The episode on Contract Farming looks at examples of potato growers in Gujarat and West Bengal and how those who had agreed to supply to two large food processers at a fixed price at the time of sowing had escaped the price slump that followed a bumper harvest earlier this year. Contract farming takes care of the price risk and allows farmers to increase their income by focusing on productivity, with guidance and input support from the buyers. It has been recommended in the background note to the model APMC (Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee) Act.
The episode on More Crop Per Drop makes a case for frugal use of water using drips and sprinklers. It is based on a case study of banana growers of Jalgaon, a district in Maharashtra, which, if it were a state, would have ranked fifth in India in banana production. The point to take home from the episode is that micro-irrigation is more than a method of saving water; it is a productivity enhancing tool through the efficient management of nutrients.
The episode on Crop Insurance examines the issue from the distress caused to wheat growers in Mathura and Aligarh by hail storms and unseasonal rains at harvest time this year. India has the largest crop insurance scheme in the world but few farmers are aware of it, fewer still avail of it and even those that do get scanty protection. But universal cover that truly protects may be unaffordable to poor farmers. If the tab is paid by the government, there is a risk of fiscal stress and massive fraud.
Video Credits – CNN-IBN [ Refer http://www.ibnlive.com/smartagriculture/series.html ]