Agri-kiosk is a one-stop shop for all agricultural needs providing services such as soil testing, seed selection, appropriate pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Agri-kiosks also provide the latest agricultural equipment on rent which make it easily accessible for women farmers.
During my recent visit to Odisha, I got the opportunity to traverse through remote villages of Odisha in the scorching heat. I saw an agri-kiosk manned by Kalish Podh in Manikera village, located in Kalahandi district. Kalish Podh, uses a Smart TV to demonstrate audio-visual shows on various farming practices, market engagement practices improved methods of cultivation, application of fertilizers and low cost farm machinery. Now, women farmers not only get agricultural inputs within their reach but also have access to scientific knowledge about efficient agricultural practices. Women shared that earlier they had to travel for more than 20 kms to get agricultural inputs. But now, they get it within 5 kms and also get access to new information about farming practices which enhances their yields.
I also travelled to a village called Tal Nuagaon and interacted with women Self-Help Groups (SHGs). It was heartening to know that Women Self Help Groups in the region have been playing an active role in setting up agri-kiosks. Members of Maa Dhabeswari SHG in the village shared that enhanced information through agri-kiosks has led to an overall savings of Rs 60,000 in their bank account. There were numerous examples of such savings.
The agri-kiosk model is finding a strong foothold in Odisha to empower marginalized women from some of the most backward districts and creating skilled women farmers and agri-preneurs.