Operational Area: Bolangir district of Odisha.
Pratima Agro and Paper Pvt. Ltd (PAPL) started as a cotton trading company in the year 2005. At that point of time, PAPL would procure produce from farmers and sell it to a Gin in Bolangir. Bolangir District is infamous for its poverty related issues where, although agriculture is the mainstay of the region’s economy, successive years of drought has rendered rainfed farming a challenge for the survival of farmers – more so for the small and marginal landholders.
Due to fact that the Gin in Bolangir was the only cotton-processing unit in the district, the prices and terms offered were largely exploitative, and therefore PAPL set up a Ginning and Pressing unit in the year 2007 to ensure that its business interests were protected and the farmers engaged with PAPL had access to better price negotiations.
PAPL came in contact Chetna Organic and entered into a formal partnership for undertaking ginning on a job work basis for the Chetna cotton at its processing installation plus availing certain technical support services from Chetna for its own certification. In the process, PAPL started replicating the Chetna approach to motivate farmers to adopt organic farming practices and established a producer organization under the name of ‘Pratima Organic Growers Group’ – POGG in the year 2006.
Now, Chetna is supporting POGG to evolve into a vibrant producer organization and to build its capacity to increase production and productivity of organic and FT cotton and improve marketing systems leading to improved income from agriculture. This program is financed by Rabobank Foundation through Solidaridad.