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Improved Agriculture Practices Programme:

In 1999-2005, agricultural practices were studied and key gaps in agricultural practices were identified. They were use of unprocessed seeds for Ragi crops and unscientific use of fertilizers. A programme for creating model plots was started. About 120 plots were set up in the old Igatpuri taluka. Ragi seeds were treated and tested for germination. The best was selected as seeds. This simple technique almost doubled the productivity. Another intervention was field testing using simple test, find out the NPKCa content of the soil and treat it with selective fertilizer based on the test. Again about 60 model rice plots were created. This also showed that the productivity almost doubled.

Organic Fertilizer production and promotion programme:
Use of chemical fertilizer is on decline elsewhere but in the area where VACHAN is active, it was hardly used. Farmers used organic fertilizers. In order to train the farmers to use organic fertilizers properly, a unit for producing  organic fertilizer has been set up at VACHANpada, Dhargaon. 150 farmers were trained in organic farming in 2002-2005 period


Housing  programme:
The traditional housing construction practices were based on Karvi – a local herb used for walls and dry paddy for rooftop. This added to the burden of maintaining the house very often, It also added to the disasters like heavy rains, fire and hurricanes. There is no provision for ventilation and light added to health hazards. There was a need to replace the dry paddy with rooftiles and Karvi with bricks.

An interest free credit based programme for supplying rooftiles was started in 1991. One glasstile was provided free to each family per 500 or less tiles demanded on credit. More than 2500 families benefited.

This programme was extended to supply of bricks for walls and tinsheets for rooftops during 2000-04 period. However, not more than 100 families benefited.

Introducing new agricultural products:
During 1992-2008, VACHAN introduced several new crops and products not normally produced on a commercial base in the new Trimbak block.

They were:







Corn, Summer crop of rice

1995 - 1997




1995 - 1997



Bitter gourd, fenugreek, spinach, Capsicum, beans,  tomatoes, brinjal, Tondlis

1992 - 2002



Carrots, Radish,Turmeric, Ginger

1999 - 2002



Potatoes, Suran

1997 - 2002



Groundnut, Sunflower,

1998 - 2000



Strawberry, Mangoes, Chikoo, Bor, Peru, Pineapple (Organic), Cashewnut, Awla, Papaya, lemon and lime

1995 - 2002



Marigold, Astra, Roses

1997 - 2002

Land and Watershed Development:
VACHAN had covered about 1000 acres for land treatment and watershed development in Trimbak block. Credit based Land repair, leveling programmes and watershed development benefited about 350 families.

As a part of this intervention, VACHAN had built 2 bridge-cum-dams over local streams. This ensured connectivity for about 300 families during monsoon.


Irrigation Programmes:
Igatpuri/ Trymbak blocks have several medium and small dams and reservoirs. However, local community could not access it. During 1995-2002, VACHAN introduced lift irrigation programmes from Vaitarana dam for individuals and group of farmers. 20 groups and over 250 individuals participated in this programme. This programme benefited more than 500 families.

Credit based Agroservice Programmes :
Farmers needed fertilizers for soil preparation and for the growing crops. They were made available from agro-service centres at 3 villages. VACHAN were dealers of IFFCO and RCF.  Certified seeds were also available. Farmers were provided these and pesticides on interest free credit. In 1990 – 2004, about 2000 families benefited from this programme.

They were also outlets for any other nonfarm livelihood activities based interest free credits for banjo and speakers, mandap and utensils, shops, tailoring, bicycle and motor pump repair services etc. About 300 families benefited.