Farmer Interest Groups: an effective pathway for enhancing agricultural production, productivity and profitability
The present study was conducted to assess the impact of Farmers’ Interest Groups on transfer of technologies and enhancing agricultural production, productivity and profitability of farming community of Panchmahal district of central Gujarat, India. For impact assessment study, 10 FIGs were selected randomly from different villages of Kalol and Goghmba taluka of Panchmahal district. The results of present study revealed that the mean adoption level of scientific crop and dairy production technologies was found to be greater (82.53 MPS and 81.51 MPS) for the member of Farmer Interest Groups after technological interventions of KVK, Panchmahal as compared to the non-FIG members (54.47 MPS and 36.65 MPS), respectively. The overall difference in adoption level of scientific crop and dairy farming technologies of FIGs members and non FIG members was found to be 27.98 and 44.87 MPS, respectively. During the period of study, it was observed that the crop and dairy production under FIG recorded the higher yield than existing farmers' practices. The percentage increase in yield was recorded 21.50 percent in milk production of cow to 58.72 percent in lucerne production over existing farmers' practices. Based on the study, it may be inferred that the formation of Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) has been highly beneficial to farmers. After realizing the benefits of FIGs, the beneficiary members were more active in participation, meetings and adoption of improved agriculture and animal husbandry technologies. Therefore, there is a need to bring out a comprehensive policy with institutional framework and adequate incentives for promotion of FIGs for crops -livestock based farming system in the country which will not only be helpful in agriculture and livestock production but also improve the socio-economic conditions of the farming community.
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