My name is Yogesh R. Khirale. I come from a small town in Wardha district in the state of Maharashtra. I live with my father, my mother and my wife. My father is a farmer by profession.
I have always been interested in learning more about the agricultural sector and wanted to work in this field. Part of that decision also came from the situation at home. As we come from a small town, our means of income were limited, our financial situation was not ideal, and my mother also faced many health problems.
I had always seen our family struggle to manage our farming expenses on their own. Thus, I wanted to improve the working conditions of farmers.
So I managed to complete my bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Dr. PDK V Akola University. Then I did Masters in Agribusiness Management at KITS College, Nagpur University. I also completed a PG degree in agricultural extension management from MANAGE Hyderabad.
In October 2020, I joined Tata STRIVE Skill Development Center, Nashik as a facilitator of a course on farmer-producer organizations in the agricultural sector. This is a new course for various stakeholders. During this training, I worked with Sahyadri Farms, NABARD Maharashtra, NABARD Nagaland, Lupine Foudation and Leh-Ladakh Agricultural Producer Organizationsand trained a total of 660 farmers.
I have experience in agriculture, agribusiness management, capacity building and skills development. My involvement in these sectors has encouraged me to work more for farmers. I have worked with farmer-producer organizations for the past nine years to increase farmer productivity, profitability and incomes.
I worked with the farming community of Sahyadri Farms. So when Tata STRIVE presented me with an opportunity, I decided to take it and work with the farming community. I joined the association as a facilitator. This program helps us share essential skills with farmers in the current scenario. We are able to connect with many farmers through this program and its platform.
Apart from that, I also managed the agricultural field officer course, trained the learners and placed them in the agribusiness industries. Due to my zeal to support learners and make a difference in their lives, I was promoted to Center Manager at Tata STRIVE Extension Centre, Nagpur.
In the future, I want to work more deeply in agriculture and tap into the rural sector. The agricultural landscape in India has enormous potential. However, for the sector to function at its best, skills are needed. I want to make sure that through my efforts I am able to reach out to smallholder farmers and other actors in the agricultural space and help them with the right set of skills through Tata STRIVE. I want to make a difference in the lives of small farmers and learners who want to pursue a career in agriculture.