Farmers’ Club – Local Seeds for Local Markets
This story is of 10 farmers belonging to the Sant Krupa Shetkari Mandal in the Kanheri Sarap village of Barshi Takli Taluka in Akola. This Farmers’ Club was formed under NABARD’s Farmers’ Club programme.
Initially, the farmers faced a lot of issues with respect to access to good quality seeds. In the 2011 Rabi season, this group of farmers decided to utilize the Block Agriculture Department’s programme called Gram Beejo Utpadan (Village Seed Production). The group selected the Jackie 9218 seed variety for Chana or Chickpea. These seeds were bought at Rs. 3800 per quintal. The 10 farmers collectively bought 1500 kgs of seeds (one farmer needed 30 kgs seeds for one acre of land).
The farmers got outstanding results on their fields. Each farmer got 600 kgs output per acre of land. Collectively, the seeds output was a whopping 330 quintals (33000 kgs). They went a step ahead and got these seeds certified from the Maharashtra State Seed Certification Agency. As a result of this, the selling cost of these seeds went up to Rs. 5000 per quintal. The total profit for the farmers stood at Rs. 4 lakhs.
As a result of these outcomes, the farmers were encouraged to produce their own seeds. Also, since they were confident of the quality of their seeds, they did not indulge in distress selling and were not taken for a ride by the traders as a result of the certification. The farmers also ended up providing guaranteed, good quality seeds to the surrounding 8-10 villages of the block.