Monday, December 8, 2014

Organised farmers' forum for agriculture development in the Darjeeling hill

40% of the area in Darjeeling hill falls under village which means 40% of the land can be cultivated, 22%  are covered under tea plantation and 38% of it are under forest. Agriculture is one of the major source of economic development of the people of the hills.
Agriculture being major source of economic development still do not show any growth. The farmers face the problems of poor irrigation, no access to credits, access to market is still a dream for majority of the farmers, Farmers still adopt the traditional farming methods, cost of input is higher than the output as the productivity is decreasing day by day. On my interactions with farmers I found that soi health has not been done till now and almost all the farmers (51 of them) have never attended any training on agriculture forget about the agriculture loan.
One of the ways farmers can develop agriculture in the hills is through organised farmers' forum. Till now farmers re involved in solo farming. They are least connected and the result is shown in their lack of awareness, lack of knowledge n scientific know how etc. If farmers can come together and engage themselves in organized manner many of the basic problems, from procurement of seed to selling of their produce, they face today can be solved.
Farmers' forum can act in the following framework:

  1. Capability development
  2. Networking/ linkage
  3. Asset mobilization and use
  4. Business/ market development and reach