The innovative community procurement process increased uptake of the shallow-tube well pumps by the farmers and helped farmers to increase their crop production. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activity has shown that yields, market surplus, and cropping intensity have all increased. Each three-farmer group, in aggregate, will amount to some two hectares. After the introduction of the pump sets, cropping intensity increased from 128 percent to 186 percent.
Farmers were able to grow summer (boro) rice, which is higher yielding, as well as an irrigated winter vegetable crop on a portion of their farm. Practically, this means that a typical group of three small farms sharing a single diesel shallow-tube well pump set will almost double their production of paddy.
Home consumption of rice has also increased by about 10 percent (from about 1,670 kilograms to 1,833 kilograms per family, or from 5,000 to 5,500 kilograms per irrigation group), while marketed surplus has increased over fivefold, significantly boosting farm net incomes. In total, the project has increased paddy production in the state by over 300,000 tonnes and vegetables by about 100,000 tonnes. This process was credited with switching Assam from being a net importer of rice to having a surplus to export, and enabling the state to win a national award for improved food security. In total, the incremental income increase of the 285,000 beneficiaries of the whole project is about $225 per family per year. This was estimated as a total of over $60 million in FY2010, rising to some $100 million in FY11, of which 70 percent is directly the result of the success of the irrigation component implemented through the community procurement process.
In community oriented development initiatives, it is always advisable to devise implementation mechanism from the viewpoint of farmers, and that reflects the Farmers’ desire and that it should empower the farmers to take decision for themselves.
Under community procurement mode, market driven dynamics plays the key role, and therefore manufactures quote reasonable prices, supply good quality products and provide after sales support, including training to farmers for routine maintenance.
Since the process is demand driven, no one knew which model and brand the farmers will choose. Some of the local dealers ran out of stock due to sudden spurt of bulk orders by the farmers. This resulted in delays in delivery of pumpsets. This has now stabilized in all the districts. All new implementation process goes through a gestation period and initial difficulties, However, perseverance can eliminate all problems when determination is firm.
Farmers of a particular village generally go for the same brand and model, induced by the demonstrative effect of other pumpsets in the village and the prompt after-sales service availability.
For any community procurement model, prompt cash flow is essential, to streamline the process. Payments shall be decentralized to the district level so that local dealers do not have fund-crunch for prompt stock replenishment