Agriculture is the largest provider of livelihood in
the country. This key sector is far removed from the
advantages of modernisation that other sectors enjoy.
Most of the farmers across the country continue to use
traditional and outdated methods of cultivation. Some
areas suffer from lack of sufficient irrigation facilities that
One of L&T’s Integrated Community Development
programmes is improving farmland productivity in
six villages of Pathardi. The villages of Dharwadi,
Dongarwadi, Damalwadi, Gitewadi, Joharwadi and
Khandgaon have a total population of over 4,500
people. These villages were selected based on a Water
Stress Index (WSI) study conducted by L&T across India.
The study identified the most water-stressed areas in the
L&T undertook a two-step intervention as a part
of its programme. The first step was to increase
water availability to the areas, and the second is to
subsequently improve crop productivity. As a part of
the first step, the Company built check dams and farm
bunds, to help raise the ground water table and provide
fresh water to crops. The second step was to improve
crop productivity levels with modern farming methods,
taught by farm field schools. The schools helped develop
soft skills of farmers and farmer groups, and trained them
in scientific methods of farming.
L&T arranged 22 farm field schools, attended by more
than 600 members of the community, including women.
Horticulture experts taught them new techniques of
farming, introduced them to organic fertilizers, and
imparted knowledge on growing specific crops like onion,
After coaching by farm field schools, a change in farming
practices was observed. Multiple crops were cultivated
on lands which were previously under single cropping.
Farmers brought in additional area under cultivation due
to increased soil moisture contact and ground water
availability. New cultivation techniques learnt through
farm field schools, helped them improve yields as
compared to the year before, with lesser input costs.
The profit margins for farmers improved, leaving them
with additional funds for investment.
The area under cultivation increased by 720 hectares.
In the Rabi season, farmers cultivated crops like chickpea,
jowar, wheat and onion. Many fields grew wheat for
the first time in five years, after the volume of water
available for farming increased. Cultivation of Tur dal
provided additional income to many farmers. The cost
of cultivation went down by 30-40%, with the adoption
of compost as manure, along with other integrated pest