Nirdhan has launched its second enterprise, AMS in April 2014, in order to better impact the lives of the very poorest who we would like to help in a deeper, more permanent way. Given the success of our PDS work, we asked our home-farmers how else we can help them. We have a needs-based approach and want to help our farmers in a deep and meaningful way rather than just playing a numbers game and lip-service to poverty alleviation. Those with small plots of land tell us that they would like to know is how to increase productivity from their land and those without tell us they would like “goateries”. Following a year of research into a second livelihood enterprise, we chose Agricultural Management Systems (AMS). We contracted with BASIX again for a two year period to train Nirdhan team in AMS. This involved both the pilot and the scaling phase for a period of 24 months as they came with rich experience in AMS in West Bengal. Our goal was to help 600 farmers during this period. BASIX trained the LSPs (those already involved in the poultry project) and the farmers formed groups called FIGs (Farmers Interest Groups) to learn how to grow more and better crops, once again increasing the household income.
We launched AMS in 2014 out of Kanchrapara with a group of 25 farmers involved in our poultry project. We have experienced a very positive uptake, the farmers were very enthusiastic about the programme as it lead to another income stream. We introduced a “Goateries” pilot in January 2016 with PDS farmers who are completely landless.
Agricultural Management Services (AMS)
- Launched in April 2014 in rural locations of West Bengal.
- Worked with the expert livelihood organization, BASIX, for a two year period to train our staff in AMS.
- Operate in same locations as Poultry Development Services: the home-farmers know and trust us and have asked for AMS. Nirdhan also benefits from using its infrastructure and staff for both programmes.
- We work with those home-farmers who have small plots of land. We are currently working with 1,467 farmers in 84 FIGs across 83 villages.
- We provide training and services to the home-farmers so that they can produce more from their land which is usually of poor quality due to extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides over many years.
- We encourage the farmers to use only herbal products based on EM technology.
- We have linked more than 1,000 farmers to various government schemes who have benefited in various ways.
- Home-farmers pay Rs.100 for the services.