In a country where 60% of population has been largely being dependent on the agrarian economy, the agriculture sector suffers from disproportionately low per capita income and higher per capita debt. There are loads of structural challenges that are inherent to the agriculture sector in India and impacts the small and marginal farmers the most among the entire population.
The Annadatas (as the farmers being revered in our society) are navigating their lives through low income, high debt, natural calamities, pest infestation, lack of access to markets for generations now. Their indomitable spirit and resilience however have ensured India becoming a food surplus country from being a huge importer of food items in a span of couple of decades. The green revolution has changed the outlook of Indian farming sector for good, but has it changed the lives of these small and marginal farmers? The answer is an unequivocal NO.
The Pain points:
The small and marginal farmers till date suffer from the age-old issues that has been holding him back from having a sustainable livelihood and a growth in the income. Many government schemes have come and gone but nothing much has changed for these small farmers.
With a mission to solve this perpetual challenge, Prof. Trilochan Sastry, (Professor & Former Dean, IIM, Bangalore) took a plunge into the farming sector and founded Centre Collective Development, an NGO which was dedicated towards increasing the income of small and marginal farmers by using innovative business models and to replicate the same business model across the length and breadth of the country to disrupt and transform the farming sector.
CCD had a tried, tested and vastly successful template of the Amul model or the white revolution to draw inspiration from. The revolution started from Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. CCD brought farmers onboard through its cooperative awareness programs and started forming cooperatives of small and marginal farmers, who otherwise were largely sidelined, underrepresented and often got low value for their produce. The next step was to consolidate the collective strength of the small and marginal farmers in the form of District Level Federation which were a federation of the village level cooperatives.
- No loss through cheating on weights
- Fair / Exact price based on the quality of the produce
- No distress sale due to fluctuations in the market (prices)
- Assurance to the payments when compared to a few cheating middlemen who do not pay (or partly paid / or sometimes not at all paid by the middlemen)
- Increased knowledge on Cooperative aspects and Technical aspects
- Increase in Bargaining capacities of the small farmers.
These above benefits positively impacted the income of the farmers and cooperative ensured that the interests of the farmers are taken care of.
Though Getting fair value for the produce, timely payment and increased bargaining capabilities were great gains that increased the income of the farmers, there was a greater scope of innovation that can transform the lives and the mindset of the farmers forever i.e. A Brand owned by the farmers that adds more value by producing consumer food products using the farm produce.
Farmveda came into existence as the brand owned by the farmers of India that provides natural healthy and preservative free delicious products to its consumers and these products are made from the ingredients sourced directly from the farmers.
- The farmers got higher value for their produce from Farmveda
- All the profit from Farmveda goes back to the farmers which resulted in prosperity
- The cooperatives now own processing and production units generating employment
- The farmers went onto become entrepreneurs.
Farmveda has been constantly adding new products to its product portfolio and aims to be a household farmer owned brand similar to Amul. Farmveda offers food products ranging from preservative free ready to eat and ready to cook products along with condiments, peanut butter and edible Cold Pressed oil.
Every single purchase from Farmveda is a step towards elevating farmers income and this is a great way to do our bit towards the Annadatas for their struggle and perseverance.