Enabling marginal farmers to capture a larger share of the food value chain.

Indiashares connects farmer SHG's produce to large, profitable, urban markets, thereby improving impact, effectiveness and enabling scale.

Photo of Vinay Kothari
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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

INDIASHARES

Year founded

2017

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1k - $10k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1 - 10

Organization type

  • For-profit

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City

Bangalore

Location(s) of impact

India: Sirsi, Siddapur, Hubbali, Hudli (village)

Website

https://godesiblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/Godesifoods/

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Marginal farmers have the lowest share of the food value chain because of their limited resources, a voluntary grouping of farmers play a vital role of pooling in, however, these groups, cooperatives are very often limited in their effectiveness because their reach is only limited to catchment markets with limited demand.
By providing access to larger markets, we are making existing solutions, infrastructure (SHG) effective and scalable.

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

Indiashares provides marginal farmers urban market access through its brand GO DESi. We have developed a ‘plug n play’ model where we with the help of cooperatives
1) Develop products based on regional produce
2) Make them retail shelf ready
3) Plug them in our distribution network
For example, we work with a cooperative in Sirsi, Karnataka which has the ability to procure 500 kgs of Jackfruit bars a day but procures 50 kgs because of lack of demand. By simple packaging innovation, we were able to convert these bars into small Rs.5 sachets and then we plugged the product in our distribution network. The impact has been as follows:
1. Increase in procurement from farmers and better capacity utilisation
2. Farmers share in the value chain increasing from 10% (Raw Jackfruit) to 40% (Jackfruit bars)

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

During our pilot, the following are the outcomes:
1. Additional Income of 500$ per month for the cooperatives
2. Increase in capacity utilisation of the cooperatives
3. Increased share in the value chain for the cooperatives from 10% to 35-40%
Our solution does not re-invent the wheel, it makes the existing machinery effective, to just give a perspective, there are 30000 cooperatives in Karnataka each having 1000 marginal farmers as members.
1. By providing scale to these cooperatives, we create a stable, increased demand for marginal farmers produce enabling regular and stable incomes.
2. The cooperatives become a hub of economic activity creating employment, i.e. Hudli farmer cooperative employs 10 women.
3. By procuring processed food products, we reduce wastage of agri-produce.
4. Our quality parameters ensure zero chemical agriculture.

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

The initiative is bootstrapped currently. Financial sustainability is built in the model.
The business is an asset-light model and financial requirements are primarily for working capital. The sales from the GO DESi products to the stores is ploughed back for increasing procurement, increasing distribution reach and covering operational expenses.
Therefore at the current stage, 40% of annual budget is bootstrapped and 60% is earned income.

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

Simplicity, Indiashares builds on the proven cooperative model and improves its effectiveness.

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

The Aha moment happened while on a hike to one of the Earth's largest bio-diverse regions- the Western Ghats. Drenched in rain, tired and looking for a shelter and a quick bite, we stopped at a Chai (Tea) shop, along with tea, I picked up a pack of Jackfruit bars and it turned out to be the tastiest fruit bar I had ever eater, my friend picked up a pack of Banana bites- again delicious. Both the products were sold loose and on further enquiry, they were supplied by the local farmer cooperative.
On our way, we had seen many Jackfruits lying on the path, wasted, not even harvested. This got me thinking why is this Jackfruit bar not available in my neighbourhood store? What is the other regional produce that we city dwellers are missing?

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

  • Social media

2 comments

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Photo of Pamela

Hola Vinay Kothari me pareció muy interesante la propuesta Enabling marginal farmers to capture a larger share of the food value chain. Tengo algunas consultas y son las siguientes:
1) ¿Hasta cuantas cooperativas tienen el potencial de ampliarse? Puedo apreciar que en la actualidad actúan en 10 cooperativas.
2)¿Estando en Perú es posible que pueda encontrar una de sus deliciosas barras de Jackfruit ? Se que es a nivel regional, pero, seria genial probarlas en Lima.
Estaré atenta a las respuestas, aprovecho para invitarlos a leer nuestra propuesta Mejora del Aprovechamiento Sostenible de los Recursos Hídricos en San Pedro de Casta. 

Photo of Vinay

Thank You, Pamela, for your reply, I used Google's help to translate your comment and will do my best to answer them also.
Essentially all cooperative want to expand and they are limited by two things lack of access to markets and lack of managerial manpower or know how to expand.
There are quite a lot of cases of successful cooperatives who have made a huge impact, case in point is AMUL (do read about them, they are a milk cooperative).
At present, there are more than 140 cooperatives in Karnataka (a state in India) who have the capability to expand with a member base of 140000 farmers.

As for Jackfruit, if I come to Peru, I will trade you a jackfruit with Guava :)

I hope I have answered your question and would be glad to answer any more questions you might have.