Dr. M.L. Dhawale Memorial Homeopathic Institute (MLDMHI), Thane, Maharashtra
Contact: Ms. Ujjwala Pendse
Dates: January 2019 – January 2021
Total Budget: Rs.8,96,000
2020 Budget: Rs.4,56,000
In the second year of this project, MLDMHI added several new marketing channels in Mumbai and Thane and farmers were able to sell more vegetables and get an average rate of Rs. 51/kg versus Rs. 38/kg the previous year. Some farmers earned Rs. 15,000/month and the number of farmers in the program increased from 21 to 45. However, with the arrival of COVID-19 in March and the subsequent lockdown, all direct marketing to Mumbai came to a halt. Fortunately, they were able to find a few vendors who came halfway from Mumbai to Bhopoli (the base for MLDMHI). Farmers had grown more produce in anticipation of increased demand but 30-35% of the produce could not be marketed. Farmers gave away that produce to villagers and were happy that they could help their villages despite their own economic losses. Farmers in the program have become economically self-sufficient in farming and are able to bear driver and fuel expenses, as well as the salary of a local person who collects vegetables. However, they still need guidance in growing for the urban market and overall supervision in the marketing operation. With the pandemic still looming large, marketing continues to be a challenge, and they will work with vendors until they can resume direct marketing.