Diversification of production systems is aimed at increasing the availability and accessibility of nutritious food to households. TARINA promotes the cultivation of vegetables, pulses, and oilseeds to diversify staple grain production in Odisha, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Implementing partners in all three states use approaches adapted to the farmers in different regions to achieve this goal. This involves supporting the farmers in the procurement of seeds, helping them to develop market linkages, and providing training on a recommended Package of Practices (PoP) for farmers and handholding support.
Since TARINA’s intervention, there has been a considerable increase in the number of farmers who have diversified production toward non-staples. As part of the project, 15,836 farmers on more than 5,139 acres across four implementing districts have diversified their agriculture production systems toward non-staple crops. As of November 2019, TARINA has enabled about 67% of the farmers in its villages to diversify in favor of the cultivation of non-staples, compared to just a little more than one-fifth at the start of the program.
To create an enabling environment and pathway for increasing the adoption of non-staples in the intervention districts, an integrated approach of technical inputs and capacity-building interventions has been utilized on the ground. Apart from providing key inputs, such as seeds, insecticides, and pesticides, extensive customized training support has also been extended.
Customized training on PoPs, such as land preparation, sowing techniques, seed treatment, and integrated pest management, have been provided to farmers. Existing community platforms, like self-help groups and other interest groups, promote crop diversification, especially among women farmers. Exposure visits are used to enhance the group’s knowledge of innovative agricultural practices.
In all TARINA villages, nearly 79% of farmers have been provided various training about making informed decisions on crop diversification. As of November 2019, a total of 18,568 farmers, including 14,912 women and 3,656 men, have attended these training sessions.