Indian Agriculture Professionals group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u) currently has crossed 125,000 people and is probably the largest group of professionals connected with agriculture anywhere in the world. This ISAP page at https://www.facebook.com/isapindia.org has more than 150,000 likes. We request all those interested in agriculture/food sector to join at the IAP group mentioned and also like the ISAPindia page at https://www.facebook.com/isapindia.org/. You can invite your friends and colleagues to join this group by inviting them to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/ by email. You can also add members by using the "+add people to group" box on the top of the right hand side of the IAP page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/.
"IAP is a part of the Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals network". Indian Agriculture Professionals (IAP) is an online platform aimed at enhancing information exchange amongst the Indian Agriculture professionals. 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, in my opinion, start creating a far bigger online as well as offline impact on the sector as a whole. ISAP already works with over 3,00,000 farming families across India. We encourage these farmers, FPOs, farmer clubs, co-operatives and others to use this platform to speak about their produce, its availability and other details. This platform will help them to reach out to a large no of potential buyers.
On the other hand, we encourage people to post about various products and services that could be used by farmers but we need some details on the innovation in the product and also the impact of the same. Mere photographs and brochures would not suffice.
In both the cases, the IAP platform will just act as an information service to help advertise availability of produce/products/services to a large number of people. Farmers as well as other buyers/sellers are advised to exercise caution, diligence and all possible legal compliance's before doing any commerical transaction with anyone who puts out a post about some product or service on this facebook group.
We also post innovative companies or innovative ideas on this group. The hope is for these ideas to inspire youngsters and others to dream of businesses and innovative enterprises around agriculture.
OUR GOAL is to do anything that it takes to to change the lives of the 600 million odd people who depend partly or fully on agriculture to their livelihoods.
All of us have originated from one or the other of the 600,000 villages that dot the 600 odd districts of India. We are all non-resident villagers. For cohesion in our society and social stability, it is important that farming be a viable and subsequently profitable vocation for all its 600 million odd dependents.
How can you help the Indian farmers?
1. Buy Indian produce-Apples, walnuts, oranges, dry fruits, etc. Buy local produce even if it is at a higher cost.
2. Buy value added agri-food processed products made in India.
3. Do not haggle with the thelawala or any fruit and vegetable vendor who comes to your door. Allow him to make a reasonable profit as his viability/profitability drives ability to pay down the chain upto the farm gate.
4. Pl do not compare prices of vegetables, fruits and other agri products with what you paid for them when you were a child 10/20/30/40/50/60 years ago. You don't do the same when you buy manufactured products and other services. Do not put pressure on your local representatives or through the media when the prices of these products rise. Pl remember that these are rare opportunities for farming families to make decent incomes. For middle classes/upper classes food/agri products are a small percentage of the household spend. Pl bear the increase in prices as your contribution to farmer well-being. The Govt has support systems in place like PDS etc for urban poor.
5. Encourage as many initiatives as possible that buy directly from Indian farmers and supply to Indian households in cities. Your encouragement will grow these small businesses into scalable supply chain entities that would create competition in procurement of farm produce.
6. Please buy produce where possible from KVIC, Farmer Co-operatives. Farmer owned organisations like Amul, Farmer Owned Companies that have started supplying farm products into cities.
7. Please increase consumption of coarse cereals and pulses that are grown by the poorest of dryland farmers across some of the most backward districts of India. These are also having tremendous health benefits as most of you are aware.
8. Buy as much farm produce as possible when you drive out on highways between cities and towns. Your stopping your cars to buy farm produce will encourage more farmers to attempt direct selling to consumers.
9. Each high rise society campus should have a Farmer centre where nearby farmers can come daily and sell F&V and other produce. Consumers in metro cities should should install compact flour milling machines in such centres which will generate employment for farmer kids for managing such centres besides fresh produce. Such farmer centres could/should be proposed in each building society with 100+ families.
10. Upper classes/middle class keen on contributing towards agriculture must be encouraged to form groups and adopt villages to do their bit. They could contribute towards farmers well being by contributing skills as well as donating resources in cash or kind especially to the families that have seen suicides by their bread winners.
11. Farm visits of youngsters especially school kids in urban areas should be organized to build empathy in their minds for farmers and farming from an early age. We don't want to produce generations that think that working with hands and legs on farms is non-noble work being done by lesser beings.
12. You could also help farmers if many of you could follow the practice of the millions of households from Gujarat who buy many seasonal agri products in the flush seasons and consume it over the off season months. This when done at countrywide level can have an effect of price smoothing in commodities between the on season and off season prices. The win for households is good quality purchased at reasonable prices and stored as per desired parameters for household storage.
13. Please save water. 2015-16 was one of the worst droughts on record and hundreds of millions of farmers were affected. Most cities are assured drinking water supply and any wastage in cities is to the detriment of farmer well being. Most farmers are also realising the importance of saving water through micro irrigation as well as creative innovative structures on their farms or on common property resources.
14.We request all those interested in agriculture/food sector to join at the IAP group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/ and also like the ISAPindia page at https://www.facebook.com/isapindia.org/. Pl invite your friends and colleagues interested in agriculture sector to join this group by inviting them to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/ by email. You can also add your friends by using the "+add people to group" box on the top of the right hand side of the IAP page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/
15. We request our Agriculture professionals to use this platform to share success stories of farmers in crop and animal agriculture as well as aquaculture and other products and services which would help other brother farmers also benefit from the good work being done by their brethren in various sub sectors within this vast sector.
ISAP, the parent body of IAP, which also started as an electronic group in 2001 and achieved the following highlights since then:
-Reached 3500 Villages, 49 blocks, 27 districts in 15 States
-Touched and transformed the lives of 5 lakh Indian farming families
-Provided Entrepreneurship Development training to 6000 agri-graduates and incubated 1800 successful ventures
-Trained 6611 BPL rural youth on vocational skills and helped them gain meaningful livelihoods.
-Satisfactorily answered more than 5 lakh farmer queries through our Kisan Call Centres (KCC) in Bhopal (MP) and Gulbarga (Ktka)
-Successfully running Community Radio Station "Kissan Vani Sironj" in District vidisha (M.P)
-Created more than 100 farmer producer companies owned by @100,000 farmers across India
-ISAP group and page on Facebook and linkedin cater to more than 150,000 professionals on a daily basis with thousands of posts every month and answers to huge no of queries and interactions generated through these platforms.
Recognitions and Awards for ISAP
* ISAP receives 'Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman 2016' for innovative ICT application in Agriculture 2016 by Jindal Foundation
* ISAP has been conferred 'Agriculture Leadership Award 2015' under the category 'Agriculture Extension' for the Year 2015 BY Agriculture Today.
* Manthan Award 2014 for ISAP's Community Radio Station (CRS) 'Kisan Vani' under category 'Community Broadcasting'
* ISAP's Community Radio Station (CRS) called 'Kisan Vani' was awarded first prize by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India in National Community Radio Sammelan 2013
* Sustainable Yield Pledge Awards for Seed cum Fertilizer Drill; Project SHARE was adjudged best project under 'Produce More' category by Missouri House of Representatives
* ISAP won the Manthan Award South Asia 2009 for delivery and dissemination of agriculture information through its Kisan Call Centre initiative.
* ISAP got the National Award on E-governance 2007-08 by Government Of India for ICT Intervention
* ISAP was given a Consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2006.
* ISAP was a finalist in Stockholm Challenge Awards, 2004
* ISAP was awarded 'the most innovative social enterprise award for 2002' by Digital Partners, USA