Rainfed Farming Development Programme

The rainfed agriculture plays a crucial role in India, covering 68 per cent of the total net sown area in 177 districts. Uncertainty in production due to fluctuations in rainfall and its distribution, decrease in relative productivity in rainfed lands affect the livelihoods of the poor and marginalised farmers. DHAN Foundation launched 'Rainfed Farming Development Programme (RFDP)', to make the rainfed farming viable by improving the total factor productivity through location specific interventions. The programme has the following approaches:

  • Organising farmers into uzhavar kuzhu (farmers’ group), building nested institutions of Rainfed Watershed Association, Uzhavar Mandram and federating them into Uzhavar Mamandrams at block level.
  • Building on the local best practices of farmers in rainfed farming, both indigenous and exogenous, by documenting, standardizing and disseminating information.
  • Designing and implementing context-specific, multiple and interrelated interventions across sub-sectors like agriculture, livestock and horticulture through land development, organic matter build up, crop production enhancement and livestock development.
  • Developing and offering a package of social security products such as deficit rainfall insurance, crop insurance, livestock insurance and human insurance to mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities of rainfed farmers.
  • Creating access to savings and credit services for farmers through their groups.
  • Build the capacity of farmers in the areas of proven rainfed farming technologies, leadership development, and change in attitude of farmers towards rainfed farming to lead to significant changes.