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Maharashtra govt, ICRISAT-led consortium ink MoU for Vidarbha agri devpt
Wednesday, 21 February, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The Government of Maharashtra and a consortium led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a bold initiative for the science-led, multi-stakeholder and market-oriented development of agriculture in the drought-prone drylands of the Vidarbha Region.

The project will benefit an estimated 55,000 farmer families directly and over 2,00,000 families indirectly through a wider spill-over effect, leading to a doubling of family incomes over the next five years. The initiative comes in the wake of a recent announcement of a roadmap by the Government of India to target doubling of farmers’ incomes by 2022 across the country.

The agreement was signed in the presence of state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Peter Carberry, deputy director general, ICRISAT, and Suhas Wani, director, ICRISAT Development Centre, attended the signing ceremony, which took place during the Magnetic Maharashtra: Convergence 2018 event, which was inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi and is underway in Mumbai.
“The project is driven by a partnership with research institutions, agricultural universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), farmer organisations and private companies to bring holistic, participatory science-based solutions and technologies to the doorsteps of the farmers,” said Wani.

Key highlights of the project

    • A twin-pronged approach involving scaling up of proven technologies and climate-resilient practices in 11 districts reaching 2,00,000 farmer families through a wider impact
    • Focus on integrated livelihood approach in the selected districts through science-led development. Use of new science tools like satellites, weather forecasting, crop and water balance simulation models and information technology- (IT) based solutions to help farmers make climate-smart decisions for better results
    • Agro-eco-zone-based land use planning and market-led crop diversification, including high-value crops to benefit farmers through a value chain approach
    • Emphasis on profitability, value addition and linking farmers to markets directly for enhanced incomes, improved family nutrition and sustainable development
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