Success Story: Engaging Farmer Producer Companies to slow COVID-19 in India

"Due to lockdown it was difficult for us to step out of our houses to buy the inputs. But Shubh Vikalp FPC helped by delivering the required products to our homes.” - Raju Kumar of village Buddhiyapur

Covid-19 has significantly impacted the livelihoods of many smallholder farming communities in India.  Disruptions in supply chains including logistics and transportation, limited access to agricultural inputs, and the inability to sell produce are been the biggest challenges that farmers face. Tanager, drawing upon its decades of experience in agricultural value chains – and strong connection to local Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) – is working to help FPCs adopt strategies to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on farmers and supply chains.

After the Indian government announced that agricultural products are essential to maintain the supply of food, Tanager’s community-based staff interacted with members of the Shubh Vikalp Farmer Producer Company, Fatehpur (established under the Shubh Mint program in India) to adapt their input shop to the COVID restrictions.

Tanager took the following actions:

  • Face masks have been made available in the shop for the employees and face mask use is mandated during the operational hours
  • Hand wash and sanitizers have been installed at the entrance
  • The shop manager has been directed to guide the customers regarding maintaining social distancing of 6 feet while waiting in a queue
  • The premises, including the counter and payment machines, are sanitized regularly
  • Labor force engaged in loading and unloading are wearing face masks and are washing hands at regular intervals

The FPC maintained its inventory by following the measures mentioned above. These steps not only made it comparatively safer for the FPC members to operate the shop, but also served as an example in the community regarding hygiene standards. Tanager also continued to distribute visual aids on handwashing and social distancing through social media platforms like WhatsApp.

Thanks in part to these actions, the Shubh Vikalp FPC has been able to generate a revenue of INR 11,33,289  and has served 501 farmers during the last two months. Tanager implemented these same recommendations in  two other FPCs formed under the Shubh mint project. The results have been positive: The Masauli Samriddhi FPC and Zaidpur Swabhimaan Mahila FPC have been able to generate a cumulative revenue of INR 6,82,902 (INR 4,33,042 and INR 2,49,860 respectively), serving 432 farmers in total.