Reaching Farmers in Times of COVID-19

COVID-19 is creating challenges for our day-to-day project implementation plans, in particular, how we work with farmers. Digital Green established task forces in its India and Ethiopia country offices to explore how we can adapt our approaches and leverage technologies to communicate vital information amidst social distancing and lockdowns and to support smallholder farmers in coping with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The task forces shared the following innovations they are implementing to support farmers under the unprecedented challenges of this pandemic.


Surveys to understand farmer needs

Digital Green is collaborating with its government partners in India to gather ground-level data via phone and WhatsApp surveys. The goal is to survey 800 farmers (200 each in AP, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha) and provide government agencies with information to help them to proactively respond and prevent agricultural shocks and food security issues. Key questions in the survey include the challenges around the completion of the Rabi crop harvest, crops and acreage planned for Kharif crops, and inputs needed for the Kharif season.

Similarly, in Ethiopia, Digital Green conducted rapid phone and interactive voice response (IVR) surveys to gather data on agriculture and health/nutrition-related needs. In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture Extension Directorate and Agricultural Transformation Agency, the collected data will be used by government partners to target extension advisories, as well as inform policies and decisions to modify agricultural programs.

Results from the survey in Ethiopia, which reached 200 farmers in four regions, identified the following challenges: (1) While farmers are aware of COVID-19, there is a need to reinforce messaging about preventive measures such as social distancing. (2) Limited transport services, market closures, and travel restrictions are disturbing market access. (3) Farmers are concerned about their ability to access quality inputs and receive services from unions/cooperatives. (4) Farmers expect planting delays due to lack of inputs and a shortage of labor. (5) Locust swarms are destroying harvests and imperiling the upcoming planting season. (6) Farmers are concerned about limited opportunities to work together, support each other, share experiences, and learn from videos.


Integrating digital channels of content delivery

The survey in Ethiopia conducted by Digital Green revealed that 88% of respondents listen to agriculture programs on the radio and identified it as the most accessible information channel, followed by phone audio messages (51%) and text messages (37%). Only 9% of respondents have both a smartphone and access to the internet and use mobile apps. Based on these findings, Digital Green is prioritizing radio, IVR and SMS as communication channels that do not require in-person presence for sharing information. Potential content delivery includes information about traders/buyers via IVR on a regular schedule, digitally linking farmers with potential buyers in collaboration with local government, providing digital extension information (agronomic and livestock handling practices), and early warning information regarding weather, disease and pest outbreaks.


Supporting market linkages

In India, Digital Green launched a directory to help buyers discover local smallholder farmers with available produce. This responds to concerns from farmers near Bangalore, whose crops were going to waste on the farm given that the traditional markets (mandis) were disrupted by the lockdown. This directory helps create market linkages, prevent crop loss, support food security, and ensure farmers are still able to sell their crops.

Also in India, Digital Green is evaluating ideas for new products and services that build on our existing solutions and helps smallholder farmers increase income and realize operational excellence in a commercially viable, scalable manner. We are exploring themes like marketplaces, traceability of produce, and agronomic advisory services.


Direct support to partners

As noted above, the surveys are not only providing valuable information on farmers’ needs and how to best address those, but the results are shared with government partners in order to support their efforts to address the impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture.

Our government partners are requesting support to ramp up their digital responses for example (1) provision of remote/virtual training on new technologies and practices; (2) co-funding for radio, poster production, microphones and fuel and other means to broadcast public health messages in villages, as well as personal protective equipment for extension staff and laborers; and (3) financial support to cover content production and broadcast costs to reach farmers with agricultural messaging using regional radio.


How are you and your organization supporting and reaching farmers during this pandemic? If you see opportunities to collaborate with Digital Green, please reach out to us too! Share your ideas and feedback at 

COVID-19 and Agriculture: Resources and Recommendations

Updated 16th June 2020.

Digital Green has been closely following the effects of COVID-19 on farmer livelihoods and resilience, food security, agricultural market systems in order to adapt digital extension approaches to best support beneficiaries under these unprecedented circumstances. While this pandemic presents many challenges, it also creates an opportunity for digital extension to continue to serve farmers and be adapted to support public health responses and new agricultural needs that arise. Digital Green staff have been in close communication with stakeholders on the ground to understand their concerns and adapt digital technologies to their current needs under COVID-19. Furthermore, Digital Green’s Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) project organized a webinar on extension and advisory services’ role in crises and emergencies, including COVID-19. Digital Green blogs are showcasing specific actions that Digital Green has already taken to support beneficiaries during COVID-19.  

Below we have listed a compendium of resources addressing agricultural challenges surging under this pandemic and responses from various actors.

Impact on Food Security

Many of Digital Green’s partners and collaborators are at the forefront of the analysis regarding COVID-19 and its effects on agriculture and food security.  The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has been curating resources covering COVID-19. IFPRI suggests that the impact of COVID-19 in the agriculture sector will be felt unevenly; farm operations may be spared the worst, but small and medium-sized enterprises in urban areas will likely face considerable problems. They recommend addressing food security impacts stemming from reduced incomes or unemployment.

In India, the food-based safety net is providing rice or wheat and pulses to families, which helps families meet their cereal requirements, but there are concerns over exclusion of the urban poor, maintaining food quality, and the long-term effect of relief that may depress prices and affect farmers’ incomes in the long run. IWWAGE put together a study with qualitative evidence from 1331 mandis to show that by comparison to last year, only 6 per cent of wheat sold during the first three weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown. Economic & Political Weekly, a peer-reviewed policy journal,  published an article that highlighted COVID-19’s high transaction costs and uncertainty in India’s transformed food supply chains: food security is at risk as 92% of food consumption in India is purchased; 80% of food consumption by value is non-grain, which means a shorter shelf life and a need for a continuous supply; and more than 60% of Indian rural incomes are linked to the post-farmgate food supply.

In Africa, COVID-19 related lockdowns are affecting informal urban food trade. Better communication between political leaders and market leaders, as well as ensuring that safety nets reach these market actors, can help mitigate effects on informal traders and markets.

The United Nations (UN) University released estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty, showing that COVID-19 poses a challenge to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by 2030; global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990.  Furthermore, non-monetary indicators such as undernutrition and malnourishment, could also be seriously hit. 

In a blog, the World Bank recognizes that it is imperative to keep food moving during these times of pandemic. They recommend addressing the domestic issues that affect food supply in stores. Secondly, countries should not issue export bans, as these would only exacerbate economic losses. This is of particular importance, as some countries are starting to place export restrictions already. Lastly, safe and affordable methods to get food from field to table need to be implemented, including cash transfers for farmers, ensuring the availability of key agricultural inputs, and developing health screening protocols.  Furthermore, the World Bank is emphasizing modernizing government-to-people payments as a social mechanism to deal with COVID-19’s effects.

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition reports the effects of COVID-19 on food systems on low- and high-income populations, along with mitigation and adaptation systems. Main concerns include food prices and shocks to the most vulnerable. But they offer hope: this is an opportunity to focus on and prioritize food safety issues.

Digital Green’s collaborators are sharing their concerns stemming from this pandemic. For example, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) published recommendations for addressing COVID-19’s effect on Indian agriculture. In India specifically, the agricultural cycle dictates when farmers make most of their income; therefore, ensuring proper storage, access to seeds and inputs, and allowing for intra and inter-state movement would allow farmers to sell their products or store them appropriately in order to prevent income losses.

Role of Digital Extension

Organizations in the digital space are rethinking how to adapt their work and approaches in light of COVID-19. ICT Works, a community for international development professionals committed to utilizing new and emerging technologies, is providing resources specific to digital responses to address COVID-19. The Skoll Foundation, which focuses on social entrepreneurship, adapted its annual Skoll World Forum into a virtual forum. A session on climate-smart agriculture digital tools addressed concerns with locusts and COVID-19 in East Africa, leveraging WhatsApp and machine learning on food security and locust interventions, as well as insurance, cash transfers and market support.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other stakeholders organized a virtual Global Digital Development Forum  to mobilize COVID-19 digital responses and address long-term challenges to build an open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystem. Digital Green presented on learnings from digital agricultural extension from the DLEC project and applicability to COVID-19. USAID has also issued guidance on COVID-19 preparedness and response digital technologies and data systems.

Arghyam, a foundation focusing on sustainable water solutions in India, recently released a “content store” with information from partners and government agencies on handwashing, social etiquette, and government relief schemes in the form of videos, posters, and audio.

Donor Responses

Many donors in the agriculture and nutrition sector are taking active steps to overcome COVID-19 challenges. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced funding to develop vaccines and treatments of COVID-19, which will be critical for saving lives. The World Bank has launched a $160 billion USD COVID-19 emergency response to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.

The World Bank has organized an agribusiness management and resilience task force in Uttar Pradesh, India, with the purpose to help farmer producer organizations address the challenges related to pre- and post-production operations stemming from COVID-19. This multi-stakeholder initiative includes the participation of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, the Water Resources Group 2030, the BioEnergy Board, civil society organizations, microfinance institutions, private sector logistics and agri-business solution providers, ICT companies, amongst other key stakeholders.

USAID has pledged $274 million USD in health and humanitarian assistance to help countries respond to COVID-19. The agency has released guidance to implementing partners on how to deal with implementation disruptions resulting from COVID-19.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has policy tools to help decision-makers, including a food and agriculture policy decision analysis and food price monitoring analysis. The FAO recognizes its role in supporting the emerging needs stemming from COVID-19, and plans to ramp up field implementation to support access to agricultural inputs for farmers and herders; distribute kits, seeds, and/or small stock in communities with higher prevalence of undernutrition; and stabilize access to food by supporting purchasing power through cash distribution. In a paper focusing on the role of extension and advisory services at the frontline of the response to COVID-19 to ensure food security,  FAO indicates that extension and advisory services plan an indispensable role in minimizing the impact of COVID-19 in rural areas. They recommend adapting the delivery mechanisms of extension and advisory services, including going digital and joining forces with emergency response actors.  

How are you and your organization adapting your approaches and the way you support beneficiaries during this pandemic? If you see opportunities to collaborate with Digital Green, please reach out to us too! Share your ideas and feedback at

Message from Rikin Gandhi, our Co-Founder

This is a difficult moment for the world. None of us could have imagined the scale and extent of health, economic, and psychological suffering taking place. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who have been directly affected. All of our lives have become upended so suddenly, and it’s tough not knowing what news tomorrow will bring.

We’re grateful to our board and existing donors who have expressed their full support in helping us navigate these uncertain times.

I also want to thank each member of our frontline teams in Ethiopia and India who has kept in touch with extension agents and farmers by whatever means possible. I know working from home isn’t what many of us signed up for, but the farming communities that we serve have even greater needs as a result of this crisis. We wish we could be together to strategize and support them directly in the field.

I appreciate everyone staying at home to take care of themselves and their families, to slow the spread of the virus, and move the society forward as quickly as possible. That is why we, along with our partners, had to make the tough but clear decision to pause the community video screenings that have been the hallmark of our work.

I know that it isn’t easy to be isolated, and for the first couple of days, I’d admit that I wasn’t sure what I should be doing. I took that opportunity to pause and reflect, and now like many of you, I feel grateful about all that we’re pursuing in our work while also enjoying more time with my family and trying to juggle new household responsibilities.

This crisis has shown how interconnected our world has become. We’re seeing how much our health is tied to others. We’re realizing how much we depend on small-scale farmers for our food supply. And we’re appreciating how much we need each other as a team for comfort and strength.

I am confident that we will look back at this time and take pride in our response. I have been inspired by how quickly each of our staff has mobilized to address the challenge at hand. We’re repurposing existing videos to share awareness and prevention measures for the disease over mobile and social media channels, helping farmers link with markets in the midst of lockdowns, facilitating virtual trainings of frontline workers to stand ready when conditions allow them to be back in the field and have many more initiatives under development.

I’m also encouraged by the hard work that other organizations are doing to rapidly increase COVID-19 testing and vaccine development, which is crucial to resolving this threat over the next year or so. In the meantime, the partners and communities that we serve continue to call on us; and we’re trying to bring together the best in our grounded insights and spirit of innovation to develop ways to not just address the present situation but to create lasting change for the future. That is the mandate of the task forces that we have constituted in Ethiopia and India.

The new approaches that we develop and the ways that we interact with one another during this time will define us for years to come. We had begun shifting our focus from solely extending information to farmers, and instead, enabling farmers to make their own choices to transform their own livelihoods with FarmStack. I believe this is ultimately how we will build resilience for both farmers and ourselves alike not just for COVID-19, but other health, market and weather shocks too.

Farmer and farm profile data can be incredibly powerful to both inform messages that can be shared to meet farmers’ immediate agricultural and health needs. And building on the COCO data that we’ve historically collected, forward-looking data on farmers’ cropping plans for the major agricultural seasons coming up in India and Ethiopia have the potential to connect farmers with personalized extension content, input dealers, credit and insurance facilities, and offtake markets across the value chain.

The situation continues to evolve very quickly and there likely will be more challenging days ahead of us but we are mapping our risks, building contingency scenarios, and pursuing business development opportunities in this new world.

We remain committed to our mission to sustainably increase farmers’ incomes in a nutrition-sensitive, climate-resilient, and inclusive manner. Many experiments we try will fail, but we will ultimately succeed as we always have: starting from the community, being honest about what works and what doesn’t, having each other’s backs, and catalyzing impact at scale.
I wish you and your loved ones continued safety and good health.


DG’s organizational response to COVID-19

Digital Green is helping slow the spread of COVID-19 by supporting staff, partners and community.

We remain committed to supporting farmers, who are in even greater need given the health, food, social and economic challenges of lockdowns and market disruptions. We are working with our partners to understand their needs, and how we can help them too — both by supporting their organizations but also with respect to helping them still engage communities and gather insights they need to inform messages that go out, and their programs and policies more generally to ensure health and food security. To do all this, we have begun putting together internal task forces for staff to explore ways to use technology to support farmers in coping with the near-term and project impacts of this crisis and to strengthen resilience in the future.

While we are finding ways to adapt our programs to be responsive to farmers’ needs, our immediate concern was the wellbeing of our staff.

To slow the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of our staff, partners and communities we serve, we have instituted policies requiring staff worldwide to work from home and restricting travel until further notice.

We have also updated our leave policy. Any staff member who becomes sick with COVID-19 or who must take care of a family member who has been affected will be offered paid sick leave specifically for this circumstance. This COVID-19 sick leave will not be limited and is separate from our normal sick leave to ensure staff are able to get the care they need without additional economic concerns.

We realize that not all staff will be able to continue working from home in a full-time capacity. In order to remain in a position to resume work as soon as it is possible and safe to do so, we have rolled out an administrative leave policy for staff whose roles cannot be carried out remotely. All staff placed on administrative leave will continue to be paid at the same level and receive benefits. Our goals are to support our staff without contributing further to the economic crisis that is resulting from COVID-19 closures and to retain skilled staff members in a position to jump back into our work supporting farmers when the immediate crisis subsides.

We hope you are all staying safe and well during these extremely trying times. We welcome your ideas and suggestions at


For more information, resources and updates see this post.

Remote Tribal Cashew Farmers Use the Digital Advantage

Kunjam Manganna Dora is a 67-year-old farmer belonging to a remote tribal village of Vedurlakoda of Addateegala Mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India which comes under the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA). His village is far from the district headquarters and has limited access to transport, communication and even extension services.

He owns 1.5 acres of cashew orchard with 105 plants that are roughly 35 years old. He is a member of the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) formed two years back by Digital Green’s implementation partner organization, Kovel Foundation.

“This cashew plantation is my family’s primary livelihood. Other than this we manage to gather some forest produce and in the peak of summer, I go to look for work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) of the Government of India,” shared Kunjam whose approximate annual household income amounts to a meagre USD 600.

When I met this gentle old farmer, dressed in the traditional way of the tribal community he belonged to, I was surprised by the wealth of information he had to share about the cashew orchard. He was one of the 12 cashew farmers in this village that our partner had identified to work with under a project funded by Walmart Foundation, which aims to connect farmers with actionable information delivered through an automated system, called FarmStack, which develops these advisories from multiple sets of data, like information related to the crop, geography and soil and weather data all combined.

“Very rarely have we seen any government officers in our small habitation. When they come, that is to distribute pensions and grains under the Public Distribution System. I am not aware of extension officers and so far, no one has visited our fields for any crop-related suggestions,” shared Kunjam.

5 months ago, some people from Kovel Foundation and Digital Green organised a meeting with a group of 12 farmers and explained how we wanted to work with the FPO to share new knowledge related to cashew cultivation and undertake some activities such as soil sample collection, video dissemination, IVR calls and Farmers Field Schools (FFS).

“I was happy to hear about these initiatives and eager to participate and learn something new,” shared Kunjam.

“We all participated in soil sample collection, which was a tedious but interesting process. We then enrolled for the video disseminations and so far, we have watched 12 different practices related to cashew crop. We also enrolled for IVR calls but we faced some constraints as we don’t have good mobile network but our extension agent recorded those calls and played the audio clips during our group meetings,” he shared.

“As for the adoptions, we wanted to test the practices promoted, so we started preparing the Neemastram (an organic pesticide) and prepared 100 litres of it twice and applied it on the crops once during mid-December and again in the first week of January. We also prepared 300 litres of Panchagavya (organic fertilizer) and applied it on the crop 3 times and stored 50 litres to spray it later in two intervals – at the time of fruit setting,” shared Kunjam. He also built 15-inch-deep trenches around the twenty plants and filled dried leaves as mulch to help retain moisture – another best practice shared through the videos.

To test these practices, he selected 20 plants that had given a comparatively lower yield in the last season or those that were not flowering and fruiting for the last 3 years to apply the organic concoctions. “I was surprised and happy to observe that there was early flowering, and more flowering, early fruit setting and much less T-mosquito infection in those plants,” he shared. “The dried plants also rejuvenated and I observed new tender leaves in them,” he added.

These farmers had never used any chemical sprays on the orchard before but since last five years Kunjam has been applying Urea and DAP. This year too, he continued applying Urea and DAP to the rest of the plants. Kunjam and his fellow farmers faced difficulty in spraying the organic preparations as foot sprayers were not available anywhere around their villages. Recently, all the FPO members have requested the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (the local authorities) to make available required foot sprayers and drums.

Since our intervention started 60-70 days too late from the time when the agricultural season started, we had crossed a crucial period in the season wherein the farmers could have adopted, bush clearance, pruning, and also adopted Ghanajeevamrutham and Dravajeevamrutham practices which would have helped in increasing the soil fertility. Also, by the time we started introducing the practices of creating the organic concoctions that require huge amounts of water, the water ponds in the hill areas and village areas where the cashew orchards grow had dried up and carrying water from the village to farm was very tough but they showed great strength and determination to do this.

Looking at the orchard’s current condition, Kunjam and his family are expecting a better yield this year than the last year, that too with a lower expenditure. His family was thrilled about the opportunity to learn about managing the cashew orchard through the medium of videos. They would like to adopt these practices in all of their orchard in the next season. “I am also looking forward to share the Zero Budget Natural Farming practices with other farmers in my village,” added Kunjam.

Life in the times of COVID-19

As social distancing becomes a necessity and remote working a reality, most of our staff based in the regional offices who have been our critical link with the rural farming communities that we serve are adjusting to what is a completely new way of working.

While we have the monthly global staff calls, and the more frequent team/project related discussions over conference calls, these used to last not more than an hour at a time. However, in the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen marathon calls as our teams huddled around project plans to strategize how we should work during the lockdown and how we can continue to reach out to the community members and also support our government partners in their fight against this pandemic.

Upon receiving a request from our government partner National Health Mission – Bihar, our team created this video from existing footage. Our technology team is working on a prototype that expands the scope of the Kisan Diary app to allow farmers to get in touch with businesses that can help them sell their fresh produce.

And our team of Brand & Culture (B&C) Champions (staff from each of the offices that keep our focus on our organizational brand and values) are conducting a survey to consult with the teams spread across the globe and seek suggestions and really understand how everyone is coping, what kind of support they require, what resources they would like to get and through what kind of channels.

Here, our teams shared some reactions from the field-based staff on how they are coping with the self-isolation and remote working:


Srikanth Gunjoju, Deputy Program Manager: Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been following the updates and been worried about my family’s health. As both my wife (Srilatha) and I travel frequently for work, we were worried that we may carry the virus home. Luckily, both our organizations have allowed us the option to work from home even before the Government of India took the decision to lock down the country for 21 days and that helped us prepare ourselves – arrange internet connection at home, buy groceries, and medicine for our parents.

Home quarantine has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my family. Our children, SriLaasya and SriHarsha are happy to see both of us at home and we keep them engaged by playing board games, role-playing, and we’re also teaching them how to water the plants in our kitchen garden. So far, the children are enjoying the new routine.

In the meantime, I’m also planning to accomplish few assignments that frequent travel leaves me little time to do. My wife has also shown interest in knowing more about my work with community videos. She was happy to know the purpose and impact our work is creating in the lives of farmers. Before this quarantine, she only knew where my office was and in which domain I work. Similarly, I’m also learning more about her work. I hope we continue to talk and learn about our work-life even after this lockdown.


Venkat Goud, Program Manager: With India going into lockdown for 21 days all sectors are working from home except emergency services who are working very hard to protect us by putting themselves at risk. In this stressful situation, working from home is an unforgettable experience. Everyone is constantly focused on and discussing updates regarding COVID -19 every minute of the day. Any conversations with family, friends, relatives, neighbours, partner staff, other stakeholders are only about COVID-19. Amidst all this, regular calls with the team at the state, India and the Global team has helped me feel connected with others. Sharing experiences and feelings with the team and getting support/guidance has helped in building my confidence and allowed me to work from home smoothly.


Ranga Charyulu, Program Manager: This is a unique experience. My work is mainly in the field and at the partner’s offices and includes frequent travel. I am not used to spending so much time at home. But now we are managing work through our laptops and mobile phones form home. I’ve been keeping in touch with the various partner staff and field functionaries over the phone and we all start our calls by inquiring about each other’s and our families’ wellbeing. Regular contact with our teams, catching up on the situation in and around where we all work and chatting about our families helps set the mood right and keeps our spirits high.


Deepak Kadas, Assistant Program Manager: I sense a lot of panic seeing everyone around me wearing a mask. All news channels, social media and websites are flooded with the sad news of the growing number of COVID-19 cases. So, I have decided to spend my time sitting in the balcony and enjoying nature, doing some gardening and listening to music. After a long time, I celebrated my birthday with just my family. On the work front, I am making sure to remain in touch with the community outreach workers to check in on them and the farmers in their area. One interesting update I’m getting from them is that these days many farmers have started enquiring more about kitchen gardens. During this crisis, they are happy to get fresh vegetables from the kitchen gardens. I feel happy and confident that more farmers will come forward to adopt a kitchen garden.


Masthan K Vali, Program Manager: Following up with the community outreach workers over the phone is a new experience, and really challenging especially since they too are stuck in their homes since the government’s orders of the lockdown came into effect on 23rd March. Our thoughts are always with the farmers who are unable to get the necessary guidance/information at this crucial moment of the harvest season. All activities like Farmer Field Schools (FFS) in the morning, Video Disseminations in the evening and meetings for Self-Help Groups (SHGs) has been paused. Frontline workers are following up with the farmers over the phone but getting new adopters into the system is a big challenge. But I’m hoping for the best and hope we’ll overcome this pandemic soon by adopting social distancing.


Amitesh Anand, Program Manager: As the whole world goes through this life-changing event how can we be left untouched. For me, working from home is an entirely new concept and I have mixed feelings about it. Initially, I was confused but gradually I got into a schedule much like my usual day when I would go to the office – trying to trick my brain into believing I had that same routine. I would wake at 6:30 AM and leave for my office (room upstairs) by 9:30 AM after having my breakfast and saying goodby to my wife and son, have my lunch at 1:30 PM and come back downstairs at 5:30 PM. This new office is pet friendly 🙂

Sudha Jha, Senior Program Manager: I’ve been managing to keep my child engaged with yoga and innovative games. We also discovered 3D pictures of animals on Google to keep him engaged and learning. I even shaved off his head since he’s not going to be worried about how his hair looks while we’re stuck at home.

Jagdish Sing Rana, Assistant Program Manager: Initially working from home seemed very difficult, but now I’m getting into the habit. Most of my work requires in-person meetings with our partners. But everyone’s got to figure out a way to continue doing their work while remaining quarantined. I’m trying to keep in touch with the National Health Mission team members, get regular field updates, manage data entry, etc. Along with this, I am also taking care of myself and my family’s health and hygiene.

My family has been very supportive while I work from home. I live in a joint family, so space is a bit of a challenge. I share the bedroom all day with my 6-year-old daughter who is obsessed with cartoons. But since I have been working from home she has turned down the volume of the TV and she turns it off by herself when I have to get on a call. I am also trying to make more masks at home with my wife since those in the market are quite expensive and ineffective.

Our colleagues from Odisha and Jharkhand have made neat work corners in their homes.



Our COVID-19 Response

Digital Green remains committed to serving smallholder farming communities through technology and grassroots

development organization working with farmers during COVID19
Click here for our Capabilities Statement

partnerships while adapting our approach in response to COVID-19.

Farmers face growing threats to their health and agricultural productivity while taking care of themselves and feeding the world.

We are building on the social networks with farmers that enable them to share knowledge with one another and to connect with markets in a digitally connected world that can continue to function in the current crisis. 

Much like we always have, we start with individual farmers – to leverage their insights and needs and work towards building solutions in partnership with government, non-profits, companies, and most importantly, farmers themselves.

Beyond the immediate crisis, we continue to strengthen our collective resolve to enable farmers to lift themselves out of poverty.


We welcome your ideas and suggestions at and go through the links below for more COVID-19 resources and to learn how Digital Green’s staff, partners and beneficiaries are responding to the unique challenges they are confronted with.

Stay safe! 



How we’re reaching farmers in the times of COVID-19



A message from Rikin Gandhi, our Co-Founder



How DG is responding as an organization



Read here what our partners and experts in agriculture Extension & Advisory Services say about how EAS systems can and have been adapted for emergencies response and what more we should do now and in future.



Here’s a list of resources addressing various agricultural challenges emerging due to COVID-19 and some responses



Some of our staff on how they’re coping with the lockdown