John Peters

Public/Private Partnerships in India: An Agricultural Model to Enhance Rural Prosperity

The project has the following objectives: (1) to raise yields in high-value vegetables and milk production; (2) to strengthen farmers’ links to output markets and input suppliers; and (3) to increase human resource capacity by training farm-level advisers, laboratory technicians, and management.

The partners are, alphabetically:
 Agricultural Consultancy Management Foundation (an NGO operating demonstration farms and outreach activities);
 Mahindra and Mahindra (leading tractor and implement producer; over 1000 outlets in India);
 Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (mobilizing women’s self help groups);
 Tasty Bite (India’s largest exporter of prepared foods);

The project was designed to build the technical expertise needed to run over one hundred soil testing laboratories located at Mahindra and Mahindra tractor dealerships as well as with ACMF. This is supplemented by developing the capacity to advise farmers on best practices for crop production. The project is also designed to build the technical capacity of dairy and crop advisers working with women’s self help groups in Uttar Pradesh. This would include the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable trust staff as well as the Community Resource Persons working directly with the women milk producers. Tasty Bite operates its own farm and also buys from district farmers to supply its processing plant in Maharashtra. Tasty Bite’s goal was to use their land as a demonstration farm and base for outreach to the district farmers. This project gives assistance to Tasty Bite in upgrading the farm and establishing demonstration plots to help bring improved production practices to area farmers.

John Peters is the Director of the UW Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory and UW Soil and Forage Analysis Laboratory and conducts research and extension programming in the areas of diagnostic services, soil fertility and liming, manure analysis, and land application of waste materials. For twenty-one months during 2009-2010, John served as Chief of Party of a USAID-funded agricultural development project in India.