Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute (MLDMHI), Thane district, Maharashtra
Contact: Ms. Ujjwala Pendse
Dates: January 2019 – December 2020
Total Budget: Rs.8,96,000
2020 Budget: Rs.4,56,000
In this two-year project, 50 farmers were trained to directly market their produce to Mumbai customers, thus helping reduce unreliable marketing via middlemen. They sold produce at three residential complexes and at a school in Mumbai three times/week as well as to several large and small vendors. On average, they reached 150 customer households per week, earning a steady income over the growing season. They learned how to grow for the market, and how to harvest and transport to maintain quality. They built their own brand “Vikramgad farmers” and developed strong links with customers. During the pandemic, when the farmers could not make trips to Mumbai, many customers reached out to enquire when they would be able to resume their supply.
Through a previous PPI project, these farmers had become proficient in organic farming techniques and were getting excellent yields but were becoming discouraged as the uncertain marketing links did not help them earn an income. They were afraid they might have to return to subsistence farming and migrate for work after the rice growing season, creating an uncertain situation for the families. Because of PPI’s help with the marketing project, they are now able to engage in farming as a source of livelihood. MLDMHI hopes to grow their farmer pool based on the learning from this project.