Agriculture ExtensionFood Crops Promotion and Extension
The SMILE Programme is a component of our Agriculture Extension program. A large number of rural communities, we work with, are engaged in agriculture. Land is their crucial source of livelihood and agricultural productivity is generally low attributing to several factors.
Major reasons are low fertility of land, lack of sufficient water for irrigation, limited resources to meet input requirements and inadequate knowledge about improved crop production. Project intervention in the form of support for inputs like seed and fertilizer combined with arrangement for irrigation and tillage results in an immediate increase in output.
However, such gains may not be sustained over a longer term. Thus, we emphasized on introducing sustainable farming technologies that farmers can practice even after the completion of sponsored projects.
The program was started in three Tribal dominated districts, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh and Pratapgarh with the financial assistance of Tribal Area Development Department (TADD).
We encouraged 835 BPL ST families to scientifically raise vegetable saplings and produce healthy vegetable crops. Each preferred family is provided with a Kit of vegetable seeds for all seasons. Exercise on vegetable nurseries was provided to farmers. 1000 sq. mtr of each family filed has been used where they were growing only Maize, Wheat & Gram respectively in Kharif & Rabi season. Earlier the production was so low which could not even fulfill their grain requirement for an year. It was calculated that a farmer can hardly get 2 bags of Maize in Kharif season from its 1000 sq. meter area whose market worth is only Rs. 1400. Now they cultivate grains and vegetables worth Rs. 15000 – 20000 for an year.
Along with routine crops, farmers were also introduced with cultivation of fruit plants such as lemon and papaya for gap filling in fields. It also enabled them additional income generation.
Water Conservation through Drip Irrigation System has also been installed in plots of farmers. A plastic bucket of 300 liters having its connectivity with Dripping Pipe Line utilizes water efficiently so that the wastage has also been reduced and at the same time electricity consumption of driving water pump daily is also truncated.
Cropping of seasonal vegetable has changed the economy of farmer and the income band is also significantly increased.