In India, Tanager partners with smallholder farmers, government entities, corporations, and foundations to help increase farmer income through robust training on Good Agricultural Practices, support for gender equality, strengthening of Farmer Producer Organizations, and streamlined access to markets. COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place by the government have brought new challenges to implementing this work. However, Tanager’s close connection to the communities where we work is helping us make progress on commitments without risking the safety of farmers or staff.
We are living in unprecedented times, at least in my lifetime, where a global pandemic is evolving so quickly. As a global organization, Tanager is seeing and feeling the impacts of COVID-19 around the world. At the outset, our primary imperative has been the health and safety of our staff, families, and the communities where we work. As flights were being cancelled and boarders closed, Tanager quickly directed its energies to repatriating traveling staff members; closing offices and transitioning to global teleworking; and communicating with partners and people in the communities where we work about social distancing and proper hygiene (hand washing) to ensure everyone’s safety.
In 1995, at the Fourth Conference on Women convened in Beijing, 50,000 men and women from around the world met to create a plan of action for women’s empowerment. As a little girl I watched the grainy footage of the conference from my parents’ living room floor, eating an after-school snack and thinking that it looked like an epic party.
Malory Ríos is one of the 750 participants taking part in DIAGEO’s Learning for Life Program Phase 3, implemented by Tanager in Colombia. Tanager works with corporations and foundations around the world to co-create projects to improve social and economic outcomes. In 2015, DIAGEO Colombia and Tanager joined forces to develop job skills training and employment projects for at-risk young people in the cities of Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín.
Today is National Farmers Day in India, an important time to reflect on the plight of the rural farmer and examine how Tanager is working to improve social and economic conditions in rural communities. In the Indian economy agricultural accounts for 18% of the country’s GDP, employing roughly 50% of the country’s workforce. In most of the cases farmers in India work less than an acre of land and rarely own more than 2 acres. These smallholder farmers face a unique set of challenges that Tanager works to address through our co-created projects in India. To understand how Tanager co-creates projects help to improve economic and social outcomes for these farmers, we must first understand the challenges of smallholder farming in India.
2019 was a year of incredible achievement and impact for the people, communities, and businesses that Tanager works with across the globe. With activities that positively impact over 105 thousand people worldwide, Tanager’s work won multiple awards, we collaborated on leading industry reports on sustainable agriculture, increased women’s market inclusion across the continent of Africa, improved nutrition outcomes for households, and continued to be an industry leader in the field of sustainable agriculture.
Rathalavath Vijalaxmi is a smallholder farmer from Dachakpally village in Telangana, India. She farms three acres of land along with her husband and three sons. As a young farmer cultivating vegetables like tomatoes, okra, beans, ridge gourds, and chili, Rathalavath often struggles to earn enough from selling her crops to make ends meet for her family. Prior to becoming involved in the Siddipet Horticulture Project, her farm produced an average yield of five to six metric tons.
Originally from Venezuela, Michelle migrated to Colombia in 2018 in search of better opportunities after being unable to continue with her studies in her home country. However, life in Bogotá came with challenges of its own. After more than 70 unsuccessful interviews, the only jobs she could find were of an informal nature.
Tanager and Mars presented a webinar on the design and implementation of the Shubh Mint Project for The Living Income Community of Practice, hosted by the Sustainable Food Lab.
Usha Devi is a mint farmer in Mubarkapur village in Zaidpur cluster of Barabanki District in India. She is also a project participant in the co-created Shubh Mint Project. For Usha, Shubh Mint provides more than an economic lifeline, it empowers her to improve a difficult living situation.