Operational Area: AP, Maharashtra, Orissa
If the farmer is a business man, then he should be able to decide on ‘what to sell’, negotiate on‘at what price to sell’ and determine ‘when to sell’. That, exogenous factors such as indefinite weather, input-expensive farming practices and market cartels deny him this right is the sorry state of small and marginal farmers in India. This is truer in the case of cotton farmers in rain-fed regions, where cotton is the most important cash crop, but one which is also fast becoming unviable due to high application of expensive chemical inputs, failing soil fertility levels due to such practices, insufficient market returns in a fluctuating commodity market and resultant debt traps & suicide deaths.
In order to address this situation, Chetna works on developing sustainable market linkages for farmer’s produce in national and international markets through Chetna Organic Agriculture Producer Company Limited and their member Cooperatives. Chetna is involved in training and capacity building of farmer communities on issues such as quality management, local level market development, maintenance of organic standards and certification and developing local markets through promotion of safe food label in India. This initiative is supported by ICCO & Rabobank Foundation. NABFINS, a subsidiary of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD, apex bank for agriculture and rural development in India) provides working capital finance partially to Chetna.