Action for Agricultural Renewal in Maharashtra (AFARM) is an association of voluntary organisations working in the field of Rural Development. It was formed for the collective benefit of the voluntary organizations, through their own collective actions. AFARM was born out of an acute need for an apex Institution to co-ordinate efforts of voluntary organisations in their tasks of providing drinking water and agricultural extension services to villages in drought affected Maharashtra. The association was informally started in 1967 with the joint efforts of seven Missionary Organisations and was registered as a Trust and Society in 1969. It is one of the first voluntary organisations to operate as a forum for other voluntary organisations.
The main focus of AFARM''s work is to assist and strengthen the capacity of voluntary organisations and their workers and through them enhance the effectiveness of the voluntary sector. AFARM today provides a forum for interaction amongst its members, and for interaction between its members and other funding and developmental organisations including the Government, for all round development of society.
AFARM over a period of years has developed its roots and is well entrenched in rural development. It has developed its linkage with large number of Organisations and also State and Central Governments. Amongst International NGOs, AFARM has had pleasure to work with international organisations like Christian Aid, UNICEF, Department For International Development (DFID), MISSEREOR, Indo-German Social Service Society, etc. Such working has always been an opportunity to learn for AFARM. Status survey of hand pumps in Maharashtra state, installation of India Mark II training programme, Repairs and maintenance of India Mark II, Village Sanitary Mart, transferring India III to people are some of the projects that AFARM has executed for its collaborators. AFARM also provides assistance to Christian Aid, when and where required, to procure information, provide assistance and hand holding operations for small new partners of Christian Aid.
At National level, AFARM participates in programmes of Voluntary Agency Network India (VANI), Voluntary Health Association of India, Action for Food Production (AFPRO) and National Association of Water Resources Development Agency (NAWDA) implementing relief programmes during droughts, providing drinking water in states other than Maharashtra, carrying out drinking water surveillance, participating in issues related to voluntary sector are some of the activities that are undertaken and supported with our linkages with National organisations.
Central Government - Though AFARM''s activities are restricted to Maharasthra, the collective experience helps AFARM in suggesting proper norms and guidelines for certain programmes even at the Central level, invariably AFARM is entrusted with the responsibility of organising meetings of VOs for interactions between the Organisations and Departments like Science and Technology, Human Resource Development, CAPART etc.
State Government - needless to say, AFARM has strong linkages with Rural Development Department of the State Government. AFARM conducts meetings to bring, implementing Voluntary Organisations and Government officials on a common platform to solve various difficulties. It also participates in various Government Committees in forming policies at state level, and monitoring implementations at District level. AFARM also assists Departments like Social Forestry and Planning etc. functioning as a nodal agency for their programmes. It provides support to participating Members to implement respective programmes properly. AFARM personnel regularly participants in various trainings at Yashwantrao Chavan Institute of Development and Administration. Through these linkages, AFARM establishes proper rapport, and approach, between various agencies implementing Government programmes and respective Officers. Occasionally AFARM also has to function as mediator to push the progress of the programme.
Inter-State Linkages - Most important is the interstate linkages AFARM enjoys, like KVARD, Karnataka, SANJOJANA, Orissa, IYH, Maharashtra, Sahjeevan, Gujrat etc.
Besides such linkages AFARM enjoys partnership with a very large number of Voluntary Organisations, not only within Maharashtra but also outside the State.