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.
Lajjawati is a smallholder farmer from Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, India who has overcome enormous personal and professional adversity on her journey to prosperity. When Lajjawati’s husband was killed in an accident, she was left caring for her small family farm – and her eight children – alone. Her economic situation was made worse by the pervasive problem of gender inequality in India.
In India, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Farmer Producer Groups (FPGs) are important mechanisms for smallholder farmers to organize their efforts, receive valuable training, connect to buyers of their produce, reduce the influence of pernicious middlemen, and increase income. Tanager’s expertise in the support and growth of FPOs has helped tens of thousands of farmers improve their social and economic outcomes. However, as valuable as engagement with FPOs is for smallholder farmers, many of these organizations still face a persistent problem of gender-inequality – especially at the leadership level.
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.
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.
Tanager, through the Walmart Foundation-funded Andhra Pradesh Farmer Market Readiness Project, introduced Kinubudi and his Farmer Producer Group to MFN and provided training on how to use the app to connect to buyers. The MFN app is simple to use. With a few clicks, sellers upload what they have to offer allowing the buyers to then bid on the produce. Farmers select the buyer offering the best price. The Farmers Producer Group then collects the produce in bulk and delivers it to the buyer, saving the farmer even more time.
Jayesh Bhai Jaman Bhai Bhakkad is a 41-year-old farmer from Thanapipli, Junagadh, Gujarat (western India). For 24 years, Jayesh farmed cash crops like cotton, peanuts, and vegetables using traditional farming methods. Last year, Jayesh began noticing a decline in his output and income, due in part to a fungus that was attacking his peanut crop. In response, he sought out training programs from a local university, spent INR 6000 on pesticides to combat the unknown virus that was yellowing his normally green peanut plants. However, despite Jayesh’s efforts in applying the pesticide and taking classes from the local university, his crop continued to wilt.
Conditions in Andhra Pradesh, India can make life difficult for smallholder farmers. When drought combines with poor soil health, profits can be slim. To make matters worse, to save money farmers often rely on staple crops as their only food source. These staple crops are high in carbohydrates but low in vitamins and nutrients. This lack of dietary diversity leads to malnutrition, further driving down productivity and incomes. The APFMRP project – implemented by Tanager – is working in Andhra Pradesh to break this vicious cycle and give farmers the opportunity to earn more money and live happier and healthier lives.
“Previously, it was unimaginable for a woman to think that, like a man, she could raise poultry to sell for income. But today, things are changing,” says Bibata Traoré, from the village of Ouahabou in Burkina Faso. At the age of 44, this mother of five worked selling flour and ground peanuts to help her husband cover health care and education costs for their children. Now, thanks to her hard work and Tanager’s expertise, she has overcome a disability to become an entrepreneur.