- Madgyal in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra is prone to drought, and farmers have traditionally relied on water-intensive crops such as sugarcane.
- However, in recent years, the government has been promoting the cultivation of millets, which are drought-resistant and have a number of other benefits, such as being high in nutrition and requiring less fertilizer than other crops.
Challenges in Madgyal village
In 2017, the farmers of Madgyal decided to shift to millet farming. However, they faced a number of challenges, including:
- Lack of knowledge about millet cultivation
- Lack of access to quality seeds and fertilizers
- Lack of market for millets
Steps Taken by Villagers
- The farmers of Madgyal overcame these challenges with the help of the government, NGOs, and other stakeholders.
- The government provided the farmers with training on millet cultivation, and NGOs helped them to access quality seeds and fertilizers.
- The farmers also formed a cooperative to help them to market their millets.
Outcome of the Initiative
- The results of the farmers’ efforts have been impressive. In 2018, the farmers of Madgyal harvested a bumper crop of millets.
- The yield was three times more than the national average per hectare.
- The farmers were able to sell their millets at a profit, and they were also able to improve their livelihoods.
- The farmers of Madgyal are hopeful that their success will inspire other farmers in the region to shift to millet farming. They are also working to improve the quality of their millets and to expand their market.
- The case study of Madgyal shows that it is possible to achieve agricultural success in drought-prone areas by shifting to millet farming.
- Millets are drought-resistant, high in nutrition, and require less fertilizer than other crops. With the right support, farmers can successfully cultivate millets and improve their livelihoods.
- They believe that millets have the potential to transform the agricultural sector in Maharashtra and to help the state to become self-sufficient in food production.