Ekrishi is an initiative by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture a premier independent institution working on agriculture and rural livelihoods. The main objective of Grameen Academy is to create alternative learning ecosystem to build the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the rural youth, rural women and others to gain meaningful incomes, learn from practitioners and prepare themselves for their employment or entrepreneurial journeys.
For this to happen, we strongly believe that in addition to building knowledge and skills, it is important to establish efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor and improved access to financial and public services. Grameen Academy provides such hand holding support for its alumni and access to the support services.
Ekrishi offers several On Campus (OC), On Field (OF) and Online Courses (OL) with a proper mix of building perspectives, class room teaching, building knowledge, skills and attitudes and exposing to practical real time working experiences.
On Campus Courses (OC): Currently Ekrishi has a campus in Jangoan town which is 70 km away from Hyderabad City. The campus has a fully equipped Training Hall and Accommodation for 40 people on room sharing basis. Field visits are organised to the near by villages including Enebavi, the complete organic village, Green Dunia Farm of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture. We will also partner with other organisations having facilities for organising such programs.
On Field Courses (OF): We also organise courses off campus and in field for practitioners. These would short term and refresher courses. They are in the form of Farmer Field Schools, Kisan Business Schools and Livelihood Schools.
On Line Courses (OL): Grameen Academy will also have several of the courses available online and accessible through the learning portal and also through mobile phones. These courses along with online tools for supporting various livelihoods and institutions.
Currently we are initiating on the following
- Agroecology School:The future of agriculture is not based on input intensive models as has been the case till now. It would be driven by an agroecological approach which integrates various knowledge systems -organic/natural/biodynamic/ permaculture etc to ensure food security and nutrition for all, provide social and economic equity, and conserve biodiversity and the ecosystem services on which agriculture depends. Agroecology school offers various courses to build knowledge and skills in adapting agroecological skills in various contexts. Each course is carefully crafted to understand the basic science and rational behind every practice, involves knowledge and skill building along with practices and exposure visit to practicing farmers. Class room and on farm training sessions are included.
- Livelihood School:With the crisis in agriculture and small holdings the net real incomes are always affected. While the existing livelihood opportunities need to strengthened, there is also a need to identify new sources of income enhancement. Therefore, it is very important to look at opportunities that can be created for rural households particularly for women and youth in farming and allied sectors which can supplement/complement the existing livelihoods. We focus on designing appropriate livelihood interventions involving a combination of both individual and collective group livelihood approaches contingent on local situation and needs along with building appropriate skills and capacities of the people. The interventions are both on farm and off farm to enhance the incomes of the people Establish collectives and establish forward and backward linkages to sustain the livelihoods
- Rural Business School:Collectivising farmers to improve their bargaining power with markets, increase their price realisation, improve the last mile delivery of services through farmer producer organisations is going to be the norm. however, the FPOs suffer due to lack of trained human resources both for improving management and governance. We are offer various courses to the CEOs and staff of FPOs, Board members, staff of government and non governmental organisations to understand and manage the Farmer Producer Organisations. Along with that, Rural Business School also runs courses on value addition, marketing, rural entrepreneurship for rural youth and women.
- Agriculture Policy School:Much of the crisis seen today in agriculture is due to the broken systems and policies supporting or regulating agriculture. Understanding them is critical and needs attention. Towards this Ekrishi organises courses for field staff and senior managers, Government officials and organisational heads.
Green Living School: The modern lifestyles, production systems and business models have built in pressures on individuals and natural resources. A series of courses which help in shifting towards Green Living are essential. These include engaging urban or periurban people in growing food, managing their biowaste, rainwater harvesting, engaging school going children to under ecological concepts.