The objective of this sub-component is to increase productivity of selected field, vegetable and fruit crops, improve water use efficiency, promote shift to low water requiring crops and reduce water foot print of agriculture in the project clusters. The Commodity focused Farmer Common Service Centres (FCSCs), Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based demand driven participatory extension system are to be proposed under thus component. In addition, setting up Center of Excellence with commodity focus and in collaboration with private agribusiness companies under PPP approach are also proposed under this component. To demonstrate the Integrated Crop Management (ICM) based Specific Crop Demonstrations for agriculture and horticulture Value Chain commodities are also proposed under this component.
Commodity focused Farmer Common Service Centers (FCSCs)
The objective of this component is to create common facility aggregation of agricultural and horticultural produce and for providing basic minimum value addition facilities. The project proposes to establish FCSCs with the main objective of aggregation of agricultural and Horticultural produce and for providing basic minimum value addition facilities like cleaning, grading, packing and input marketing. FCSCs proposed to be formed would be based on Food grain for cereals / and horti-produce for providing cleaning, grading, and packing facilities. These FCSCs will be linked to the Rajasthan State Warehousing Corporation (RSWC) go-downs identified for providing Warehouse Receipt Financing and Electronic Trading Services.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based demand driven participatory extension system
The objectives of the sub component is to provide demand driven extension services/advisory services to the farmers in selected project areas to enhance the participation of farmers in scientific farming and to achieve sustainability of the project.
It is an ICT based demand driven participatory extension system to provide timely agro advisory services to the registered farmers using ICT tools (Internet, Computer, Digital Camera, Mobile phone etc.) on need and/or regular basis.
It deliver timely and quality technical advice making use of ICT tools with in a time of 1-3 hours to the farmers problem based queries on the areas such as crop production, protection, management and post-harvest technologies including decision based queries on market intelligence, market price forecast, and weather forecast based management decisions related to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, veterinary enterprises etc.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based demand driven participatory extension system will be established under the project on the lines of “e-velanmai” (an ICT based Technology Transfer Model) under the Bank funded Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernization and Water-Bodies Restoration and Management Project (TNIAMWARM) project through PPP approach.
Setting up Center of Excellence with commodity focus and in collaboration with private agribusiness companies under Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach
The objective of this sub component is to disseminate full-fledged technology for farmers for getting benefit out of it. It will help to develop the recipe and value addition of the commodities as well as training of farmers and entrepreneurs for commercialization and creation of suitable environment. The Center of Excellence focusing prominent commodity of the area will be established under the Rajasthan Agricultural Competitiveness Project (RACP) in collaboration with private agribusiness companies under PPP approach for market led technology transfer and production processes.
Promoting Adoption and Documentation of Improved Technologies
This sub-component aims to raise productivity of selected field, vegetable, fruit, spice, medicinal and aromatic crops and improve water use efficiency in the project areas by promoting large scale adoption of improved and integrated crop husbandry and natural resource management practices by the farmers. Unlike the present practice of organizing narrowly tailored demonstrations (e.g., only on a new variety or a single package of practice like fertilizer application or weedicide dose) as is normally being done under various ongoing Government of India/Rajasthan schemes like Rashtarya Krishi Vikas Yojna and National Food Security Mission, RACP will support integrated crop management (ICM) demonstrations encompassing the complete package of practices for a particular crop from land preparation to harvesting of the crop [including use of seed of improved high yielding varieties/hybrids, seed treatment, optimum plant population, soil test based application of fertilizers (including use of organic manures, bio-fertilizers and micronutrients), weed control, integrated pest management (including use of bio-pesticides, and bio-rational pesticides), efficient methods of on-farm water management, carrying out all cultural practices at the optimum stage of crop, etc.] in each individual on-farm demonstration. Special attention will be paid to include all high payoff interventions and low cost methods for improving on-farm water use efficiency such as alternate furrow irrigation, paired row irrigation, use of crop residues as mulches for reducing evaporation loss, etc. as an integral part of each individual ICM demonstration. Farmer training's will also be linked and fully integrated with ICM demonstrations, with each demonstration having about four training sessions from preparation of land to the field day organized shortly before harvesting of the crop for showing the actual impact of adopting all integrated crop management practices on crop stand as compared with the farmer practice control to large number of farmers in project villages.
Demonstrations will be conducted on various cereal, pulse, oil-seed, vegetable, fruit, spice, medicinal and aromatic crops grown in the area with a clear thrust on popularizing high payoff interventions and improving water use efficiency. Some additional demonstrations will be conducted for promoting resource conservation technologies, and for popularizing climate smart agricultural practices in Rajasthan. The project will also support post-harvest management demonstrations for promoting farm level cleaning, grading, aggregating, packing and value addition to the agriculture and horticulture produce. A broad menu of interventions for agriculture and horticulture has been developed. High pay-off interventions will be selected from this menu depending upon agro-ecological conditions and emerging marketing opportunities in a geographical setting.
In view of the importance of seed in increasing crop productivity and the low seed replacement rates in Rajasthan, special attention will be paid to technology empowerment of the farming community for production of quality seed of high yielding varieties of self-pollinated crops by organizing seed production demonstrations. Support will also be provided for promoting production of hybrid seed of Bajra by the farmers.
The project will also support adaptive trials for testing of promising crop husbandry practices and on-farm water management technologies which are at an advanced stage of development by the State Agricultural Universities in Rajasthan and require on-farm testing, refinement and validation.
In a major deviation from the present approach of assessing demonstrations only in terms of completing the physical targets of organizing demonstrations, the success of demonstration program will be assessed in terms of adoption of the demonstrated technologies by the farmers in the years following the year in which the demonstrations are organized. This will involve following steps:
· Organizing training and sensitization sessions in the villages before sowing of the crop in the year following the year in which demonstration was organized and encouraging them to adopt the technologies which were demonstrated in the previous year
· Providing adoption support in terms of supply of critical inputs like seed on cost sharing basis to the farmers provided they give an undertaking to adopt the package of demonstrated practices.
· Providing training and technical backstopping to the adopter farmers
· Tracking and documentation of adoption of demonstrated technologies by the adopter farmers in terms of their number, area on which adopted and gains in productivity achieved vis-à-vis baseline yield before adoption. The focus will be on promoting adoption of high payoff interventions (and not necessarily the complete package of demonstrated technologies) by large number of farmers
Comparison of gains in productivity achieved in the demonstration plots and by the adopter farmers in the following years. Although the yields of adopter farmers are expected to be lower than the demonstration plots (because of provision of all inputs and intensive technical support), the demonstration program will be regarded as successful if large number of farmers adopt critical technologies over substantial area.