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.