KisanMitra is an initiative by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture to improve the governance of agricultural support services. This takes two pronged approach, one to improve equitable access to the existing support services for all cultivators and two, to improvise, change or bring in new public policy measures which can improve farm based livelihoods. The public policy measures could be about investments made to promote certain models of agriculture/practices which help farmers, create infrastructure facilities, access to credit, insurance, subsidies etc or regulations on practices/actions which affect farming like seed quality or land use shift etc
Agriculture based livelihoods are reeling under deep crisis today, a crisis partly driven by ecological risks like unpredictable weather, depletion of water and soil quality, increased incidence of pest and disease, paired with often uninformed choices farmers make in production, all leading to increased risk of crop failures and increased cost of production. Lack of access to various support services offered by government and other agencies, designed to mitigate such risks, only serves to intensify the vulnerability of those dependant on agriculture.
This situation presents the need to set up an integrated system which can make all required, locally relevant information accessible at one place to farmers. This system must be complemented by a centralised support and grievance redressal mechanism which can coordinate with various departments of government to resolve the constraints farmers face in accessing existing support services. Kisan Mitra is designed to be such a system.
The larger objective of Kisan Mitra is to promote sustainable livelihoods for medium, small and marginal farmers by improving the last mile delivery of the farm support services. It is operated through volunteers, Farmer Collectives, NGOs, Entrepreneurs and Field Staff.