A.1 Market-Led Agricultural Technology Transfer

I. Objectives:

1.   This component aims to improve the competitiveness of small farmers that would allow them to capture increased income generating potential associated with a number of emerging trends in Indian agriculture,  including:  (i) shifting demand  towards high value agriculture  and higher quality of produce,  (ii) greater  urban demand,  and (iii) the move of large corporations  into agricultural marketing. The project intends to put in place a process that would empower small farmers  to  be  able  to  respond  positively  to  these  changes  in  the  food  market  by creating enabling conditions and support for production systems diversification, increased farm productivity, improved product quality and standards, and realization of value addition opportunities.

2.   The project would support models that allow farmers to obtain a larger slice of the retail rupee by fostering the establishment of forward linkages and the emergence of balanced, efficient and open  supply  chains.  Doing  so  would  open  up  a  “third  marketing  front”,  besides  existing regulated  markets  and  direct  purchase  arrangements.  The  direct  purchase  arrangements  as currently  pursued  by large  corporations  also  run  the  risk  of  excluding  small  farmers  and potentially marginalizing  farmers into becoming providers of raw materials  in closed supply chains. The project offers the prospects of both improved prices for producers and increased productivity that better match with consumer demand. The farmers should be enabled to tune their production to changes in demand and to take advantage of new and alternative marketing channels as well as the potential of new technologies.

3.  The  GoM  has  already  initiated  actions  to  implement  Agricultural  Technology  Management Agency (ATMA) model of agricultural extension in all the 33 districts of the state. The ATMA model was introduced in Ahmednagar, Amravati, Aurangabad and Ratnagiri districts under the aegis  of the  National  Agricultural  Technology  Project  (NATP)  from  1998  to 2004.  It was extended to 19 districts, including previous four ATMAs, in 2005-07 under