R Murray-Prior1,2, MF Rola-Rubzen2, KK Das3, R Kumar4, MM Anwar5, Md M Rashid6, B Sapkota7, G Mishra8

1AgribizRD&E Services, Yungaburra, Qld

2University of Western Australia, Perth, WA

3Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Coochbehar, West Bengal, India

4Bihar Agricultural University, Purnea, Bihar, India

5Bangladesh Agricultural Research Insititue, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

6RDRS, Rangpur, Bangladesh

7National Agricultural Research Council, Nepal

8iDE, Kathmandu, Nepal



This paper reports on investigations into models of service delivery for smallholder farmers in the East Ganges plains associated with the Sustainable and Resilient Farming Systems Intensification project with a view to providing cross-regional and cross-country comparisons of the context, design, performance, impact and sustainability of the models. Models developed and supported by project partners in the Dhanusha and Sunsari districts of Nepal; Coochbehar and Malda districts of West Bengal, India; Purnea and Madhubani districts of Bihar, India; and the Rangpur-Dinajpur districts of Bangladesh were investigated. Evidence was collected from organisation documents and interviews with model participants and stakeholders. Most were producer group models, supported by government or NGOs, along with two commercial service models supported by NGOs. Groups focused on farmer productivity, with some extending to provision of input, machinery and marketing services. Some may prove sustainable and suitable for scaling out and could be adopted by government, donors and NGOs, but cooperative models have inherent weaknesses. All will require continuing support to build and maintain capacity, while government should also focus on improvements to the enabling environment.

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