Food shortages, post Independence, was one of the challenges we immediately attempted to address in 1969. For this, irrigation infrastructure creation, a fundamental requirement for development of agriculture and the recommended approach of national policy, was encouraged. Simultaneously, farmers known as “The Small and Marginal” farmer received agricultural extension in the form of access to leading technological innovations (crop management practices – seeds, farm mechanization, fertilizers, pesticides, credit, market linkages etc). Extensions in allied activities (livestock – poultry, rearing of small ruminants (goat and sheep), cattle, fisheries) too were supported. While, this technical support included capacity building and demonstrations, institution building in agriculture too has been supported since the 1960’s with farmers clubs and cooperatives identified as mediums of technology transfer.
Designed to tap their immense potential to contribute to national goals, the small and marginal farmer continues to receive our support. While, documented farmers benefitted are placed at a modest 1,00,000 (small and marginal), there are still many uncovered and requiring support. However, now the social, economic, political and environmental issues governing the “small and marginal farmer” and the agriculture he depends on has become complex, with risk reduction across the supply chain gaining prominence.
Supporting us in strengthening their livelihoods were agencies like Christian Aid, Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Centre for World Solidarity (CWS), Misereor, Oxfam, Caritas Internationalis, Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) etc. More recently we are supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT), Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTDD), NABARD, IKEA, IDH, BALCO, BILT and Monsanto etc. Coordination and convergence with the institutional mechanism created under the Ministry of Agriculture is a continuous process with efforts being made.
Food Security & Livelihoods Programmes