A local cadre of women called Krishi Sakhis are trained in enhanced agricultural practices to implement and disseminate knowledge that will help women farmers increase yield. The Krishi Sakhis conduct village level campaigns and help select farmers from Self Help Groups to increase their income through training on improved agriculture practices (Kisaan Pathshalas), cultivation of cash crops, pulses and vegetables crops (inter-cropping), Technology Demonstration Centers (Pilot Plots), and facilitating backward and forward linkages with technical institutions and the market. Ibtada has additionally promoted a women farmers owned Narishakti Agriculture Producer Company that has over 500 women members.
Ibtada works with over 2000 goat-rearing families and through Pashu Sakhis provides them services and technical inputs for better yield throughout the year. The beneficiaries are added through ‘Goat Pass on’ method and Goat leasing by Sirohi Bakripalak Mahila producer company.
Ibtada is working with dairy farmers since 2009 for productivity enhancement of milk in Ramgarh, Laxmangarh and Umrain block of Alwar district. About 35% increase in milk yield happened by adoption of improved animal husbandry practices. To provide market linkage to farmers, over 1500 farmers have been linked with Sakhi Mahila Milk Producer Company which ensures a fair price for their milk. Dairy Sahayaks are appointed to run Milk Procurement Points (MPP) in each of the villages who also sell quality feed to members supplied by dairy producer company. A community cadre of Pashu Sakhis are trained to conduct monthly meetings and trainings with women farmers on feeding, housing, and health of dairy animals.
Entrepreneurship amongst women is promoted by providing them with market knowledge as well as financial help. Women members of the SHGs can secure loans to start small shops in their village thus reducing their dependence on agriculture or animal husbandry based income. Women are also provided market knowledge to source stock and Ibtada provides hand holding support for maintaining accounts. As part of this intervention, many women have opened shops of cosmetics, general stores, animal feed, tailoring, etc. and are earning additional income.