Over 50 million farmers in India depend on sugarcane for their livelihood. Maharashtra is one of the top three sugarcane producing states in India. However, farmers in the state continue to face many challenges in sugarcane cultivation, including poor yields. Through the SMART Technology for GREEN Agricultural Practices (SMART 4 GREEN) project currently implemented in the aforementioned cities, ASSIST is educating farmers on sustainable sugarcane practices.
Last January, ASSIST and SAME DUETZ-FAHR organized a three-day farmer development workshop on the Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) in the cities of Pune and Ahmednagar. This workshop brought together 70 participants to understand how farm inputs and mechanization can help increase sugarcane yield and reduce costs.
Workshops were also conducted for tractor and farm implement dealers, sensitising them on the role of mechanisation in sugarcane cultivation. Training modules developed and distributed under SMART 4 GREEN have enabled dealers to develop stronger marketing strategies, soft skill and adapt better systems and processes.
In addition to the workshops, the SMART 4 GREEN project has also established four pilot farms to promote and implement SSI and other innovative methodologies and techniques that will ensure improved and sustained productivity.