AFARM is an association of over 250 Voluntary Organizations who are actively working in the field of Rural Development in Maharashtra State. AFARM was founded to address the need of an Apex Institution for co-ordinating the efforts of Non Government Organizations (NGOs) in their work for offering agricultural extension services and drinking water to villages in drought affected regions of Maharashtra. It was among the first organizations that started operating as an Apex institution in the nation.
In earlier years before 1967, Missionary Organizations used to make available the drinking water in the rural communities that were facing the shortage of drinking water. Missionaries were supported in this task by the number funding organizations that come with drilling units & equipments. This independent work by the missionaries requires the coordinating organization for the effective functioning. This has led seven Missionaries to collaborate with each other and started coordinating the task of supplying drinking water to the rural communities of Maharashtra. The new group was named as Maharashtra Regional Water Resource Development Group. In 1969, it was registered with the name “Action for Agricultural Renewal in Maharashtra” (AFARM).
AFARM offers a forum for the interaction amongst varied voluntary organisations (VOs) , other funding and developmental organizations. It also includes the Government for carrying the task of sustainable development of the society. It is also involved in the promotion of Voluntary efforts in various fields such as Human Resource Development, Natural Resource Development, Socio-Economic Development and Community Development. It is engaged in the promotion and co-ordination of the tasks managed by Voluntary agencies with Government plans in the drought hit and downtrodden regions of Maharashtra.
AFARM has successfully built strong campaigns in collaboration with other organizations. Some of these successful campaigns include Charity Commissioner Contribution, National Agriculture and Water policy, Prevention of amendments in Bombay Public Trust Act 1950, Prevention of Foreign Contribution Management and Control Bill 2005, Land Rights Movement and Awareness Campaigns on various Government policies & programs.