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Over 30K self-help groups trained as “Krishi Sakhis” to enhance agri skills of rural women

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Photo: ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Varanasi today will distribute certificates to over 30,000 self-help groups trained as Krishi Sakhis to work as para extension workers.

The program aims to realize the significant role and contribution of women in agriculture and to further enhance the skills of rural women.

On an average, a Krishi Sakhi can earn around Rs 60,000 to 80,000 in a year. The ministry has so far certified 34,000 Krishi Sakhis out of 70,000 as Para-extension Workers.

Krishi Sakhi is one dimension under the ‘Lakhpati Didi’ program which aims to create 3 crore Lakhpati Didis, and the Krishi Sakhi convergence program (KSCP) aims to transform rural India through the empowerment of rural Women as Krishi Sakhis, by imparting training and certification of Krishi Sakhis as Para-extension Workers. This certification course aligns with the objectives of the “Lakhpati Didi” Program.

Krishi Sakhis are chosen as agriculture para-extension workers because they are trusted community resource persons and experienced farmers themselves. Their deep roots in farming communities ensure they are welcomed and respected.

Krishi Sakhis are trained by professionals on various agriculture related extension services for 56 days on various activities. It includes Agro Ecological Practices from land preparation to harvest; Organising Farmer Field schools Seed banks and Establishment and Management; Soil health, soil and moisture conservation practices; Integrated Farming Systems; Basics of Livestock Management; Preparation and use of Bio inputs and establishment of Bio inputs shops; Basic communication skills.

The government says that Krishi Sakhis are undergoing refresher training with a special focus on Natural Farming and Soil Health Card through DAY-NRLM agencies in coordination with MANAGE.

Post-training, Krishi Sakhis will take a proficiency test. Those who qualify will be certified as Para-extension Workers and will be enabled to work under various schemes on fixed resource fees.

Right now the Krishi Sakhi training program has been rolled out in 12 states in Phases. In the first phase, women of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, and Meghalaya will be trained as Krishi Sakhis

“Currently under the scheme of MOVCDNER (Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region) 30 Krishi Sakhis are working as Local resource persons (LRP) visiting each farm once in every month to monitor farm activities and understand challenges faced by the farmers,” said the government.

It added “They also conduct Farmer Interest Group (FIG) level meetings every week to train farmers, interact and understand challenges faced by farmers, FPO functioning and marketing activities and maintain farmer diary. The resource fee they are getting Rs 4500 per month for the mentioned activities”.