NAME: Dhanvantri Farmer Producer Company
LOCATION: Una, Gujarat
The young farmers of Una block in Gujarat, are on a mission. They have united in their effort to turn their farming enterprises around, creating new opportunities for their members and enhancing profits along the way, by forming the Dhanvantri Farmer Producer Company.
Hailing from the Koli Tribe, the farmers are largely uneducated and fall under the ‘other backward caste’ community. But having been given a ‘taste’ of agricultural knowledge via exposure visits to the Somnath Farmer Producer Company in nearby Kodinar, the group are off and running …
• AGRICULTURAL INPUTS – The group kickstarted operations by establishing a farmer mall to provide agricultural inputs to farmers. So successful has it been, that the group is already drawing up plans for a second farmer mall to make products more accessible to all members.
• SOLAR ENERGY – Harnessing a solar processing unit from Snehakunja Trust, ProCIF and SELCO Foundation, the farmers have started to value-add their produce - breaking down pulses into lentils and packaging it for marketing.
• ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPMENT – Training has begun to develop marketing and business skills of entrepreneurs. Fruit pulp extraction and spice grinding are just some of the enterprises being established using subsidised machines.
• COW-BASED FARMING – To improve soil health, the group has learnt about, and embraced, cow-based farming – harnessing cow dung and urine to create organic fertiliser for their crops.
• CAPACITY BUILDING – With little knowledge on key farming practices, including the best types of crops to use, application of water, chemical and fertilizer, the group meets for regular capacity building workshops.
• BUSINESS PLANNING – The group is busy developing a business plan for the future, with plans to get an organic certification and kickstart an organic shop on the highway open market; initiate cotton marketing with local SHGs; and start an output marketing process for different commodities like mangoes, onions, groundnuts and wheat.
Whilst it’s still early days for the FPO, the group hopes to emulate the results of other ACF promoted farmer producer organisations who, via similar initiatives, have managed to ‘double farmer incomes’ as a result. Dhanvantri FPO is well on their way to seeing impact, and as the next generation of farmers, they provide us all with much hope and optimism about the future of farming in India.