Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy and nearly 60% of the population of the country depends on agriculture and it contributes 18% to the GDP. Tenth five year plan and agriculture policy documents envisage a growth level of 4% in agriculture as against the average growth of less than 2% in the last 50 years. The last 2 and half decades commencing from 1990s was marked by post-green Revolution fatigue and plateauing yield levels in many parts of the country. For sustained 4% growth in agriculture there is needed to improve productivity and cut down on costs by improving efficiency.
There is therefore, an urgent need to provide package of initiatives for transfer of technology, improving input use efficiency, promoting investment in agriculture both in private and in public sectors and creating a favorable and enabling economic environment. The emerging needs in agriculture sector now are adoption of location specific skill and knowledge based technologies, promoting greater value addition to agriculture produce, forge new partnership between public institutions, technology users and the corporate sector, harness IT more effectively to realize financial sustainability and completed the international market.
For transmitting the latest agriculture techniques to the farmers, enable them to establish better relationship with banks, adoption of latest post-harvest handling technology, value addition, etc. and enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining power both for procuring inputs and select their procure the farmers club programme is an appropriate and most suitable strategy initiated by NABARD in late 1982.
SATMILE SATISH CLUB “O” PATHAGAR FARMERS CLUB has been set up under the Vikas Volunteer Vahini (VVV) club program of NABARD which has been later re-christened as the farmer`s club program. The main objectives of the farmer`s club program has been promotion of vibrant farmers groups which would facilitate adoption of modern science and technologies in agriculture, leading to improvement in production, productivity, employment potential and income levels of farmers and others in rural areas by working as links between financial institutions and development agencies to enable the farmers to access benefits of the development program of the letter in the most effective way.
The said club has been the beacon light and guiding force for the club from the day of its exception. NABARD has been handholding the club in each of its strides towards progress by providing it with all necessary financial, advisory and motivational support. NABARD provided with us annual maintenance grant for the first five years of existence, for meeting our routine expenses and for arranging classes of experts various areas of agriculture and allied activities and agro processing. The Beekeeping, Mushroom Cultivation and Vermi-culture had encouraged many new farmers for taking up these activities. During the last year we had collect more than 2000kgs of raw honey from farmer`s who have under gone the above training program and we are now in the process of marketing the honey after processing.
SATMILE SATISH CLUB “O” PATHAGAR FARMERS CLUB is been utilized as forums to strength then the agricultural extension services, production and marketing, and facilitation of technology transfer from the laboratory to the field as well as for forging better bank-borrower relationship. Till date, 26 nos. farmers club formation in Coochbehar.