Action for Agricultural Renewal in Maharashtra

50 Years of Advancement in Rural Development


AFARM was born out of an acute need for an Apex Institution to co-ordinate efforts of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in their tasks of providing Drinking Water and Agricultural Extension services to villages in drought affected Maharashtra. It was one of the first organizations to operate as an Apex institution, in the country.

Prior to 1967, Missionary Organizations were engaged in making available the drinking water to the rural communities who were facing scarcity of drinking water. Number of National & International funding organizations also took up the said program on their agenda and supported the missionaries with drilling units &equipment. The independent work of the missionaries in the said program later on aroused the need of coordinating organization. Therefore seven Missionaries came together and informally started coordinating the program of supplying drinking water to the rural communities as ‘Maharashtra Regional Water Resource Development Group’. Later on registered the organization as “Action for Agricultural Renewal in Maharashtra” (AFARM) on 18th November 1969.

The seven Missionaries who formed AFARM are :

  WAR on WANT – Churches of Scotland Mission, Jalna. (Dr. John Christopher Wiggle’s worth)
  Saint John Church – Ahmed Nagar.(Fr. Leo Havelock Desai)
  Electro Technical Institute, Shrirampur, Ahmednagar. (Fr. Edmund D’Souza)
  Mission, Ahmed Nagar. (Reg. Gifford Hough Towel)
  Rita Cottage, Manmad, Nasik. (Henry D’Costa )
  Maharashtra Prabhodhan Seva Mandal, Nasik. (Fr. A.L. Fonseca)
  Rose Cottage, Ahmed Nagar. (John Malcolm Hennaing)