55k farmers expected to benefit from joint agri project by ICRISAT & Maharashtra govt

The project will target drought-prone farming communities of Vidarbha region through science-led, multi-stakeholder and market-oriented agriculture development.


Hyderabad: The government of Maharashtra and a consortium led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a bold initiative for the science-led development of agriculture in the drought-prone drylands of Vidarbha Region of the state.

The project will benefit an estimated 55,000 farmer families directly and over 200,000 families indirectly through a wider spill-over effect leading to a doubling of family incomes over the next five years. The initiative comes in the wake of a recent announcement of a roadmap by the Government of India to target doubling of farmer incomes by 2022 across the country.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. Dr. Peter Carberry, DDG, ICRISAT and Dr. Suhas Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center attended the signing ceremony during ongoing Magnetic Maharashtra: Convergence 2018 event in Mumbai. The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

“The project is driven by a partnership with research institutions, agricultural universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, non-governmental organizations, farmer organizations and private companies to bring holistic, participatory science-based solutions and technologies to the doorsteps of the farmers,” said Dr. Wani.

Key highlights of the project:

  • A twin-pronged approach involving scaling up of proven technologies and climate-resilient practices in 11 districts reaching 200,000 farmer families through a wider impact

  • Focus on integrated livelihood approach in the selected districts through science-led development. Use of new science tools like satellites, weather forecasting, crop and water balance simulation models and IT-based solutions to help farmers make climate-smart decisions for better results

  • Agroecozone-based land use planning and market-led crop diversification including high-value crops to benefit farmers through a value chain approach.

  • Emphasis on profitability, value addition and linking farmers to markets directly for enhanced incomes, improved family nutrition, and sustainable development.