Creating the next generation of agriculturists
A year ago, 25-year-old Maktumbi Hongal graduated from the Susandhi Krishi Chetana (SKC) programme run by the Deshpande Foundation (DF) in Hubballi. Today, she is employed at SKC and is incharge of liaising with farmers from three villages to educate them and build awareness among the community about soil, seeds, cultivation techniques, true market prices and other matters related to agriculture.
She not only educates farmers but also visits schools to educate their children, creating a ripple effect that spreads further.
What is SKC?
In an area where agriculture is the primary occupation, the DF operates a first of its kind farmer empowerment programme Susandhi Krishi Chetana (SKC). The intensive residential course, with a women enrolment ratio of 30%, seeks to build and motivate the next generation of agriculturists through:
- Imparting knowledge of better cultivation methods to get the most out of their agricultural land
- Empowering class 10 rural graduates to become agricultural field and marketing officers
- Creating facilitation officers who serve as an important link between farmers, agricultural companies and governments
I learnt about motivating farmers and the technicalities of agriculture. The job requires me to visit villages and organise meetings in addition to sending field reports and keeping a regular check on whether the farmers are following our guidelines.
By facilitating the rural youth to empower themselves, the programme creates a ready connection between the agricultural and development sectors and invigorates the ecosystem network.
How it works
SKC students learn:
- Modules on farm and agri-input management through Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) practices
- Latest growing techniques such as Systematic Rice Intensification (SRI), tree-based farming, horticulture and fodder cultivation
- Necessary presentation, IT and communication skills to impart their knowledge to others and work as effective facilitation officers
- The SKC Programme has changed lives Savita ran away from home to study, and Aarifa learned a new language. Ganapati, a former LIC agent, gave up his job to come to SKC. Maktumbi faced a lot of opposition at home, but convinced her parents to let her study at a residential programme. Stories like these show the impact this programme has had on students who are modest to great successes today
- Graduates lead agricultural innovation in their area of work Students are all uniformly proud about the work they do and the contribution they are making
- Tangible benefits to the local farming community The infusion of skilled youth to the agriculture sector provides a platform for aspiring agripreneurs, establishes valuable and trusted links between farmers, NGOs and other organisations leading to graduates playing important roles as community mobilisers, marketing executives and crucial linkages between farmers and the markets
Our Placement Partners
- Ken Agritech Private Limited
- Nava Bharath Fertilizer LTD
- Navodyami – Deshpande Foundation
- Sankalpa Rural Development Society (Promoting rainwater harvesting, the only solution)
- Excel Food Private Limited
- Sahaja Samrudh
- Fullerton India pvt.ltd