Action for Agricultural Renewal In Maharashtra (AFARM) is an association of voluntary organisations working in the field of rural development. The organisation was established to coordinate the efforts of civil society organisations, to provide water and agricultural extension services to villages in drought affected Maharashtra. During 2013-14, AFARM has reached out to 18,679 households from 179 villages of Maharashtra for developing and managing their livelihoods through trainings, micro-finance, micro-enterprises and market linkages.
Some of their key activities:
Rural Livelihood Promotion: AFARM through its partner agencies is actively engaged in developing and managing Natural Resources Management (NRM) based livelihoods of rural poor households. The intervention aims at development of resilient production, sustainable and diversified livelihoods allowing households to face production and market risks without falling back into poverty. AFARM’s work helped about 832 marginal farmers, women headed & landless households engage in diversified livelihood activities including collective purchase of inputs & marketing of produce. Its efforts have led to an increase in household income, productivity increases and cost reduction.
Training and Capacity Building: AFARM since inception is organizing capacity building programs for its members on multiple subjects and issues which have helped them address ground realities and strengthen NGO capacity. AFARM is recognized as a 'Training & Capacity Building Agency' in Maharashtra. AFARM has designed and developed a Certificate Course on Rural Livelihoods Development and so far has trained over 175 experts through seven such courses. In FY14, AFARM has trained 511 stakeholders in the Integrated Watershed Management Programme, 2,247 newly elected Gram Panchayat members and currently has 180 schools to provide women entrepreneurs with sewing skills.
Networking and Advocacy Initiatives: As part of its advocacy initiatives, AFARM conducted a Study to assess Relevance, Effectiveness, and Impact of existing policy & programs for development of rain-fed farmers in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. It also organised a National Consultation on Agrarian Crisis & Farmer Suicides in India. Around 500 farmers and representatives of Farmer Organizations & Civil Society Organizations from six states participated. AFARM has collaborated with the Resource Alliance as Regional Partner for Western Region for the NGO Awards sponsored by Rockefeller Foundation and EdelGive Foundation.