Help Farmers Earn More With Less: Lean Farming For Small Land Holders | Milaap

Help Farmers Earn More With Less: Lean Farming For Small Land Holders

Magasool (meaning "yield" in Tamil) is a not-for-profit organization that works with 1200+ 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 6 years of operations, and 5 years since incorporation, in March 2018. 

Indian agriculture is in crisis - with disappearing yields, dwindling numbers of farmers, and upset ecological balance. 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:

" 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 

“I harvested in the first week of January. This is the first time I am trying the system of rice intensification with a transplanter. While there were lots of doubts initially, I was confident after looking at the number of tillers. Usually I get around 27 bags per acre (1 bag = 75 kg) in samba. This time I have got 32 bags per acre. I am hoping that Magasool will bring many more such programs. I am starting to build an organic manure unit with Magasool’s help now”- Kannan, Farmer with 2.25 acres of land, Boothamur village, Cuddalore, Jan 2014

Magasool generates local employment, develops technologies suited to local weather and soil conditions, and improves yields for farmers across 60 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 capital needs like upgrading to modern machinery, supporting our welfare schemes on nutrition, and providing intensive support to a large farmer base, we want to raise INR 10 lakhs by September 30th 2018. 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 6,000 will help three farmers scientifically manage their farm soil and increase profits by Rs 5000 per acre per season for 4 seasons. This will also help the environment by drastically cutting usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

*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 Rs. 15,000 will help take efficiency increasing groundnuts and pulses harvesting  technology to 5 farmers improving profits by Rs 10,000  per acre per farmer per season for 4 seasons. This income will go towards meeting their household nutrition needs, medical needs, and educating their children.

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


                                   
                                          Bio Innoculants
1. Lean farming for small landholders: Farmers typically apply chemical fertilizers based on the level of subsidy and not on what their farm soil specifically requires.  Over the course of time soil composition changes for the worse requiring more fertilizer application for producing the same yield. The problem is exacerbated by falling ground water levels (water from deep borewells tend to contain more salt).  Magasool is helping correct this through a mix of of best practices from tradition and scientific soil-test based nutrition management. Our interventions help reduce fertilizer usage by more than 30% and restore long-term soil fertility and organic content.
 
In addition, we are promoting integrated pest management to reduce dependence on pesticides.  
We request INR 1 lakh to expand the program to 50 more  farmers by June 2019.

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

    
               Paddy Nursery                       Mechanized SRI (M-SRI)
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 2018, the program has reached more than 650 farmers  in Trichy, 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 lakhs for 2 new transplanters which will let us continue providing services to beneficiaries in an uninterrupted manner and expand to new villages in Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts.

3. Increasing ground-nut acreage through enhanced planting and harvest efficiency - Groundnuts require much less water than paddy or sugarcane and give 20% higher profits to farmers. They also help restore soil fertility when used as a rotation crop.
We partnered with a few farmers to pilot  a mechanized seed drill in early  2018 and results were very encouraging.
 
                                             
We request 5 lacs (additional amount will be raised through CSR) to procure high quality transplantors and  provide sowing and harvesting as a service to more than 200 small farmers (250 farmers in Year 1 and 350 farmers in Year 2).  Our solution is expected to increase productivity by more than 30%. This will lead to farmer profits go up by more than Rs 10000 (ten thousand) per acre.

Join the Magasool movement!  

Indian passport holders who want to contribute in foreign currency, please contact us at emailmagasool@gmail.com
We will share the necessary details.
Ask for an update
4th February 2019
Dear Supporter,
Hope you all are doing good!
We have been evaluating various low cost diggers and threshers for groundnuts in the last few weeks. Harvesting and threshing take up more than 20% of groundnuts' cultivation cost and often disincentives small farmers from taking a low-water requiring crop.

We hope to find appropriate solutions soon for our farmers in Kalpakkam and Thiruvallur. None of this would have been possible without all your support. Thank you and keep supporting!

Best
Ajay
Dear Supporter,
Hope you all are doing good!
We have been evaluating various low cost diggers and threshers for groundnuts in the last few weeks. Harvesting and threshing take up more than 20% of groundnuts' cultivation cost and often disincentives small farmers from taking a low-water requiring crop.

We hope to find appropriate solutions soon for our farmers in Kalpakkam and Thiruvallur. None of this would have been possible without all your support. Thank you and keep supporting!

Best
Ajay
17th January 2019
Dear Friends,

Hope you are very well. Wish you a very happy Uzhavar Thirunal (Farmers'  Day).  The paddy and urad seasons came to to an end in our areas of operation around January 10th. We will use the next couple of months to reflect on our work and plan for the  year ahead.

 I am writing to share a few updates -

1. Fundraising - With your generous support we have raised 10lacs (including funds directly received into Magasool account) from crowd funding and reached our target. We have also received promises for an additional Rs 50,000. Our fundraising campaign (https://milaap.org/fundraisers/magasool2018) officially ended on  December 31st. The Milaap link will continue to remain active for those who might want to support us.

2. Modified System of Rice Intensification (MSRI) through mechanized transplanters -The MSRI program ran in 9 districts - Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Trichy, Thiruvallur, Thanjavur, Theni, Thirunelveli and Toothukudi. We  provided transplantation services to 350+ farmers last season and hope to reach another 50 farmers by late March.

3. Lean farming for small farmers - In an effort to reduce fertilizer overuse and preserve soil fertility we teamed up with 20  farmers in Kanchipuram and Cuddalore. and helped them implement a mix of best practices from traditional and scientific farming. Our package of practices helped increase paddy tillers by 15%. We expect this to translate into  yield improvements by 5%-10% with much lower fertilizer spend.  I will share data on actual yields and cost saving in my next update. We are also working with 6 groundnuts farmers.

 4. Production and distribution of high-quality urad seeds - Magasool partnered with 35 farmers in Toothukudi district to cultivate urad for seed generation and distribution. Most of the farmers have harvested their crop and are in the process of grading seeds for quality and size. We helped the farmers install pest traps to reduce usage of insecticides and the results were much better an anticipated.
 
                  Trap use and results
For most farmers the traps ended up catching 0.5kg to 1 kg of insects over a 3 month period. The farmers saved Rs 3000 per acre on pesticide usage. The local agriculture department contacted our field coordinator to help order traps for an additional 100 farmers in two neighboring blocks. Our coordinator also helped introduce pest traps for army worms in maize. Army worms have destroyed more than 30% of the maize crop in Tamil Nadu this year. (Local agri-extension offices were unaware of pest-trap availability for maize. Pest traps are the only way to effectively control army worms. The insects bore inside the crop tissue and are shielded from pesticide application)

5. Kitchen garden program for landless labourers - We procured seeds for 12 varieties of natti/desi vegetables for distribution to landless homes. The first batch of 500 houses in Lalgudi and Polur were covered in Nov-Dec. We will reach another 200 households in Kalpakkam by 25th January.

Please let me know if you have thoughts or suggestions.  We will share more updates end of February..

Thank you very much for your continued support.

Regards
Ajay
Magasool Trustee
Dear Friends,

Hope you are very well. Wish you a very happy Uzhavar Thirunal (Farmers'  Day).  The paddy and urad seasons came to to an end in our areas of operation around January 10th. We will use the next couple of months to reflect on our work and plan for the  year ahead.

 I am writing to share a few updates -

1. Fundraising - With your generous support we have raised 10lacs (including funds directly received into Magasool account) from crowd funding and reached our target. We have also received promises for an additional Rs 50,000. Our fundraising campaign (https://milaap.org/fundraisers/magasool2018) officially ended on  December 31st. The Milaap link will continue to remain active for those who might want to support us.

2. Modified System of Rice Intensification (MSRI) through mechanized transplanters -The MSRI program ran in 9 districts - Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Trichy, Thiruvallur, Thanjavur, Theni, Thirunelveli and Toothukudi. We  provided transplantation services to 350+ farmers last season and hope to reach another 50 farmers by late March.

3. Lean farming for small farmers - In an effort to reduce fertilizer overuse and preserve soil fertility we teamed up with 20  farmers in Kanchipuram and Cuddalore. and helped them implement a mix of best practices from traditional and scientific farming. Our package of practices helped increase paddy tillers by 15%. We expect this to translate into  yield improvements by 5%-10% with much lower fertilizer spend.  I will share data on actual yields and cost saving in my next update. We are also working with 6 groundnuts farmers.

 4. Production and distribution of high-quality urad seeds - Magasool partnered with 35 farmers in Toothukudi district to cultivate urad for seed generation and distribution. Most of the farmers have harvested their crop and are in the process of grading seeds for quality and size. We helped the farmers install pest traps to reduce usage of insecticides and the results were much better an anticipated.
 
                  Trap use and results
For most farmers the traps ended up catching 0.5kg to 1 kg of insects over a 3 month period. The farmers saved Rs 3000 per acre on pesticide usage. The local agriculture department contacted our field coordinator to help order traps for an additional 100 farmers in two neighboring blocks. Our coordinator also helped introduce pest traps for army worms in maize. Army worms have destroyed more than 30% of the maize crop in Tamil Nadu this year. (Local agri-extension offices were unaware of pest-trap availability for maize. Pest traps are the only way to effectively control army worms. The insects bore inside the crop tissue and are shielded from pesticide application)

5. Kitchen garden program for landless labourers - We procured seeds for 12 varieties of natti/desi vegetables for distribution to landless homes. The first batch of 500 houses in Lalgudi and Polur were covered in Nov-Dec. We will reach another 200 households in Kalpakkam by 25th January.

Please let me know if you have thoughts or suggestions.  We will share more updates end of February..

Thank you very much for your continued support.

Regards
Ajay
Magasool Trustee
24th November 2018
Dear Friends,

Hope you are very well. With the agriculture season in Tamil Nadu well underway, the Magasool team has had a very busy 3-4 months. We are hoping that the North East monsoons will bring good rains and extend our busy streak by a few more months. I am writing to share a few updates -

1. Fundraising - With your generous support we have raised 8.5lacs+ (including funds directly received into Magasool account) from crowd funding and crossed 88% of our target. We extended the Milaap (https://milaap.org/fundraisers/magasool2018) campaign to December 31st to help reach our target of 10 lacs.

2. Modified System of Rice Intensification (MSRI) through mechanized transplanters -The MSRI program is now running in 8 districts - Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Trichy, Thiruvallur, Thanjavur, Theni and Thirunelveli. We have provided transplantation services to 250+ farmers this season and hope to reach another 150 farmers in the next 2 months. Magasool introduced transplantation technology to 25 small farmers (spread across 6 villages)  in Kanyakumari and Thirunelveli for the first time.


3. Lean farming for small farmers - In an effort to reduce fertilizer overuse and preserve soil fertility we teamed up with 20 new farmers in Kanchipuram and Cuddalore. to help them implement a mix of best practices from traditional and scientific farming. 14 farmers are growing paddy and  6 will be growing groundnuts.
 
     Crop patchiness from soil alkalinity  and results from treatment

4. Production and distribution of high-quality urad seeds - Magasool is partnering with 35 farmers in Toothukudi district to cultivate urad for seed generation and distribution to farmers. The farmers are learning the use of pest traps and sacrificial crops to reduce pesticide dependence.
  

5. Kitchen garden program for landless labourers - We procured seeds for 12 varieties of natti/desi vegetables for distribution to 1000 landless homes. The first batch of 500 in Kalpakkam, Lalgudi and Polur will be covered by end of this month and another 500 households will be covered by end of December.

Kitchen Garden Seeds for women SHG members of Pelasur Village - Thiruvannmalai District  

Please let me know if you have any questions on our work. We will share more updates in late December.

Thank you very much for your continued support.

Regards
Ajay
Magasool Trustee
Dear Friends,

Hope you are very well. With the agriculture season in Tamil Nadu well underway, the Magasool team has had a very busy 3-4 months. We are hoping that the North East monsoons will bring good rains and extend our busy streak by a few more months. I am writing to share a few updates -

1. Fundraising - With your generous support we have raised 8.5lacs+ (including funds directly received into Magasool account) from crowd funding and crossed 88% of our target. We extended the Milaap (https://milaap.org/fundraisers/magasool2018) campaign to December 31st to help reach our target of 10 lacs.

2. Modified System of Rice Intensification (MSRI) through mechanized transplanters -The MSRI program is now running in 8 districts - Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Trichy, Thiruvallur, Thanjavur, Theni and Thirunelveli. We have provided transplantation services to 250+ farmers this season and hope to reach another 150 farmers in the next 2 months. Magasool introduced transplantation technology to 25 small farmers (spread across 6 villages)  in Kanyakumari and Thirunelveli for the first time.


3. Lean farming for small farmers - In an effort to reduce fertilizer overuse and preserve soil fertility we teamed up with 20 new farmers in Kanchipuram and Cuddalore. to help them implement a mix of best practices from traditional and scientific farming. 14 farmers are growing paddy and  6 will be growing groundnuts.
 
     Crop patchiness from soil alkalinity  and results from treatment

4. Production and distribution of high-quality urad seeds - Magasool is partnering with 35 farmers in Toothukudi district to cultivate urad for seed generation and distribution to farmers. The farmers are learning the use of pest traps and sacrificial crops to reduce pesticide dependence.
  

5. Kitchen garden program for landless labourers - We procured seeds for 12 varieties of natti/desi vegetables for distribution to 1000 landless homes. The first batch of 500 in Kalpakkam, Lalgudi and Polur will be covered by end of this month and another 500 households will be covered by end of December.

Kitchen Garden Seeds for women SHG members of Pelasur Village - Thiruvannmalai District  

Please let me know if you have any questions on our work. We will share more updates in late December.

Thank you very much for your continued support.

Regards
Ajay
Magasool Trustee
Rs.740,370 raised

Goal: Rs.1,000,000

Beneficiary: Magasool Trust info_outline
Only INR donations accepted
80G tax benefits for INR donations

Supporters (46)

Kamal
Kamal donated Rs.35,000
Tania
Tania donated Rs.1,000
Amanbir
Amanbir donated Rs.10,000
SS
Surabhi donated Rs.5,000

Great job

AS
Arun donated Rs.5,000
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Kamal donated Rs.57,400