Did you know that a simple mobile is almost doubling the soya harvest of women farmers in Rajasthan? Soya Samridhi, a mobile-based initiative by Self Reliant Initiatives Through Joint Action (SRIJAN), has made it possible through their interesting approach.
SRIJAN’s interesting mobile-based Soya Samriddhi project is helping women farmers manage their soya crops and get advice on relevant techniques and best practices from experts to enhance their harvest.
“The productivity of Indian agriculture is in a deplorable condition. Farmers don’t make enough profits and are struggling with poverty. We thought we should monitor each farm to see if farmers are using techniques prescribed by us and determine what is lacking,” says Ved Mitra Arya from SRIJAN.
The field representatives from SRIJAN register the farmers using a smartphone and create their profiles which have their primary details, land details, crop details, resource details, etc. This is followed by a survey that marks the field and measures the area to optimise input and increase productivity.
The team also checks details like seed rate, application of fertilisers, diseases in the crop, any irregularities and important areas of intervention. “Apart from getting crucial advice and tips, the farmers can also get help in tackling diseases in the crops. The SRIJAN team connects them with agricultural scientists who then provide timely solutions,” says Arya.
Launched in 2014, the facility has reached out to over 700 women farmers effectively in 17 villages of Rajasthan. Apart from this, SRIJAN is connected with over 15,000 farmers in four states of India.
“Currently this mobile service is just available in Rajasthan for soya crops. But it can be easily be replicated for other crops in other states of the country,” says Arya.
The USP of this programme is that it reaches out to marginalised farmers with less than one hectare of land. “The government schemes mostly focus on bigger farmers, and small scale farmers are not benefitted from their services. This initiative reaches out to those farmers who need it the most,” says Arya.
“Many farmers can’t read, so we are planning to build a vocal component in the service that will read out the solutions to the farmers. But then, with dialect and language being different in every district, it is a challenge to come up with this feature,” he says.
The SRIJAN team also plans to start a peer-to-peer learning experience for the farmers. Through this feature, successful farmers will be profiled, honoured and publicised as case studies to give them a confidence boost and also encourage other farmers to follow similar techniques.
“It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
Dear Ved Arya,
On behalf of everyone at Ripples of Hope, I would like to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to learn more about your organization and experience firsthand the amazing work you are doing at Srijan with the Maithree Dairy Collective.
The work that you are doing with Maithree Dairy Collective and within the community is truly inspirational, and we are so grateful to have been part of that, even if only for a brief visit.
Our group loved meeting and interacting with the women and getting a chance to hear some of their stories. As you witnessed, it was difficult to drag some many in our group away at the end of the day! We hope that the time we spent will play some part, even if it is only small, in advancing your mission to improve the communities you serve.
Please pass our gratitude along to your staff and facilitators who were both helpful and welcoming, making our time with you so meaningful and memorable. As a gesture of our appreciation, we would like to make a small donation of $500, which we hope will help to support one of your ongoing program offerings.
We wish you all the best for the future and look forward to seeing you again. Please provide your banking details so that we can wire the donation.
Warm regards from all of us at Ripples of Hope, attached are a few photos from our visit!
Founder, Ripples of Hope