3Fold – Wealthy, Resilient and Responsible Farmers

Building wealthy, resilient and responsible farmers – making them successful entrepreneurs, and sustained job creators

Photo of Raghunathan Narayanan
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1mil - $5mil

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • More than 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

India:Gulbarga,Kanakpura,Pudukottai,Arpukottai,Chindwara, Budhni, Bankhedi, Zaheerabad, Bagepalli,Kanker



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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Factors that limit and impact livelihoods of smallholder are virtually unlimited in number and variety. With the marginal landholding combined with poor soil quality, depleting water tables and limited access to many other inputs and services, it is difficult for the small farmers to climb out of poverty with their existing portfolio.Entry into new commodities fraught with production risk,market risk, accessibility/ cost of capital.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Enable the farmer to be an independent entrepreneur,- starts with building a personal growth plan, followed by business planning for farmers’ enterprises and potential diversification Providing the farmers a bundle of assured services (include access to seeds, inputs, agricultural machinery services; financial\ inclusion and access to capital; access to markets) with an integrated package that is farmer and their enterprise focussed, building on their business plan.Access to diversified enterprises linking to agriculture which is critical for getting additional incomes and diversity risks, and build resilience. Farmer collectives are set up & they receive enterprise development support & linkages for undertaking group-based enterprises,produce aggregation for marketing, value addition enterprises and market engagement. There is continuous support. People professional partnership is where we see promising aspects of creating shared value.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

3Fold model expects the impacts in the following areas – income, resilience, environment and institutions.Vrutti has been working on this model and evolving it since 2010-11. Vrutti has tried out all the possible levers – better package of practices, better varieties, financial services, commodity marketing, retail and institutional markets for value added products, linking up, with government services, FPO capacity building and financial linkages, insurance services, etc.The model has learnt and evolved over the period. We realised the need for integration of the various models..In the pilot phase tere has been increase in income between 56% -164%. We are now establishing it in 10 locations across geographies with 32500 Farmers - 40% women, focus being empowerment. Example of impact - only in 1 location.. 7000 farmers made an additional income of around $ 243 each in 1 season. Farmers are adopting environmentally sustainable agri practices

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Clusters where we work are called Business Acceleration Units or BAUs . The engagement of BAU with farmers and their institutions start with incubation funding (through CSR, donors, government, etc.), but over a period sustains its support through sharing of values created through transactions fees, retainer fee and success fee. Vrutti expects that beyond a five year incubation period, a BAU will be able to generate adequate funds to continuously support the FPOs and farmers in an BAU area. This business model is a big accelerator for impact and also scale up the entire model. Currently about 90% of budget is through Grant - and about 10% for the model is through fees for services and success and leveraging Govt schemes.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Solutions for each one of these exist; BUT they exist in silos. 3Fold strongly believes in the entrepreneurship orientation and potential of the farmers, and nudging the same to achieve the impact. Our solution addresses the key gap of lack of integrated services (end-to-end) which is appropriate to the farmers, through establishing a sustainable eco-system that enables collaborative actions for collective impact. Augmented with technology model takes a commodity focus

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

It started with data! .. We were involved in an evaluation of a tribal livelihoods initiative for the State Planning Commission of Madhya Pradesh showed that agriculture as a livelihoods option was unproductive and for small tribal farmers; leaving them without a profitable livelihood option. But it wasn’t because of prices, or barriers to entry. Instead, it was because crucial services and government schemes were not reaching those who needed them most. The evaluation found that large farms were crowding out the smaller farmers from accessing key subsidies and benefits. So the State Planning Commission posed a challenge: find a way to reach these marginalized tribal farmers in Madhya Pradesh. So, we at Vrutti unpacked the situation further – focusing on the whys and hows through data. That was the beginning - you can read more here https://goo.gl/DAPzxP

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact


Join the conversation:


As you said solutions are in silos, I can provide solution for water.

Photo of Pamela Quino Ramos

Estimado Raghunathan Narayanan , tengo una consulta, me gustaría saber cual seria la extensión de terreno, desde la cual se genere una adecuada rentabilidad, según su propuesta.
Aprovecho para invitarte a evaluar nuestra propuesta titulada Mejora del Aprovechamiento Sostenible de los Recursos Hídricos en San Pedro de Casta.  ¡Ayúdanos a mejorar!