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New Project Begins in Assam, India

Posted On: April 25, 2024
Farmer Meghnath Bordoloi holds a basket of chili peppers in his field.

We are excited to announce a new 3-year project in Assam, India, supported by De Eik Foundation and implemented by East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation (EWS-KT).

The Enhancing Smallholder Farmers’ Income and Livelihoods project aims to directly increase the capacity of 22,500 smallholder farmers, particularly women and youth, to build resilient livelihoods and nutritional security. An additional 60,000 farmers will benefit from digitally delivered extension services, while improved access to farm inputs and better advice from agro-input dealers will contribute to a stronger agricultural sector.

“Our work with smallholder vegetable farmers in Assam over the last 3 years has revealed significant opportunities for farm growth,” said EWS-KT Director Stuart Morris. “This multiyear partnership with De Eik Foundation will equip farmers with the technical farming skills and business planning acuity to increase their productivity and profitability in vegetable production.” 

The average productivity of Assam has been nearly stagnant for two decades, at 12 metric tons of vegetables per hectare, while the top five vegetable-producing states have achieved average productivity of 25 metric tons per hectare. With poor access to new knowledge, the pace of adoption of improved farming technologies has been slow. This is further compounded by limited access to finance, poor infrastructure, and lack of quality farm inputs. If the main constraints can be addressed sustainably, the land under vegetable production in Assam, currently estimated at 302,000 hectares, is poised for significant growth in crop yields, offering large potential for income development in relatively poor communities.

To achieve the project’s goals, EWS-KT will take a multipronged approach, using both in-person and digital training modalities to reach a wide range of farmers. EWS-KT’s model centers on working directly with farmers to establish and manage small demonstration farms. These demonstration farms serve as proof of concept that adoption of smarter production techniques results in higher yield and better return on investment. Neighboring farmers will learn the key stages of crop production, as well as farm business planning, through regular training sessions held at the demonstration farms and at educational Field Days.

To increase the appeal of farming among young people, EWS-KT will also develop and deliver extension services via EWS-KT’s learning website, GrowHow, and widely used digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Online training sessions via videoconferencing platforms like Zoom will provide additional learning opportunities. 

EWS-KT is proud to partner with De Eik Foundation to transform the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Assam.