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Impact-Stories from the Field

Womens Group Set Up Centre To Hire Out Drudgery Reduction Tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patelguda, Adilabad, Telangana

Agriculture in the 20th century has forced a shift from excessive reliance on human power and animal power to mechanical power thus helping reduce physical stress on humans and animals. However, the recent push towards more sustainable and organic practices in agriculture have re-imposed a greater stress on human and animal involvement in the agricultural process. These eco-friendly processes, though economically viable and ecologically beneficial, are also physically more strenuous and involve a lot of drudgery. This factor is multiplied manifold especially for women for whom work at home involves a lot of drudgery and work in the field, besides being strenuous, is also filled with drudgery.

Chetna Organic, as promoter of Organic and Sustainable agriculture believes that simple, eco-friendly, and non-fossil fuel based mechanical power can boost productivity of crops apart from reducing drudgery. But sophisticated mechanical power driven tools and implements are still beyond the reach of small/marginal farmers and landless farm workers who constitute a majority of rural population. Small/marginal farmers and farm workers, because of their economic circumstances, are unable to own advanced farm implements on their own or through institutional credit. Therefore to bring farm machinery within the reach of small/marginal farmers, Chetna has been promoting collective ownership of productivity improving, drudgery reducing machinery like tractors, tillers, seed cleaners and graders, Broad Bed Furrow machines etc.  

Going further down the chain, to reduce on- field drudgery for marginal farmers and farm workers, Chetna Organic with support from Felissimo corporation, Japan motivated a womens’ self help group to set up a Custom Hiring Centre under the Pace by Peace cotton program. The program started in August 2013, on an experimental basis in Patelguda, a Chetna supported 100% organic village of 48 households in Adilabad district of Telangana that has been practicing organic farming over the last 10 years.

Realising that farmers in the neighboring villages are often deterred from transitioning to organic farming due to the physical stress involved, Chetna motivated the all-women Sri Lakshmi Self help Group to set up a centre where farmers could hire drudgery reducing farm tools and implements at a nominal cost.

 

After extensive research and study on farmers’ requirements, Chetna provided them with small everyday tools and implements like light weight pick axes, crow bars and water trolleys that were specifically designed to reduce stress and drudgery while working.

The group has collectively framed the rules and regulations to run the centre. The facility has helped many women in easing their work related stress. In two years, the centre has successfully helped the 48 households in Patelguda village utilize different implements several times during the agricultural season.

The following are the list of implements the SHG are hiring out in the village.

S No

Name of the Implement

Total

Hire Per Day

01

Water Trolley

05

5.00

02

Water Drums (100 lits)

04

5.00

03

Crow Bar

05

2.00

04

Hand Sprayers

03

20.00

05

Plastic Baskets

10

2.00

06

Sickles

15

3.00

07

Pick axils

15

2.00

08

Spade

10

2.00

09

Small inter cultivators

2

20.00

10

Big Inter Cultivators

1

20.00

11

Weeders

1

5.00

12

Axe

5

5.00

 

The group has so far mobilized Rs. 1280 /- as amount charged for hiring out equipment. Apart from the above said implements, the group has been also provided with tools to undertake minor repairs for all these implements. Farmers have expressed their comfort and ease of use with the tools that are helping them save a lot of time and energy. The implements are helping farmers reduce their workloads and at the same time provide income to the groups to improve financially.

 

Rice and Dal processing units in Orissa

 

Location: Kalahandi and Golamunda clusters in Kalahandi district, Orissaa
 
Co-operatives: Basumatha Cooperative and Mathrubhumi Cooperative
 
Paddy, millets and pulses are predominant rotational crops in the Orissa cotton cropping system. However, in Kalahandi district, limited processing facilities for the agriculture produce have meant that farmers were compelled to sell their agricultural produce at throw away prices.
 
As part of the Chetna Organic Cotton Intervention Program, Basumatha and Matrubhumi Cooperatives in Kalahandi districts, had already established their collective strength by successfully obtaining regulatory clearances for marketing their organic produce in the highly controlled and regulatory environment of Orissa. Consequently, these cooperatives were able to generate surplus from the Fair Trade Premiums and administration charges.
 
So far, Chetna too has been successful in establishing a supply chain from field to fashion. However, benefits reaped through this established chain of organic & fair trade cotton seemed incomplete without similar supply chains for rotational crops such as pulses, paddy and soy which ensure food security for the small and marginal farmers.
 
Stimulated by their own success and realizing this gap, Matrubhumi and Basumata cooperatives decided to establish a storage warehouse cum processing unit for Rice and Dall. Jackpot, a Netherlands based Organic garments brand and a Chetna partner, provided a portion of the fund as a revolving grant which was pooled in with the profits generated by the cooperative.
 
Rice Mill – Basumatha Cooperative
Impact 1
Dall Mill – Matrubhumi Cooperative
Impact 2
 
Chetna facilitated the formation of a subcommittee from among the Board of Directors of Matrubhumi and Basumatha cooperatives to steer the process. Chetna also helped out by providing relevant information required to prepare business plans, identify suitable machinery and oversee the establishment of Dal and rice mills. Both cooperatives coordinated the setting up of the warehouse and processing unit and contributed about 38% of the total cost of establishment.
 
Estimation of expenditure and income from this first lot of 500 quintals are projected as under:
Expenditure particulars Amount in INR Income Amount in INR
Cost of raw grams for 500 quintals 17 50 000.00 Realization from the sale (@ 6000 per quintal/350 quintals output after processing) 21,00,000
Processing expenditure 2 00 000.00

 

 

Total Expenditure 19,50,000 Total Income 21,00,000
Net Profit 150,000

 

Sales Strategy devised by the Matrubhumi Cooperative

Matrubhumi Cooperative is planning to take on the supply of Dall for the government run Mid Day Meal program in the Government Schools and Anganwadis (Pre-primary schools) in Bhavanipatna. Village committees procure the dall from Matrubhumi Cooperative for INR.60 per kilogram and sell it for INR.65 to the government department implementing the mid day meal program. The surplus of INR.5 per KG would be utilized to improve the facilities in schools.
 

Salient Features of the venture:

Impact 4Farmers would get a fair base price for their produce as against the current local markets operated by the middlemen and traders. This will enhance the income of the farmers. This Dall, being an organic product, would not contain any chemical residues. This is particularly nutritious for the children who consume it every day as part of their mid day meal program.
 
This might motivate farmers in the surrounding areas to take up organic farming, thus developing an organic culture in the region.
Success of this income generation venture would boost the morale of the co-operative and motivate them to diversify their activities towards further self-reliance. Besides, this would also increase the share value of each of the individual farmers.
 
 

Women in the Dal processing

Impact 3
Moreover, Matrubhumi plans to involve Rajbhima womens’ SHG of Mading village to process the Dal. The SHG would take up the responsibility by deputing three of its members to work in the Dal processing unit on a rotation basis. Each member would be paid INR.100 per day as wages, out of which they would contribute INR.20 towards the savings (corpus of the group) for undertaking other enterprises. A total of INR.180,000 is expected to be ploughed back into the village economy.
 
The Rice Mill established by Basumatha Cooperative in Golamunda is presently being hired out to the individual farmers to process their paddy and sell their finished produce in the local markets. Basumatha Cooperative charges a service fee from members for the processing.
 
Images From Matrubhumi Dal mill, Golamunda, Kalahandi, Odisha.

 

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