When we talk about farming efficiency through mechanisation, our minds are clouded by
images of the Prairie or large farms in Punjab with harvesters and combines. No wonder, we keep
small and marginal farmers out of it and write them off.
Sehgal Foundation has run a 2 year long programme in East Champaran district in north Bihar
on holistic agricultural practices with efficiency as a central theme for small and marginal
farmers. The programme aims to wipe off the traditional disconnect between the laboratories
and small farmers. It situates smart mechanisation like potato planters, maize shellers and
zero-tilling sowing machines that can operate in small patches like an acre or so.
The programme also looks at an interesting sharing economy model that helps a rural
entrepreneur to own the machine and serve 3-4 villages around. It has also other progressive components like solar pumps that are metered, and promotion of
livestock economy that helps rural landless families.
DamageControl turned the whole experience into a small video for donors, state officials and
village leaders as Sehgal Foundation wants to take the programme to more locations.