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.
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.
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.
Tatiana Arenas Londoño is one of the 120 participants in DIAGEO’s Learning for Life Program, implemented by Tanager in Colombia. The program’s goal is to provide income-generating opportunities for young people in vulnerable situations through an eight-month certified workforce development training program, psychosocial support, and job placement in the formal sector through six-month internships.
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.
As a mother raising a teenage son, I think about the world that he is growing up into, that he will ultimately inherit from us. My son thinks about this too, and he often challenges me and opens my mind to think about things in different ways. This weekend, with the opening of Marvel’s most recent installment of the Avengers franchise, we had a lively discussion about whether or not supervillain Thanos snapping away half the living things in the universe would be the best way to feed the galactic populations.
“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.