composite demonstrations, demonstrating complete technology package of production. The Country and the State is facing severe crisis of availability of pulses and the pulses prices have shoot up beyond reach of the common man. There is a tremendous scope for improving pulses production in Maharashtra because of favorable soil and climatic conditions. Therefore besides other crops, the pulses crop demonstration will be considered on large scale. Other demonstrations would cover the field, vegetable, fruit and flower crops. These demonstrations would be organized in the areas of activities being undertaken under Component B under this project. The crop wise number of demonstrations planned is: Field crops - 12000, Vegetable crops - 450, Fruit crops - 300, Flower crops - 300. These numbers are only indicative and are likely to change during to implementation.

These demonstration will be organized in the catchment area of Component B activities. The selection criteria for the farmer for undertaking the demonstration program will be as under

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Crop demonstrations with field days:
The demonstrations serve as an effective instrument for rapid dissemination of technology. The effectiveness of demonstration would increase with organization of field day around each demonstration. The demonstrations to be organized under this project would be composite demonstrations, demonstrating complete technology package of production. The Country and the State is facing severe crisis of availability of pulses and the pulses prices have shoot up beyond reach of the common man. There is a tremendous scope for improving pulses production in Maharashtra because of favorable soil and climatic conditions. Therefore besides other crops, the pulses crop demonstration will be considered on large scale. Other demonstrations would cover the field, vegetable, fruit and flower crops. These demonstrations would be organized in the areas of activities being undertaken under Component B under this project. The crop wise number of demonstrations planned is: Field crops - 12000, Vegetable crops - 450, Fruit crops - 300, Flower crops - 300. These numbers are only indicative and are likely to change during to implementation.

These demonstration will be organized in the catchment area of Component B activities. The selection criteria for the farmer for undertaking the demonstration program will be as under

  • The farmer should have minimum area of land for demonstration under a particular crop.
  • The farmer should be willing to spend additional amount required from his own resources.
  • The selected farmer will be entitled for one demonstration only.
  • The land proposed for demonstration should be a road side plot.
  • The farmer must adopt the modern technologies and practices in timely manner.
  • The land should be representative of the predominant land type in the area.
  • The land should be leveled and should have access to irrigation facilities.
However this will not be applicable to demonstration on rainfed crops. The demonstrations would be organized in a cluster of around 8 to 12 farmers. The provision of control plot for comparison should be made. BTT under the supervision and guidance of ATMA will finalize the list of farmers selected for Demonstration.

The farmers undertaking demonstration would be given off-farm inputs viz; seed, fertilizers, insecticide, micronutrients etc. by project. The inputs of the recommended varieties having high yielding qualities and the other inputs of high efficacy will be provided. These farmers are supposed to be trained under the training programme of the farmers in technology transfer. The farmers covered under demonstration are expected to use inputs exclusively for demonstration crop and keep the record of the same. The tillage practices and all recommended crop management practices by field functionaries should also be followed. The data regarding yield of the crop from demonstration crop and from the control plot should be kept by the farmers and all this information should made available to the field functionaries at the time of their visit to the demonstration plot. The field days visit of the farmers to the demonstration plot will be the integral part of the demonstration.

A number of demonstrations are undertaken under different Government Of India GOI sponsored programs, like National Agriculture Development Plan (NADP), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), and National Horticulture Mission (NHM). The demonstrations planned under this component would not duplicate the efforts of these programs. The emphasis of crop demonstrations under the project would be to demonstrate the quality and productivity improvements to be brought about through Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Each demonstration would demonstrate integrated crop management package to the farmers. These demonstrations would be undertaken in the catchments areas of different types of markets to be upgraded/set up under Component B. Efforts would be made to concentrate more number of demonstrations of the crop/ group of crops which a particular market will handle.

The cost norm for demonstrations would cover the expenditure on provision of critical inputs i.e. seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, micronutrients to address the constraints in the adoption of improved technologies in the demonstration area. The field day cost would include the expenditure on tea, snacks, stationery for 50 persons. Each demonstration will have the complete package of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) practices and a small control with farmers practice. At each demonstration site a field day will be organized at a critical stage near crop maturity so that the impact of adoption of improved ICM practices vis-à-vis farmer practice are visible.

Demonstrations on organic farming:
The biological approach to crop production is proving beneficial to the farmers not only in reducing the cost of production but also for realizing higher returns than the mainstream farming. The organic produce fetches premium price in the domestic as well as international market. This is amply proved by the contract farming experiment in organic cotton in Vidarbha. The organic production technology would be disseminated on larger scale through demonstrations under the project. The demonstrations on cotton, pulses, cereals, fruits and vegetables would be organized across the state in the catchment areas of activities planned under Component B, during second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth year of the project. Each demonstration would be of 0.4 ha area and would be organized at prominent places along the roads. Organization of field day around each demonstration would be an integral component of each demonstration. The cost norm for a demonstration along with a field day expenses are shown in the following table.The area, number and cost norms for demonstrations with field days are consistent with the norms for the GoI funded schemes.

Demonstrations on post harvest management technology:
Realization of higher market prices is possible only after the farm produce is properly graded, packaged and labeled. This technology must reach common farmers. Keeping this objective in view, the demonstrations on post harvest technology would be organized. This kind of demonstration would be a method demonstration along with organization of field day. The cost norm for a demonstration would be Rs. 3500/- per demonstration for all crops. The cost norm would include the expenditure on cleaning, grading, packaging cost @ Rs 2000/- per demonstration and a field day cost @ Rs 1500/- which would include expenditure on tea, snacks and stationery for 50 farmers watching the method demonstration. The demonstrations would be linked to FCSCs focusing on commodities being handled by them. A total of 1000 demonstrations would be organized with investment of Rs. 35.00 Lakh. Adoption rates of demonstrations will be recorded in the years following the year in which demonstrations are organized. In about 10% of the demonstrations, the adoption rates (number of farmers adopting demonstrated technologies, area on which the technologies are adopted and farm level yield gains achieved by the farmers) will be monitored in the following years. This is essential for evaluating the productivity / quality gains achieved by the farmers as a result of demonstrations and trainings.

Animal welfare camps on improved veterinary and livestock management practices:
The simple veterinary techniques like de-worming, vaccination, dehorning and artificial insemination should reach animal farmers in large numbers so that the farmers themselves are in a position to take care of their herds. The demonstrations of this kind are method demonstrations and would involve less cost. The demonstrations would be organized with involvement of farmers in field days. The cost norm for demonstration would be Rs 3500/, which would include cost of medicine/drug @ Rs 2000/- and the cost of organizing a field day @ Rs 1500/- around each demonstration. The demonstrations would be organized in the catchment area of live stock & small ruminant markets planned to be strengthened under component B. A total of 1500 demonstrations would be organized with investment of Rs 52.50 Lakh.

Demonstration of fodder production:
The technology of fodder production and feeding would need to be demonstrated under the project. This would be planned in catchment area of livestock and small ruminant market under component B. The demonstrations on fodder varieties of cereals (maize and jowar), Lucerne, berseem, grass hybrids like Yeshwant / Jaywant would be organized. Each demonstration would be organized on 0.4 ha area with total cost of Rs 7000/. This would include Rs. 5500/- for critical inputs and Rs 1500/- for organizing a field day. A total of 2500 demonstrations on this theme would be organized with investment of Rs. 175.00 Lakh. This program will be implemented by the AHD with the help of ATMA. The size of demonstration plots and cost norms are only general norms for costing purposes and can be modified depending on nature of the crop, technologies to be demonstrated and other relevant ground realties.

Organised marketing of small ruminants through Small Ruminant (SR) Federations:
Modernization of four Small Ruminant (SR) Markets has been proposed in the project. The AHD with the assistance of a NGO would carry out the mobilization of SR farmers into CIGs, to federate further into SR federation. These SR markets identified are

(i) Atpadi, Dist.Sangli,
(ii) Karjat ,Dist.Ahmednagar,
(iii) Dound, Dist.Pune and
(iv) Dahivadi, Dist.Satara .

Demonstration cum Production Units for Goat as a High Value Enterprise:
AHD would employ a SP/NGO who would be given the task of promoting goat as a high value enterprise. The farmers in the two SR markets would be given demonstrations on this aspect. Exposure visits to these demonstrations are shown under ATMA.

Buyer Seller Meets:
The agri-horticultural commodities and processed products produced by the FIGs/PGs/CIGs would need to be efficiently marketed through various marketing channels. As the technology and the market is becoming complex, with new product types and shifting consumer demands, foreign companies can become joint venture partners for providing technical and financial support in establishing a network. The Buyer-Seller Meet (BSM) is a unique concept of pre- fixed meetings, presentations and one-to-one sessions. The BSM is for providing a customized floor for organizations to meet, discuss, consult and transact business with the specific names in the industry and for country/corporate houses to make product-specific or country-specific presentations to a pre-fixed niche audience.

Strengthening of growers associations / farmer organizations:
The Growers’ Associations/Farmers organizations have a vital role to play in the transfer of knowledge, quality production, input supply, marketing and promoting value added products. Over the years, some of the growers’ associations have performed exceedingly well in organizing growers for these purposes. The high level of technical knowledge amongst grape growers in Maharashtra is mainly attributed to the work done by Maharashtra Grape Growers’ Association. The Grape Growers’ Association in Maharashtra has set an example as to how growers’ associations can empower the member farmers to get linked to national and international markets. The growers’ association of this kind can become an effective link between Government and farmers. Through this link, it is much easier and effective in reaching the advisories to the farmers.

It is necessary to promote and strengthen growers’ associations related to Vegetable Crops, Mango, Pomegranate, Banana, Flowers, Sweet Lime, Strawberry, Guava, Lemon, Aonla, Orange, Cashewnut, Custard apple and Fig.The growers’ associations would need assistance for training, workshops and meetings. This provision will be used on demand from respective growers’ associations/farmers’ organization to meet the expenses on technology transfer related activities. This provision would be kept at State Level.

Innovative pilots:
A number of innovations take place at the farm level from time to time. These relate to development of new varieties, farm equipment and management practices. Such innovative activities need to be supported in a small way so that the benefit of innovations reaches large number of farmers. Such innovative activities would need to be supported through ATMA from time to time. The decision to support would rest with the governing body of ATMA.. The ATMA concerned would be in a position to use this amount for innovative pilots with the concurrence of PIU.

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