A.K. Sharma, R.K. Yogi, Vinod Kumar & P.K. Rai
ICAR-Directorate of Rapeseed-Mustard Research, Bharatpur 321303 Rajasthan (India)
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Directorate of rapeseed-mustard Research, Bharatpur, Rajasthan is responsible for carrying out basic, strategic and applied research on rapeseed-mustard and development of ecologically sound and economically viable agro production and protection technologies. Besides, it also engages in technology dissemination through capacity building of stakeholders. A number of success stories of farmers for enhancing their production and productivity of rapeseed-mustard and farm income through adoption of technology and knowledge intervention provided by the institute witnessed the impact of institutional mechanism. This is the story of formation of an FPOs and its success with the help of ICAR-DRMR. Background: Mr Veeresh Kumar born on 2nd January 1968 belonged to farming family and completed his schooling from the village itself. He also owned about 5-acre land in Tanda village of Bharatpur district of Rajasthan on which crops were raised with traditional methods. After graduation and M. Phil Degree in Hindi, he started his career as teacher in private school and thereafter started an NGO. Instability in his career life forced him to think about new areas for better and stable livelihood support in rural areas. Finally, it was 2011-12, when he came into the contact of scientists of ICAR-DRMR during Malikpur Kisan Mela. Interaction with scientists encouraged him about the potential in agriculture field. Mustard crop is predominantly grown in Bharatpur district. He realized the need to explore the adoption of scientific interventions of mustard for productivity enhancement. ICAR-DRMR with the help of line departments provided him various opportunities to gain widespread knowledge and insight about scientific technologies of different crop commodities and schemes and programmes for farmers through exposure visits, trainings, farm schools, Farmers Interest Group (FIGs) meeting, Common Interest Group (CIGs) meetings, field days, FLDs, seed production programs, etc. Finally, he gets into the state government need based program for seed production and started work with ATMA. Impact of institutional support and linkage: With the institutional support, Mr Veeresh and his NGO worked among farmers to educate them about the technology interventions to enhance the productivity of crops and farm income. His NGO got the attention and recognition by agriculture officials and farmers for his excellent work output. and it was conferred the various awards at different platforms. This experience motivated him for big step in the direction of institutional development. Continuous support and guidance from ICAR-DRMR resulted with the origin of an FPO namely Viresh Multipurpose Farmers’ Producer Company Limited (VMFPCL), Ludhavi, Bharatpur, Rajasthan on 2nd June 2017. This opened new vistas for local community development. VMFPCL started with the 10 members and company got the licensing for distribution of seed, fertilizer and pesticides among the farmers on 23 September 2017. Subsequently in 2018-19 company to become as a service provider, also got the Mandi License from Rajasthan Seed Corporation (RSC) & National Seed Corporation (NSC). Company registered with Agri Bazar and National Commodity Exchange (NCDEX) for more profit to the member farmers in 2019-20. Now, there are 1000 farm household members of the company. ICAR-DRMR helped the FPO at every stage to get all required licenses and complete official procedures. ICAR-DRMR have been engaging this FPO for popularization and providing technological interventions of mustard through organizing FLDs, trainings, field days, kisan gosthies among its members and other farmers since its beginning. Economic impact of the interventions: The support of the institute and impact of technological interventions resulted in generating additional income through collection of farm produce, grading and marketing at premium price for members of the Company. Backward linkage for input supply supported the farmers in big way and helped in enhancement of productivity of agricultural crops which showed in annual turnover of about 90 lakh in 2022-23. Social Impact: Mr Veeresh could built a house in the city and purchased a plot at highway. Standard of living of all the members is affected significantly due to capital formation at household level. Members purchased new motorbikes, Refrigerators, Desert Coolers, etc. in 2018. School going kids got the better education opportunities, women and aged family members could get better medical services. Level of affordability of Gas & Electricity connections, ICT enabled features like mobile, internet etc. improved significantly. Drudgery reduction is noted for women empowerment and gender equity. Other facilities like sanitary, clean drinking water, financial inclusion through linkage with banks, societies, etc. improved comparatively due to awareness.