The Founder and Chairman of Delivering Change Foundation (DCF), Abhijit Pawar, has announced that five villages from Junnar and Shirur talukas of Pune district have been selected for the ‘Agrowon Smart Village’ initiative.

In the second phase of this initiative, with the use of Israeli technique and financial support, efforts will be undertaken to increase agricultural yield. Agricultural experts from Israel have already started a family-wise survey in the selected villages on Friday.

The initiative was kick-started with the idea that it is possible to make agriculture a viable option but there is a need to undertake a multifaceted approach.

Last year, villages across the State were urged to participate in this project. Following this, over 300 villages sent across their proposals after deliberations in gram sabhas (village councils). After conducting surveys, 20 villages were selected for the project.

Israeli agriculture experts have visited 14 of the 20 selected villages to study various aspects of the villages. After the study, Kalwadi, Vadgaon Kandali, Bori Budruk and Pargaon Tarfe Ale from Junnar taluka, and Takali Haji from Shirur taluka were selected for the ‘Smart Village’ project.

A few more villages are likely to be included for the next phase of the project

The work to conduct family-wise surveys by the students of Sakal International Learning Centre (SILC) is being undertaken under the guidance of Israeli experts. The surveys commenced at Vadgaon Kandali on Friday.

The survey commenced in the presence of DCF’s Advisory Director Bobby Nimbalkar, Saumil Shah, Representative of Israeli investor Vital Capital Amit Stibbe, agriculture expert from Jethrow, Editor of Agrowon Adinath Chavan, General Manager Pramod Raje Bhosale, Chief Manager of DCF, Arvind Gupta, Sarpanch Madhuri Nilakh, Deputy Sarpanch Sanjay Khedekar, members of the gram panchayat and progressive farmers.

The dignitaries present at the event felicitated farmers by presenting them a traditional torch (mashal) as a symbol of inspiration and were assured that soon they will witness economic transformation by the DCF.

What is the project?

The project aims at identifying crop patterns based on market conditions, reducing the production cost incurred by reducing expenditure on fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, etc. Use of modern technology to increase productivity and merit of agriculture produce, enable omission of middlemen, direct sale of agriculture produce and increasing productivity employing various remedial measures. To achieve all this, help will be taken from Israeli experts and technology as Israel is the global leader in agriculture. An easy market will be available for the vegetables, fruits and milk produced under the project as all the selected villages are close to big cities like Pune, Mumbai, and Nashik.

First such project in the country

This is the first project in the country, which is being implemented with the help of companies in Israel and with the direct participation of farmers. Jethro company, which is known for such projects worldwide is providing technical assistance for the same. For this Moshe Priva, Project Manager, Jonathan Spenser, Agriculture Expert, Ziv Matalon, Dairy And Livestock expert, Ori Einhorn, Aquaculture Expert, Yaacov Cohen, Hoticulturist, Rani Freidlander, Marketing Expert, Or Yulzari, Agriculture Economist, toured India.

Survey to be carried out this way

In the second phase of the project, a survey of farmers would be undertaken family-wise in all the five villages. Number of members in the family, area of farming, time spent on farming, water bodies, usage of water, the cost of production, technology used for it, sale system, profit margin, economics associated with crops, milk-producing animals, allied jobs, and similar information will be noted directly on tabs.

This information would be analysed and a family-wise plan would be prepared. After the survey, farmers, who participate in the project, will be given guidance from experts from Israel. A system for agriculture produce sale would be established. This will help the villages to become sustainable.

Villagers happy

After being selected in the ‘Agrowon Smart Village’ project, Vadgaon Kandali villagers were enthusiastic. Experts from Israel and the DCF team were welcomed in a procession. Sarpanch Madhuri Nilakh, Deputy Sarpanch, Sanjay Khedekar, gram panchayat members, students, among others were present on the occasion.