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CARD Working Towards Rural Prosperity

The Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) actively contributes to the national goal of advancing rural India through technological innovation and market-driven development. CARD takes part in addressing various challenges related to markets, technology, resources, and capacity-building, focusing on ensuring livelihood security, enhancing farm profitability, and promoting the sustainability of our environment and agriculture.

Engaging rural communities, CARD promotes the adoption of an integrated approach to agriculture. The organization collaborates with industry and institutions, navigating the complexities presented by rapid technological advancements, climate change, and globalization. Together, they work towards achieving improved returns and economic success.

Arindam Singha Roy, the Executive Director of CARD, shares insights on the organization’s pivotal role in ensuring sustainable farm livelihoods during an interaction with The Interview World. The excerpts from his interview shed light on CARD’s pioneering efforts in this crucial endeavor.

Q: Tell us about the vision and mission of CARD.

A: CARD empowers rural communities by advocating for a comprehensive approach to agriculture, fostering economic prosperity, and establishing collaborative partnerships with industry and institutions. In the face of rapid technological advancements, climate change, and globalization, our overarching vision is to inspire and facilitate the widespread adoption of sustainable practices, ultimately leading to enhanced returns.

Furthermore, CARD plays a dynamic role in the national initiative aimed at transforming rural India through the integration of technological innovation and market-led development. Our proactive approach involves actively contributing to addressing challenges associated with market dynamics, technology, resources, and capacity building.

Our mission extends beyond mere rhetoric, aiming to ensure livelihood security, boost farm profitability, and promote the sustainability of both our environment and agriculture. Through these concerted efforts, we strive to make a lasting impact on the well-being of rural communities and the overall landscape of Indian agriculture.

Q: What’s the role of CARD in ensuring sustainable farm livelihoods?

A: CARD ensures the sustainability of farm livelihoods, extending beyond the project timelines. The primary focus lies in providing extensive capacity building for small and marginal farmers. This empowers them to adopt improved technologies and practices on a larger scale, fostering rapid growth in farms and enabling farmers to access mainstream markets, thereby sustaining economic gains.

The comprehensive activities undertaken by CARD span across various sub-components such as agriculture, horticulture, livestock, and agri-marketing. The organization actively encourages the formation of farmer interest groups while facilitating agricultural research. Collaborating with public agencies and private sector providers, CARD plays a crucial role in supporting farmers.

Furthermore, CARD actively establishes market linkages for agricultural producers’ groups, including those involved in fisheries and livestock products. Notably, the livestock sub-sector has evolved as a critical component of agricultural growth, transitioning from subsistence to market-oriented systems.

Acknowledging the economic significance of livestock farming, particularly for the over 70% of poor rural households relying on it for supplementary income, CARD places a strong emphasis on facilitating livestock farming. Strategic interventions in Goatery, Fisheries, and Dairy sectors contribute significantly to the overall goal of promoting sustainable farm livelihoods.

In shaping the landscape of agricultural development, CARD is actively fostering resilience and prosperity in rural communities. We achieve this through targeted efforts and strategic initiatives aimed at empowering farmers and promoting sustainable practices in the agricultural sector.

Q: What are the thrust areas of CARD and cite some achievements?

A: CARD focuses on several key areas, such as Training and Capacity Building, Agro Projects and Rural Livelihood Programs, Project Facilitation and Startups Support, Entrepreneurship Development Programs, Promoting Farmer-Industry Partnerships, and Farmer Literacy Programs. Throughout the last two decades, we have achieved remarkable milestones, having trained over 3 lakh farmers across India and conducted exposure visits in more than 200 districts.

The establishment of CARD Bhagidari Centers has played a pivotal role, leading to the creation of over 400 agribusiness ventures. Moreover, the various National and State Level Agri Expo meets organized by CARD have proven beneficial for over one million farmers. The organization’s reach extends nationwide, with Entrepreneurship Development programs implemented and MoUs secured with over 2 dozen institutions of national eminence.

Highlighting its widespread impact, financial support from over 400 bodies, including Central Ministries, State Governments, and the industry, underscores CARD’s significant contributions to rural development and agricultural sustainability. In essence, CARD has become a driving force in uplifting rural communities and promoting sustainable agricultural practices, creating a lasting impact on the landscape of rural development in India.

Q: How is the Bhagidari initiative contributing to rural development?

A: The CARD’s Bhagidari initiative stands out as a pioneering force, contributing significantly to rural development. As a prominent Non-Governmental Organization, CARD actively involves itself in a variety of interventions aimed at the holistic development of rural India. One of its flagship endeavors, the Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Project, has successfully established over 120 Bhagidari Agribusiness Centres across different districts of Uttar Pradesh.

These Bhagidari Centres play a vital role in rural development by granting farmers access to quality agri-inputs and expert agronomic advice. Moreover, these centers actively organize farmers’ workshops, conduct training programs, implement contract farming initiatives, undertake seed production programs, and participate in executing various Government schemes. Notably, CARD distinguishes itself as the sole NGO in India with a network of more than 120 Agribusiness Centres in Uttar Pradesh. This network operates under a unique model that fosters agri-entrepreneurship development. Through these initiatives, CARD is making significant strides in uplifting rural communities and promoting sustainable agricultural practices in the region.

Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development
Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development
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