Agriculture is the backbone of rural India. About 65% of Indian population depends directly on agriculture and it accounts for around 22% of GDP. This sector has strong forward and backward linkages and its performance affects each and every sector of the country.
In recent years, the growth of agriculture sector in Gujarat has shown very positive trend. The major contributors to this spectacular growth are rain water harvesting activities, extension approach like ‘Krushi Mahotsav’, adapting technologies like drip, etc.
In Kutch, agriculture is not only major source of livelihood in rural areas, but it is a way of life for community. Even though there are some obstacles like geographic conditions- rainfall pattern, saline soil, non availability of quality irrigation water for agricultural growth, the recent trend for Kutch and also Gujarat shows positive growth. Farmers are prepared to accept new technology like drip irrigation, plantation of horticultural crops etc. There is yet great scope for improvement. Some farmers are still reluctant to accept new technologies. VRTI is marching ahead to change mindset of these farmers and to accelerate growth of agricultural sector.
To sustain continuous growth in agriculture sector it is important to improve productivity as well as to improve efficiency of resource utilized. To transmit latest agriculture techniques and with aim of gaining knowledge in a group and to provide solution for different problems, farmer groups are formed at village level.
Several land reform programmes undertaken by VRTI has prevented soil erosion, additional land is proclaimed, and moisture in the land is conserved to make it possible to take supplementary crops.
Key objectives for focusing Agriculture sector:
- Bridging productivity gaps
- Developing safety nets - crop protection
- Promoting Integrated Crop Management
At present VRTI is working with about 9000 farmers with focus on improving backward & forward market linkages.
Impact of Activities:
- Agricultural productivity improvement – 10 -12%
- Efficient utilization of resources – 8 to 10% reduction in cost of cultivation.
- Instead of burning farm waste, farmers converting it to compost thereby improvement in soil fertility.