Agriculture Credit and Extension Program :
In 70’s AFARM took up the program for improvement of Agriculture and imparting skills to the farmers for better production and qualitative yield. During the same time program of digging the wells under the Food for work program was taken up. The farmers who had water facility for agriculture were given seeds, pesticides and fertilizers at low rate of interest rate, which was repaid by the farmers later on. The said program accompanied with trainings, on job supervision and on field learning facilities to the farmers.. With the assistance of Oxfam, CASA & Caritas-India the said program was executed for almost 3 consecutive years. 6486 farmers took the benefit of the said program. Altogether 13 Vo’s participated in the program. The area coverage was 11240 ha of land under cultivation.
During the same time the program for dry land farming was designed considering the need of time. One of the member organizations, based in Pune district implemented the program in a very successful manner. The program was considered as one of the model program, which was visited by number of agronomist, activist, Vo’s & Government official. This was the time since AFARM is delivering its expertise services in the field of agriculture.
During the period of late 70’s number of AFARM members was engaged in the field of Agriculture development. Program for digging wells and ground water investigation was one of the programs, which was executed in this period. Providing Tractors & updated agricultural equipments was also one of the important programs, which was executed during this decade as it was a drought-affected era. During the period 1969 to 78, program of digging of wells, drilling & de silting of wells was done on large scale.
Agriculture Support Program in Disaster Affected Villages (1992-1996) :
In the beginning of 90’s two major disasters that shattered the lifes of many farmers was flooding of river Mowad in Amaravati District (1991) and earthquake in Latur & Osmanabad districts of Marathwada region (1993) in the state.
With regard to agriculture development program in the disasters AFARM took up number of activities in regenerating the agricultural activities such as providing seeds, Fertilizers, Pesticides, Implements, Trainings regarding soil treatments, ways of water harvesting and recharging, de silting of wells & ponds, etc.
Agriculture Training & Extension Program – (1996-2001) :
In latter phase of AFARM led Watershed Program, implemented through Grass roots small NGOs, Agriculture Development program was taken up with technical support of AFARM in 12 villages benefiting 1530 families.
The agriculture extension program was focused upon promotion of Organic Farming, Micro Irrigation Systems, Crop Demonstrations, Vermi-Composting, Integrated Pest Management, Integrated Crop Management, Crop Planning & Management, Dry land techniques, improved Agricultural technologies, Livestock Management etc.
Organic Farming Promotion Program (2003-2008) :
In order to propagate the organic farming, AFARM took up the program of instituting of the models and demonstrations with regard to organic farming at Marathwada Regional Center for the Farmers & NGOs in the region.
AFARM as a “Sendriya Sheti Mitra Va Margadarshak Sanstha”, formed 32 Farmers Clubs with the assistance of the grass root level VO’s in Latur district enrolling 100 farmers in each club which then
organized in to “Forum of Organic Cultivators” Presently 3200 members of this forum are regularly practicing organic farming on more than 4000ha of land.
In the year 2007, National Center for Organic Farming, Ministry of Agriculture & Co-operation, GoI identified AFARM as a Service Provider for Promotion of Organic Farming & group Certification program for latur district of Maharashtra. In order to convert
1500ha area in to organic farming, AFARM is Providing technical support to 1500 farmers in 6 villages through on field guidance, demonstrations, trainings, workshops, field days, Exposure tours, documentation including organic input supply & certification.
Participatory Agricultural Development Program-(2005- ongoing) :
To facilitate the sustainable development of irrigated Agriculture by the farmers in the completed Minor Irrigation Schemes, Participatory Agricultural Development Program (PADP) is being implemented by AFARM in 20 villages through the newly established Water User Associations.
The Minor Irrigation Division (Local Sector), Department of Rural Government & Water Conservation, Government Of Maharashtra, with financial Assistance of KFW, a German Development
Bank is implementing Minor Irrigation Program (MIP-M) in 40 locations spread over 10 districts of Maharashtra.
The Department of Rural Development & Water Conservation, GOM has assigned the work to the consortium lead by AFARM for providing Agriculture Extension & Training services for the implementation of PADP in 51 schemes.
As a PADP implementation agency, AFARM provides agriculture training and extension services to WUA farmers including demonstrationsand trails, farmers and women’s field days, exchange visits, farmer’s trainings, participatory evaluation and planning etc for enhancing agriculture productivity & income from irrigated agriculture. Presently, More than 2500 farmers are being benefited from these services.
More Details About Participatory Agricultural Development Program