Farmers owning small and marginal landholdings are the largest impact group that IGS caters to. Dwindling soil productivity, increasing cost of crop production, climate calamities, and the unattractiveness of agriculture as a profession of choice threaten agriculture as a sector and food security of the Nation in future. With the average age of Indian farmer being 50.1 years, agriculture is being seen as a recluse of uneconomic actors.
There are several redeeming developments too. To plug the exodus of the able-bodied out of a strategically important sector like agriculture in India, a ray of hope is emerging the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) supported under various projects and programs of the Government (the most recent being the thrust of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare to promote 10,000 new FPOs through the agencies of NABARD, SFAC and NCDC).
Further, agriculture sector in India is diversified with over 30% of its income contributed by Horticulture, and equally supplemented by a vibrant livestock sector. Thirdly, developments like the use of advanced technologies (including Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things) in agriculture, emergence of organic and bio-dynamic farming and permaculture, successful modelling of agriculture-liked services along the value chain, on-farm development of integrated agro-forestry models, coupled with improvements in road, market and financial infrastructure, and several legal and regulatory changes in the way farming and farm-based business is conducted, have the potential to transform the lives and livelihoods of those dependent on agriculture and allied businesses.
In the above context, IGS strives to incubate models forfarm and off-farm entrepreneurship to promote sustainable livelihoods for small and marginal farmers and landless in rural areas of the country. IGS works to promote sustainable livelihoods for small and marginal farmers including tribal and women, by conducting action research for promoting technology innovations to increase crop productivity, better price realization through IT enabled marketing platforms, promoting application of information and communication technologies, empowering producers by building formal and informal farmer collectives, and forging convergence with various government initiatives.
Various indigenous and innovative models have been promoted to ensure cropping intensity, productivity of fragmented holdings through systems of root intensification, 'machan' cultivation, kitchen gardens. IGS has also capacitated communities to prepare and use bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides as steps towards responsible agricultural practices (RAP). Modern agricultural technologies like protected cultivation, drip/sprinkler irrigation to enhance productivity have been promoted. Concepts like seed village, seed bank have also been promoted to increase the seed replacement rate as well as germination percentage.
IGS has promoted over 170 FPOs of small and marginal farmers throughout the country, and has acquired some level of expertise and efficiency in organizing business institutions of the poor. We have worked in various subsectors - aquaculture and fisheries, cotton, dairy, paddy, poultry, pulses, soyabean, and vegetables, promoted NTFP-based microenterprises of forest-dependent households, and also promoted organic agriculture successfully in Eastern and North Eastern parts of the country.
We are currently implementing 12 different projects focusing on enhancing incomes and market access of agri-and allied producers. We have direct access to and rapport with over 1,00,000 small and marginal farmers, including tribals and women, whom we are supporting in developing resilient enterprises that can support livelihoods sustainably.
IGS is interested to work with diverse stakeholders - community institutions, corporates, government, NGOs, researchers and innovators, and technology and service providers, for:
For more information on IGS's program onBuilding Agri- and Allied Businesses of the Poor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org