Strengthening Last Mile Service Delivery to Support Smallholder Farmers in India

India is witnessing dwindling gains from agriculture for the smallholder farmers because of high cost of inputs, changing climate impacting production, fluctuating market prices of outputs, and weak delivery of services at the last mile. The value share of farmers in the commodity supply chain needs to be increased to ensure that farming remains a remunerative livelihood option. There has to be a wider acceptance of the fact that the country needs partnerships among multiple players with complementary knowledge and expertise for its agricultural development. Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF) developed and implemented a comprehensive agricultural strategy to address the challenges that smallholder farmers face by bringing together the government, the community and the market under one platform.

In this Good Practice Note, the authors elaborate on the solutions designed for aiding the transition of subsistence farmers into prosperous farmers by making farm livelihoods more convenient and profitable so as to attract young men and women. They emphasize the importance of strengthening the rural market ecosystem through local agri- entrepreneurs anchored by community institutions for effective last mile service delivery. Further, the rural production system is enhanced by increasing the role of community institutions in planning and designing public investments. Improved market ecosystem and strengthened rural production system drives a behavioral change at community level leading to multi-dimensional changes.