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Maharashtra Plans to Adopt Group Farming Model

To beat the higher investments and low returns, some farmer of Marathwada, had adopted the group farming model. After watching the positive outcome through this group farming model, the government has decided to extend the model to most vulnerable segments of the farming community — especially those in drought-prone districts with small and marginal landholding.

The state has decided to bring 44 lakh farmers under the group farming model, the farmers who are debt ridden, poor with small and marginal landholding. This move aims to make these farmers financially reliant in next two years.

During the Budget Session of March 2017, the group farming model was announced. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gave the cabinet approval for the project in July. in two worst drought-hit districts of Osmanabad and Yavatmal, the pilot project was launched. Simultaneously, with the help of government officials in their respective districts, several villages replicated the model.

According to the statistics provided by government officials show the farmers’ response to the project was positive, with 1,200 groups set up covering 40,762 farmers. However, the officials reckon that bringing 44 lakh farmers under group farming would require greater efforts both in terms of logistics and financial support.

In guiding the farmers on technological know-how and crop patterns, in group farming, the district agriculture officials often play an important role.

As 78 per cent farmers have small and marginal landholding, group farming has become inevitable in Maharashtra. There are 1.36 crore farmers in the state. Of them, 44 lakh are debt-ridden and have been out of the institutional credit system for the last five to seven years.


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