Helping families earn an income from responsible farming
WHAT IS AGRI-MANAGEMENT SERVICES (AMS)?
AMS is an agricultural training and advisory programme designed to address the particular problems faced by very poor, marginalised farmers.
We launched the programme in 2014 in response to requests for help from some of our beneficiaries who had taken up Poultry Development Services. We heard time and again that their husbands were unable to make farming profitable, largely due to poor soil quality and increasing costs of inputs such as seeds and fertilisers. As a result, many were giving up farming altogether and migrating to the city in search of work.
The programme is designed with a holistic approach to address the particular challenges faced by individual farmers and includes a number of inter-linked interventions:
- soil testing
- crop selection
- access to wholesale markets for inputs (eg. seeds)
- advice on how to make inexpensive or free bio-fertilisers and bio-pesticides
- the formation of Farmer Interest Groups
- access to banking facilities
- access to government agricultural programmes
ENTERPRISE NOT JUST AID
AMS aims to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship so we ask all our farmers to make a small financial contribution to the cost of the training they receive from us (currently 100 rupees). Once our farmers are trained and working within a Farmer Interest Groupthey are no longer dependent on us.
IMPACT OF AMS
Once our farmers have completed the training programme they are are reporting:
- 15-20% lower input costs for seeds, fertilisers and pesticides
- 25-30% increase in yield
- 30-40% increase in profits from farming
- improved soil quality through use of bio-products over chemicals
We also help organise farmers into Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) of 10-15 members so that they can benefit from better and cheaper supplies, access banking facilities, crop insurance and links to government agricultural programmes.