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.
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.
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.