Kisan Mitra Advisories are an attempt at effective utilisation of information and communication technologies in order to provide quality and timely support for knowledge extension for farmers. This will also strengthen the functioning of a pool of community resource persons (A possible knowledge network on alternative appropriate technologies) and rural entrepreneurs who can set up such resource centres. These resource centres will provide locally appropriate knowledge and sustainable agriculture practices.
The apps developed for various mobile platforms will help grassroot extension workers, community resource persons and farmers to directly access the information and grass roots workers to enhance their knowledge and skills. Among the many tools being developed one of the important one is to provide weather-market based crop advisories.
Current the project is under pilot in Vepada mandal of Vijayanagaram district and the proposal is to provide localised advisory services to the farmers based on the local observations and conditions. The farmers are part of the two farmer producer organisations in in Vepada mandal of Vijayanagaram district.
Haritha FPO: Sompuram, SKSR Puram, Dabbirajupeta, Jakeru, Singarai, Arigipalem, Boddam, Ramaswamypeta, Mukundapuram, Obulayyapalem, Paturu, KG Pudi,
Vepada Tribal FPO: Saravanipalem, kotayyagaruvu and pathuru
Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) provides extension support on the ecological agriculture (Organic/Natural farming/Sustainable Agriculture/Non Pesticidal Management), the advisories are based on biotic stress surveillance. The crop situation, pest and disease incidence will be locally monitored and advisories from department of agriculture and agriculture universities would be considered and based on which advisories are provided. Weather data is collected from the local automatic weather station established by CSA and also data from the department of agriculture and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and advisories are developed. The market information is collected from the local market yards on a weekly basis and state level prices are collected from AgMarket (Agricultural Marketing Department data) and agricultural university advisories.
Weather monitoring: The weather parameters – atmospheric temperature, humidity, rainfall, light intensity, through an automatic weather station which is weather proof, solar powered and has cellular connectivity. Daily update on weather parameters helps to monitor the abiotic stresses like drought, floods, hailstorms etc and make advisories. This information is also useful to access the crop insurance etc. Currently localized information is not available. Farmers will be given advisories based on the local weather and the data will also be used to build long term predictions. An automatic weather station is set up at SKSR Puram and provides data on all weather parameters.
Market Information is collected from local markets and also AgMarket on a weekly basis.
The data coming from the field observations weather data, pest and diseases, will be plotted to understand the relationship between the three and crop management practices.
The long term data collection also helps to build predictions in terms of pest attacks, droughts etc and improve the preparedness of the people.
Example of how the data will plotted for monitoring and advisories
Similar mapping of market prices will help to developed localised understanding of market price fluctuations and the trends so that production choices can be modified.
Weekly advisories are issued at the cluster level based on the data coming from Weather stations, pest and disease survillience and market situationsis used to develop advisories for crop choices, irrigation and other crop management practices.
The advisories would be in the form of display at the FPO office (template enclosed) audio and text messages. After the message is sent, a sample of 50 farmers per month would be followed up to know the utility of the advisory and modifications would be done accordingly.
KisanMitra works 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.
Farmer service centres (FSCs) at the block level, paired with a centralized support structure. FSCs are envisioned to cater to the needs of farmers by providing proactive and locally relevant extension services as well as being access points to all government sponsored schemes and services. The central support structure will be two-pronged: (i) a help line to provide easy access to information about government services, and a grievance redressal mechanism to strengthen governance. (ii) an information tool to strengthen extension services All of these efforts will converge at the district level, with operations over-seen by the district administration.
FARMER SERVICE CENTRE:
Farmers service Centres will be established with a block as the operational area. It will be a one-stop centre for all services, which include:
Custom Hiring Centres
Quality Management Systems
Support to FPOs