Rural Entrepreneurship

Agriculture Entrepreneur Model Approach: Syngenta Foundation India

Agri-Entrepreneur (AE) Model is Syngenta Foundation India’s (SFI’s) flagship initiative. The model follows a decentralized approach in empowering young people in rural areas to play an active role in agriculture development in their region. An AE brings together services such as credit and market linkage, access to high-quality input and crop advisory for a group of farmers. The model is currently active in Dadi and Churchu block of Hazaribagh, Jharkhand. As of March 2018, the total number of AEs associated with SFI along with SUPPORT was 9, serving approximately 1,000 farmers. SUPPORT as the financial and technical partner for the program by providing timely guide (Exposure visit, meetings, Training, motivation) to the AEs as well as the farmers at village and block levels.

Broad approach for improving farmer income

SFI (Syngenta Foundation India) along with SUPPORT have developed a unique 'cluster-based' approach to agricultural extension. In Dadi and Churchu project areas of Hazaribagh district, an extension worker or agriculture entrepreneur (AE) serves a cluster of villages, with guidance from a team of experts. The extension worker holds frequent farmer meetings, and the team runs seasonally adapted training programs. Demonstrations of new techniques and products take place directly in the farmers’ fields, combined with visits to particularly progressive farms. The most significant achievements, however, have come in the cultivation of high-value vegetables. By following our recommendations, farmers now earn incomes that are transforming their livelihoods.

Major services that provided to farmers by AEs are:

• Supply of agri-input.
• Knowledge sharing with farmers related to farming.
• Linkages to AEs with other institutions.
• Linking farmers to markets by AEs.
• Social and technical attachment with farmers.

Agri-Entrepreneurship Model, SUPPORT promote sustainable agriculture by helping resource-poor farmers apply improved farming technologies. Several thousand smallholders have increased their farm productivity and as a result shifted from subsistence to commercial farming. The concept of aggregation is used in MLE for purchase of agri-inputs as well as during the marketing of vegetables. Three major components in the implementation by AEs in agriculture are:

• Facilitating purchase of agri-inputs
• providing knowledge of production and marketing of vegetables
• Linking farmers to markets