PANI - People’s Action for National Integration
Farmers across East UP have predominantly small landholdings and grow water intensive crops such as paddy, wheat and sugarcane. While historically the area has not witnessed water scarcity, over extraction of ground water has led to declining ground water levels and increased costs of extraction via diesel pumps. High input costs coupled with low yields and variable price realisation for produce has adversely affected livelihoods of small farmers in the region.
PANI’s partnership with HUF aims to transform the capacity of small farmers in the region to address their water and farming challenges. The programme was implemented through a consortium of 10 regional partners in 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh, with PANI as the anchor NGO partner. It was anchored by an all-women cadre of Community Resource Professionals (CRPs). They were instrumental in driving behaviour change by measuring and demonstrating the benefits of adopting innovative practices to farmers of their village. The CRPs used pico projectors to show locally made films with local farmers in their dialects to build credibility of farming practices and shift farmer behaviour. Adoption of improved farming practices helped farmers reduce inputs costs while improving their crop yields.
The programme covered 126 villages in 10 districts. An estimated 30,000 farmers benefitted through adoption of practices, over 75% of whom are women.