Prevention Is Better..... Empowering Farmers To Resist Pest Attack | Milaap
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Prevention Is Better..... Empowering Farmers To Resist Pest Attack

Magasool (meaning "yield" in Tamil) is a not-for-profit organization that works with 1400+ small  farmers and farm workers in over 60 Tamil Nadu villages in improving their incomes and nutrition.  With the support of generous individuals like you, Magasool completed 7 years of operations, and 6 years since incorporation, in March 2019.

Magasool is promoting crops and cropping practices that will reduce usage of water, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and  increase the use of cheaper bio-degradable alternatives in a manner that increases profitability and sustainability for farmers. We aim to make agriculture sustainable for our planet and for farmers.

We provide scientific cultivation, organic vermicomposting, soil testing, produce processing, and marketing services  that help farmers reduce input costs, realize higher yields, and profits. The average farm household eats a very poor diet and children suffer from several micro-nutrient and major nutrient deficiencies. To help fulfill children's and other family members' dietary needs, we run a completely free kitchen garden programme to supply agricultural households with vegetables. We engage our employee base on education and policy initiatives, actively help rehabilitate them from alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. We recruit young farm help and farmers to train them on technology and business and make them self reliant. Finally, we aim to make Indian agriculture a part of India's growth story, and include the 75% of rural Indians in generating wealth.

Some of our farmer clients' testimonies on how Magasool services have helped them:

"I have 2 acres of dry land in Toothukudi District in Vilathikulam Block. I can cultivate only one crop year when the rains are good. I grow urad and green gram. I  usually spend Rs 4500 per season on chemical pesticides. Magasool coordinator Vinoth taught me the use of mechanical and biological pest traps in  September 2018 and helped me install them in my farm. My spend on pesticide control came down to Rs 1500 for 2018."
Gautami farmer January 2019

" The groundwater in my plot has become saline from sea water intrusion. The water is making my land salty and infertile. I have to apply twice as much of urea and DAP as my neighbors to get the same yield. In June of this year I was contacted by Magasool coordinator Jaykumar. He told me that the fertility of my land can be improved with scientific soil-test based nutrition  management that uses the best of traditional and modern agricultural practices. I agreed to get a small patch of 0.3 acres tested. I applied Magasool's recommendations on this patch. The results became obvious soon after I transplanted paddy from the nursery to the field. On the test patch the seedlings rooted within 6 days. On rest of my land the seedlings took 10-15 days to  root. The plants on the test patch respond better to nutrient application.  If I get a good yield at the end of the season from the test plot, I will apply Magasool's suggestion to my full plot of 3 acres. I anticipate that this will reduce the usage of chemicals in my plot by 40% and increase my profits. At the same time the quality of my soil will improve.",  Karthik, farmer Ayapakkam Village, July 2018

Magasool generates local employment, develops technologies suited to local weather and soil conditions, and improves yields for farmers across 80 villages in Tamil Nadu. A large part of our organisation is self sustained through our enterprise and the services we provide.  To continue to support our farmer training and capital needs, supporting our welfare schemes on nutrition, and providing intensive support to a large farmer base, we want to raise INR 12 lakhs by October 30th 2019. Every Rs.1 that you contribute is used to implement technology that generates Rs.4 in wealth through agriculture for the farmers! Magasool's cropping services act as multipliers and help generate stable incomes for farmers and farm workers. Help us make agriculture a viable source of livelihood for their families in a sustainable manner.

*Your contribution of Rs 1,500 will help a  farmer in Vilathikulam defend her maize farm against the fall army worm and save Rs 20,000 of  income. She gets only one chance at agriculture a year when it rains.

*Your Rs. 10,000 will help take water-saving  and yield-improving paddy transplantation technology to 5 farmers improving profits by Rs 5,000  per acre per farmer per season for 3 seasons.

*Your support of Rs 15,000 will help reach 150 households with the kitchen garden program for improved nutrition.

* Your support of Rs 20,000 will help us setup a  voice, text and app based localized  (panchayat level) agricultural information system for 500 farmers.

Details of the proposed programs (https://www.facebook.com/Magasool/) are below -


1. Supporting rain-fed farmers fight the fall army worm
The fall army worm ( a native of North America)  arrived in India in August 2018 (https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/fall-armyworm-detected-on-sugarcane-crops-in-tamil-nadu-62436). The worm causes extensive damage to maize and sorghum. Indian farmers were caught completely unaware. Many farmers in Vilathikulam  lost their maize crop with yields dropping by 75% and revenues falling by Rs 20,000 an acre. Most farmers in this region solely depend on rains for irrigation and they have only one chance for earning from their land.

Fortunately, fall army worm infestation can be controlled by early preparation through eco-friendly biological means. After a series of meetings with farmers and the Agriculture Department, Magasool plans to directly work with 300 farmers in Vilathikulam block in implementing prevention measures.

 In addition, we will hold training and demonstration for an additional 600 farmers in 20 villages.

We request INR 4.5 lacs for direct support (training, material support - neem cakes, inoculants ,pheromone traps and implementation)  to 300 farmers and training for 600 farmers. The farmers have agreed to contribute an equal amount to fight against the worm invader.

2. Integrated pest management for Urad farmers.

Magasool supported more than 50 farmers of Tuticorin  and Tirunelveli Districts  to implement integrated pest management in 2018. The pesticide usage reduced by more than half and farmers saved Rs 3000 per acre on chemical application.

We wish to expand this program to 100 farmers and request INR 1 lac toward this end.

3. Modified System of Rice Intensification (MSRI) through mechanized transplanters


The main advantages of MSRI are –(i) The nursery is transplanted when the saplings are young, anywhere between 12 to 18 days decreasing the disturbance to roots as well as allowing time for higher tiller growth. This leads  to robust foliage growth, (ii) Increased distance between plants in SRI allows for better access to sunlight and more space for root growth.
MSRI fields also require 25% less water in the initial 10 days post transplanting.
Between May 2012 and July 2019, the program has reached more than 700 farmers  in Trichy, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Theni  and Thanjavur districts. Most farmers have reported  yield increase of 10 to 20 % resulting in an increased income  of anywhere between Rs 2500 to Rs 5000 per acre (translating to more than 30% increase in profits).

We request  a total of INR 4.5 lakhs for 2 new transplanters which will let us continue providing services to beneficiaries in an uninterrupted manner.

4. A localized, remote extension system for farmers and farm workers of Kanchipuram District- 
The Government and several private players now provide remote extension services through voice or smart phones. Unfortunately these services are often too generic and not tailored to the circumstances of a particular farmer. We request funds to build on the best of existing extension systems and create a service that is highly personalized.  The service will be voice, text and app based built in partnership with https://gramvaani.org/.  Content will be curated from existing services, Government and private information portals and village resident experiences.

We request Rs 1.5 lacs to serve 5000 farmers and farm workers.

5. Organic Kitchen garden 
Marginal farmers with little or no landholding often cut down on vegetables when they face economic hardships. Vegetables often show huge seasonal variations in price, leaving farmers and labourers with no choice but to forgo including them in their diets. Children and women are especially mal-nourished, and pregnant and lactating mothers receive inadequate nutrition. 39% of India’s children under 5 years of age are stunted and a large fraction of pregnant and lactating women are anemic. Magasool solves this problem by distributing vegetable seeds, manure and providing assistance in setting up kitchen gardens around homes. We have seen that gardens increase vegetable access for  poor farmers and labourers significantly. We will distribute seeds for at least 10 to 12 types of vegetables, and help at least 500 poor rural households in Tamil Nadu  between October 2019  and January 2020 to prepare vegetable gardens to meet their nutrient needs.
We request Rs 50000 for procuring seeds.
Ask for an update
25th April 2020
Dear Friends,

  I am writing to share notes from the last couple of weeks.

1. Water-melon farmers: The last time I shared an update , watermelon farm-gate prices ((http://magasool.org/blog04.php) were at Rs 1.50 per kilo. These have now risen to Rs 3.50 per kilo and we expect a further rise to Rs. 6 per kilo next week which is close to the input cost for farmers. The rise has been too little,too late and Covid19 has brought extreme hardship to 90% of the water melon growers. Magasool is petitioning the Agriculture Department on behalf of the farmers for a one-time loss-compensation payout to ameliorate some of the losses.



2. Proactive citizens of Chennai help farmers connect directly with stranded migrant workers: The Covid 19 lockdown has left many migrant workers  stranded in Chennai without access to work. The corporation of Chennai is providing them with dry rations in partnership with Citizens' groups and NGOs. In order to make the migrant food nutritious, a group of extremely proactive citizens is helping Magasool farmers in the Kalpakkam region directly supply fresh produce to Corporation Canteens and migrant-worker clusters. To date Magasool-partner farmers have supplied more than 500 kilograms of vegetables and 3000 kilograms of watermelons. In the next couple of weeks 2200 kilograms of fresh vegetables and 20 tonnes of watermelon will be supplied to more than 1000 migrants and several Amma Canteens.
 

3. Restarting field work: The new paddy season started in several parts of Tamil Nadu a few weeks ago. We have mostly stayed away from field work to ensure staff safety. In line with new Government guidelines, the Magasool team is now planning to restart field work at a low level and  we are discussing ways to ensure physical distancing during paddy nursery preparation.

I request you to share any ideas that you might have for helping field workers maintain distance during work.
4. New website and blog launch:  Magasool launched a new website (http://magasool.org/) and a blog (http://magasool.org/blog.php). We can now accept INR support from friends through many convenient electronic means of transfer (http://magasool.org/support-us.php)
Please let us know of your feedback/suggestions.  

Have a great weekend. 
Thank you
Ajay
Dear Friends,

  I am writing to share notes from the last couple of weeks.

1. Water-melon farmers: The last time I shared an update , watermelon farm-gate prices ((http://magasool.org/blog04.php) were at Rs 1.50 per kilo. These have now risen to Rs 3.50 per kilo and we expect a further rise to Rs. 6 per kilo next week which is close to the input cost for farmers. The rise has been too little,too late and Covid19 has brought extreme hardship to 90% of the water melon growers. Magasool is petitioning the Agriculture Department on behalf of the farmers for a one-time loss-compensation payout to ameliorate some of the losses.



2. Proactive citizens of Chennai help farmers connect directly with stranded migrant workers: The Covid 19 lockdown has left many migrant workers  stranded in Chennai without access to work. The corporation of Chennai is providing them with dry rations in partnership with Citizens' groups and NGOs. In order to make the migrant food nutritious, a group of extremely proactive citizens is helping Magasool farmers in the Kalpakkam region directly supply fresh produce to Corporation Canteens and migrant-worker clusters. To date Magasool-partner farmers have supplied more than 500 kilograms of vegetables and 3000 kilograms of watermelons. In the next couple of weeks 2200 kilograms of fresh vegetables and 20 tonnes of watermelon will be supplied to more than 1000 migrants and several Amma Canteens.
 

3. Restarting field work: The new paddy season started in several parts of Tamil Nadu a few weeks ago. We have mostly stayed away from field work to ensure staff safety. In line with new Government guidelines, the Magasool team is now planning to restart field work at a low level and  we are discussing ways to ensure physical distancing during paddy nursery preparation.

I request you to share any ideas that you might have for helping field workers maintain distance during work.
4. New website and blog launch:  Magasool launched a new website (http://magasool.org/) and a blog (http://magasool.org/blog.php). We can now accept INR support from friends through many convenient electronic means of transfer (http://magasool.org/support-us.php)
Please let us know of your feedback/suggestions.  

Have a great weekend. 
Thank you
Ajay
5th April 2020
Dear friends and well wishers,
Hope you and your loved ones are safe.

I am writing to share a few updates.

Magasool has  restricted field operations to only  four villages until April 15th to ensure  staff safety.  The Covid-19 lock-down has resulted in a demand fall for perishable produce and sharper falls in farm-gate prices (http://magasool.org/blog04.php). Many of our farmer partners have suffered huge losses and we are actively engaging with the Agriculture Department  to reduce farmer hardship.
We will  share biweekly notes in the coming months. Please let us know if you have suggestions/feedback on how we can better support the farming community in these testing times.

Thank you

Ajay
Trustee - Magasool

Dear friends and well wishers,
Hope you and your loved ones are safe.

I am writing to share a few updates.

Magasool has  restricted field operations to only  four villages until April 15th to ensure  staff safety.  The Covid-19 lock-down has resulted in a demand fall for perishable produce and sharper falls in farm-gate prices (http://magasool.org/blog04.php). Many of our farmer partners have suffered huge losses and we are actively engaging with the Agriculture Department  to reduce farmer hardship.
We will  share biweekly notes in the coming months. Please let us know if you have suggestions/feedback on how we can better support the farming community in these testing times.

Thank you

Ajay
Trustee - Magasool

16th February 2020
Dear Friends
Hope you had a great start to 2020.  With your continual support, the 2019 Magasool fundraiser  https://milaap.org/fundraisers/magasool-2019  has reached its target.

1. Maize and Urad  work with rain-fed farmers of Vilathikulam: The floods in Vilathikulam destroyed 30%-50% of the maize crop for our partner farmers. 5 farmers had to completely plough over their fields and plant another crop. Fortunately, corn prices are ranging on the high side and we expect the farmers to recover some of their losses. I will share specifics on yield and farmer profits in my next update.
The Urad Dal partnership with more than 80 farmers of the Toothukudi Pulses producer company was extremely successful. We were able to cut down pesticide usage by 50% through mechanical and biological pest control means. I will share yield and farmer savings data in March.

2. Modified System of Rice Intensification (MSRI) through mechanized transplanters
Magasool staff have completed transplantation work for 260 farmers in Kalpakkam (850 acres), 26 farmers in Cuddalore (84 acres), 23  farmers in Lalgudi (65 acres), 8 farmers in Thiruvallur and  9 farmers (35 acres) in South Tamil Nadu.  

3.  Organic Kitchen Garden Work: Vegetable seeds were distributed to 450 landless households in Pelasur Village (Thiruvannamalai District), Lalgudi and Kalpakkam.

4. Water Bodies Restoration on East Coast Road: We are partnering with 5 villages in Chengalpattu district to restore dilapidated water bodies and improve ground water availability for domestic consumption and agriculture. The villagers posted the issue in their Gram Sabha meetings on Republic Day. We are also following  up with concerned officials to survey the water ways.

5. Panchayat Level Agriculture Information System - Magasool staff got trained on using "Plantix" at Icrisat in Hyderabad. Plantix is a "be your own crop doctor" tool and we feel that it will be extremely useful for farmers to identify and manage pest attacks and nutrition deficiency. We are starting village level meetings next week to get feedback on  a community radio and Plantix integration as a tool for farmers..

Please let us know if you have any queries.
Thank you
Ajay  





Dear Friends
Hope you had a great start to 2020.  With your continual support, the 2019 Magasool fundraiser  https://milaap.org/fundraisers/magasool-2019  has reached its target.

1. Maize and Urad  work with rain-fed farmers of Vilathikulam: The floods in Vilathikulam destroyed 30%-50% of the maize crop for our partner farmers. 5 farmers had to completely plough over their fields and plant another crop. Fortunately, corn prices are ranging on the high side and we expect the farmers to recover some of their losses. I will share specifics on yield and farmer profits in my next update.
The Urad Dal partnership with more than 80 farmers of the Toothukudi Pulses producer company was extremely successful. We were able to cut down pesticide usage by 50% through mechanical and biological pest control means. I will share yield and farmer savings data in March.

2. Modified System of Rice Intensification (MSRI) through mechanized transplanters
Magasool staff have completed transplantation work for 260 farmers in Kalpakkam (850 acres), 26 farmers in Cuddalore (84 acres), 23  farmers in Lalgudi (65 acres), 8 farmers in Thiruvallur and  9 farmers (35 acres) in South Tamil Nadu.  

3.  Organic Kitchen Garden Work: Vegetable seeds were distributed to 450 landless households in Pelasur Village (Thiruvannamalai District), Lalgudi and Kalpakkam.

4. Water Bodies Restoration on East Coast Road: We are partnering with 5 villages in Chengalpattu district to restore dilapidated water bodies and improve ground water availability for domestic consumption and agriculture. The villagers posted the issue in their Gram Sabha meetings on Republic Day. We are also following  up with concerned officials to survey the water ways.

5. Panchayat Level Agriculture Information System - Magasool staff got trained on using "Plantix" at Icrisat in Hyderabad. Plantix is a "be your own crop doctor" tool and we feel that it will be extremely useful for farmers to identify and manage pest attacks and nutrition deficiency. We are starting village level meetings next week to get feedback on  a community radio and Plantix integration as a tool for farmers..

Please let us know if you have any queries.
Thank you
Ajay  





Rs.788,479 raised

Goal: Rs.1,200,000

Beneficiary: Small and Margi... info_outline
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