Capacity-building has become crucial, especially in development organizations working to improve the well-being of individuals in underserved rural areas who rely on their labor for income. This concept, deeply rooted in rural development, has evolved in meaning, models, methods, and tools.
For farmers, capacity building is an ongoing process that provides access to information, facilitation, and empowerment, especially for women, fostering technical advancement. In sustainable agriculture development, extension services are crucial, prioritizing the active involvement of individuals and rural communities. The goal is to empower farmers to tackle daily challenges effectively and capitalize on opportunities. This approach emphasizes community engagement, promoting farmers’ self-reliance at its core.
Entrepreneurship For Farmers & Women In Rural India
Rural entrepreneurship has evolved significantly, and the future holds great potential. Technological advancements, shifting consumer preferences, and a focus on sustainable living position rural women entrepreneurs for success. E-commerce is pivotal, enabling rural entrepreneurs to reach a global market through online platforms. For instance, a farmer from a remote village can sell organic produce worldwide, providing new income sources and showcasing unique products.
The demand for sustainable and locally sourced goods further drives rural entrepreneurship. Consumers’ environmental awareness creates opportunities for eco-friendly products, utilizing natural resources and traditional knowledge. An example is a rural entrepreneur producing handmade soaps, using locally sourced ingredients. Changing workforce demographics contribute to rural entrepreneurship’s bright future as more people seek a balanced life in rural areas. Talented individuals bring innovative ideas, like a young couple or women starting a farm-to-table restaurant, capitalizing on local produce.
Government support is crucial, with policies, financial assistance, training, and favorable regulations fostering rural entrepreneurship. Governments worldwide offer grants and loans, empowering rural entrepreneurs and women farmers to start or expand their businesses. Collaborating with reputed NGOs is essential for executing comprehensive initiatives. By collaborating with top rural development NGOs, the government can build a strong sense of community in rural areas, which is a significant advantage.
The Top Rural Development NGO In India
S M Sehgal Foundation has been committed to improving life in rural Indian communities since 1999. As a leading sustainable, rural development NGO operating under a public charitable trust, the foundation has a dedicated team of professionals crafting programs to address pressing needs in rural India.
The foundation’s primary goal is to support community-driven development initiatives that positively transform rural India’s social, economic, and environmental aspects. Their overarching vision is to empower every person in rural India, providing them the tools to lead secure, prosperous, and dignified lives.
calls at the Citizen Information and Support Center
community leaders trained
check dams/nala bunds constructed
ponds developed and rejuvenated
schools with rainwater harvesting structures
crop demonstrations improve farm practices
acres covered with drip/sprinkler irrigation
schoolchildren benefited by school transformation
*data as of June 2023
Farmer Field Schools: Nurturing Learning and Experimentation
S M Sehgal Foundation introduced the “Farmer Field Schools” concept in 2020 to address agricultural challenges like mono-cropping and flood irrigation. Tested in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, this model garnered positive feedback from farmers and proved effective in crop diversification, aligning with market demand and changing climate patterns. In Nuh, Haryana, a Farmer Field School was established under the HDFC Parivartan Project. Despite initial skepticism, farmers Md. Akhlak and Iqbal embraced the model, leading to successful practices like staking in tomato cultivation. The field school, costing ₹3,80,000, showcased income-generating and climate-resilient techniques. A tomato-centric crop basket, ridge gourd, and bottle gourd demonstrated healthy saplings and enhanced yields. The intervention challenged traditional notions, attracting over 300 farmers from nearby villages to learn and adopt these practices, breaking barriers to crop diversification.
Woman Farmer Adopts Balanced Fertilizers in Wheat Cultivation
Rekha, a woman farmer in Nuh, Haryana, faced challenges with low productivity, saline land, and no irrigation facilities on her 1.5-acre rain-fed agricultural plot. In June 2021, S M Sehgal Foundation initiated an integrated village development project in her village, addressing water, education, health, sanitation, nutrition, and agriculture.
The project team provided training on modern agriculture techniques to enhance agricultural practices and implemented hands-on demonstrations in farmers’ fields. Rekha received a sustainable Package of Practices (PoP) kit for wheat cultivation in October 2021, which included micronutrients to improve soil health and boost crop yields.
Under project supervision, Rekha cultivated wheat on one acre using scientific PoP and traditional methods in an adjacent 0.5 acres for comparison. Farmers observed enhanced plant length, canopy, and color in the demonstration plot during the crop’s growth phase.
Upon harvest, Rekha achieved a 3.2 quintal increase in wheat yield in the demonstration plot compared to the control and an extra four quintals of fodder. The improved yield translated to an income increase of INR 11,040 from 0.5 acres, using the new method at INR 2,200 per quintal.
A field day organized in Rekha’s plot allowed farmers to discuss the benefits of the scientific wheat cultivation method. Convinced and enthused, farmers desired to replicate Rekha’s approach using the introduced PoP in subsequent seasons. Rekha noted that the micronutrients enhanced wheat yield and restored soil health on her farm.
Capacity building is a continuous process aimed at improving the well-being of individuals in resource-poor rural areas. It involves providing access to information, facilitation, and empowerment to enhance technical skills, particularly for farmers.
Extension services play a vital role by actively involving individuals and rural communities. They empower farmers to tackle challenges and capitalize on opportunities, fostering self-reliance and community engagement.
Rural entrepreneurship has evolved with technological advancements, shifting consumer preferences, and focusing on sustainable living. Factors like e-commerce, demand for sustainable goods, changing workforce demographics, and government support contribute to its success.
Yes, rural entrepreneurs can reach a global market through e-commerce platforms. Technologies enable them to sell products, such as organic produce, globally, providing new income sources and showcasing unique offerings.
Government support is essential for fostering rural entrepreneurship. It includes policies, financial assistance, training, and favorable regulations. Grants and loans empower entrepreneurs to start or expand businesses, contributing to rural development.