A group of young farmers in Assam hold up a poster from their business training.

Enhancing Smallholder Farmers’ Income and Livelihoods

Project Summary

Enhancing Smallholder Farmers’ Income and Livelihoods with Profitable Vegetable Production Practices

India | 2024–2027

Context and Project Objective

East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation’s experience over the last three years in Assam has revealed significant opportunities for business growth among smallholder farmers in this northeastern state. 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 in India’s northeastern states 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.

This project aims to directly build the capacity of 22,500 smallholder farmers, particularly women and youth, to build resilient livelihoods and nutritional security through accelerated inclusive market development. An additional 60,000 farmers will benefit from digitally delivered extension services, and improved access to farm inputs and better advice from agro-input dealers will contribute to a stronger agricultural sector.


  • Mentor 450 key farmers to manage 2 to 3 demonstration farms, which will serve as proof of concept that the adoption of smarter production techniques results in higher yield and better return on investment.
  • Train 22,500 farmers (at least 40% women and 40% youth) on key stages of crop production by using the demonstration farms as hubs of good practices.
  • Train farmers on farm-based business planning to help them see their farm as an enterprise with planned investments and the calculated estimated returns.
  • Reach 60,000 farmers, with a focus on youth, through extension services delivered via digital platforms such as GrowHow, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Zoom, while offering offline options for farmers with limited access to digital media.
  • Build the capacity of 10 local agro-input dealers, especially in regard to disease identification and pest management, so they are able to provide better advice to farmers.
  • Train and certify 300 budding agronomists through EWS-KT’s online General Vegetable Production training program.
  • Use an advanced app-based farm management and monitoring system to track activities and record expenditures and returns on each demonstration farm and leverage this data to promote profitable vegetable production.

Expected Outcomes 

  • Increase in knowledge on vegetable production and subsequent adoption of improved techniques by farmers
  • Increase in yield from vegetables
  • Increase in income from vegetables
  • Improved availability of good-quality agro-input materials

EWS-KT Partners

Funding partner: De Eik Foundation

Project Period

1 March 2024 – 28 February 2027


India: Assam

This project is supported by De Eik Foundation and is implemented by EWS-KT.