| || CSR for Farming livelihoods |
Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) is a non-government, non-profit organisation, incorporated in 2001 with the aim to work for livelihood enhancement of rural communities. In its formative years, ISAP's focus was on farmers' technical training through on-field and ICT-based interventions for agriculture development. Based on extensive learning on the field, over the years, its work has evolved to include integrated farming, farmer aggregation and market linkages into a comprehensive sustainable rural livelihoods approach. ISAP has become one of the largest networks of agriculture and allied sector professionals in India and acts as a bridge between this network of Indian rural communities and other stakeholders, including governments, large development organisations and corporate entities, through large-scale field implementation projects with integrated deployment of ICT for efficiency and scale.
In a decade and a half, ISAP has engaged directly with lakhs of small and marginal farmers and their families through interventions on sustainable agriculture with a focus on yield improvement, agribusiness, off-farm livelihoods and human development. Environmental sustainability is an intrinsic element in ISAP's work through initiatives in natural resource management and soil fertility management.
ISAP is also a leading resource institution with the Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India) for promoting Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). About 200 FPOs are under various stages of development under ISAP programmes with SFAC and corporate funders. Each FPO aggregates about 1000 small farmers.
ISAP is also utilising the medium of Community Radio Stations (CRS) to provide agri-extension services to farmers within reception range covering a radius of 25 km. CRS provides agricultural advisory and information updates. It also plays an important role in rejuvenation of the local culture and dissemination of information on government schemes related to health, education, water, etc. Its first CRS Vani 90.4 FM at Sironj in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh was the first agriculture based CRS in the state and second in India.
Another ICT-based initiative e-krishaksahyogi initiative by ISAP is aimed at providing real-time information for small and marginal farmers, through an applet that can be installed on basic mobile phones or tablets in a cost-effective manner. It offers a gateway to solutions for farmers to find specific farm-related queries in formats such as compressed videos, voice broadcasting and text message services. The result is user-friendly access to relevant information in audio, picture and text format, as well as facilitation of live conferencing with experts and viewing live auctions in agricultural markets (mandis), among others.
ISAP also runs multi-lingual Kisan Call Centres (KCC) based on an open software with an inbuilt knowledge management system in Bhopal (M.P) , Kota (Rajasthan), and Gulbarga (Karnataka). These KCCs answer farmer queries related to agronomic practices, pest outbreaks, market prices, weather forecast, government schemes, among others.
Indian Agriculture Professionals (IAP)
Indian Agriculture Professionals (IAP) is a part of the Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals network. IAP is an online platform aimed at enhancing information exchange amongst the Indian Agriculture professionals (https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/). IAP has crossed 111,000 professional members on the online group. The ISAPindia page at https://www.facebook.com/isapindia.org has more than 130,000 likes on the page and more than 500,000 likes across posts on the page and the group since inception. To unleash the full power of the network effect for Agribusiness Professionals (Pl see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect) it is critical for this network to reach a size of 500,000 agribusiness (crop/animal agriculture input/throughput/output) professionals. At that scale this network would start creating a far bigger online as well as offline impact on the sector as a whole.