Pratidhi - A behavioral innovation for augmenting nutrition among rural women

Pratidhi is an innovative nutrition intervention that provides incentives to lactating and pregnant women to increase vegetable consumption.

Photo of Suvankar Mishra
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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

One Acre Venture

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50 - 100

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Location(s) of impact

India: Bhubaneswar


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

As per the data by SRS Statistical Report 2013, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of Odisha was 51 while for the whole of India, IMR was 40. This places Odisha as to be having the 3rd largest IMR in India where the Economic Survey of Odisha (2013-14) explains “high percentage of low birth weight babies” as one of the factors for the high level of IMR. Whereas the Maternal Mortality Rate (SRS 2010-12) of Odisha was 235 (for India being 178) landing Odisha at the 4th place for having high MMR in India.

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

The vegetable market building campaign for the community combined with and imbibed in the nutrition meeting program named Pratidhi (Mother and Child) is an innovative approach focusing on the health of the poor community, with special target on lactating and pregnant women. These women, through the program are sensitized about the nutritional benefits of vegetables, and are encouraged to consume more vegetables during their vulnerable times (pregnancy and lactation) for good health of the mother and the in-born. For this, they are also provided discounted coupons, which would enable them to increase their expenditure on buying more vegetables, and thereby increase their overall consumption. The vegetables that otherwise would be thrown away are procured from the local farmers and sold at discounted prices in the local markets, accessible to the communities. Awareness on vegetable consumption combined with accessible and affordable incentives helps increase the uptake and consumption.

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

The program was conducted in 3 villages (namely Darapida, Jalangia and Mallikpada) of Tikabali block of Kandhamal district in Odisha. The duration of the 3-month pilot extended from 25th July 2015 to 25th October 2015. During this period, we had 23 participants who fall under the criteria of either a pregnant woman or were lactating. Reasons for choosing the location for the program:  Economic disparity with 65.66 % of households below the poverty line in Kandhamal district according to BPL survey, 2002  Geographical inaccessibility, social disparities, a shortage of skilled workers and a lack of communication and overall development hamper effective service delivery in tribal areas. The pilot has shown successful result in "consumption" intake. It is to be noted that there have been improvements in the consumption intake of the regular participants due to the frequent availability of the vegetables (two times a week) at discounted rates.

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

The transition to a wider validation of Pratidhi would require capital in the form of philanthropic grants and Corporate contributions. The goal is to increase the uptake and participation of more lactating and pregnant women in the Pratidhi initiative and curate value for the participating women. This would be required to sustain the model for 3-5 years to observe strong indicators in helping the women increase consumption and use that as a causality for improvements in maternal and newborn health. Post establishment of the key value and indicators supporting the model, we would charge a value-based fee for participating in the program and establish linkages with the state-level policies directed at women and child health, combining earned income, grant support, and policy transformation.

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

The Pratidhi model is unique and innovative along multiple dimensions: (1) it represents a whole-of-society approach that operates at multiple social-ecological levels with impacts at each level; (2) it leverages convergent innovation know how to build governmental, non-profit, and academic partnerships to improve maternal and child health; (3) it relies on cross-sectoral micro-entrepreneurial programs to build local capacity and sustainability; and (4) it links to governmental cash transfers.

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

From July 25th-October 25th 2015, we conducted a feasibility experiment, “Pratidhi", targeting nutrition among pregnant and lactating women (PLW) at multiple ecological levels: (1) environmental - a rural retail site accessible to 3 villages was established to increase vegetable availability and affordability; (2) interpersonal - local community health workers (CHWs) identified, connected with, and supported women’s behavioral change; (3) individual – PLW (n=23) were provided 50% discount coupons for a pre-packaged basket of vegetables and nutrition education classes. The feasibility study found (1) a minimum participation of 65% over the 3 months, (2) household financial instability and distance to the retail site were cited as barriers to participation, and (3) signs of increased knowledge and vegetable consumption [volume and diversity]. One Acre Venture envisages to take this forward

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

  • Ashoka page or contact
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Attachments (5)


Community Vegetable Retail Point


Community Engagement


Community Engagement


Community Awareness Building


Community Engagement


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ivan Alexis Rangel Godoy

it is possible that in the community there is teaching to cultivate in the family property 5m2, cultivation of vegetables and vegetables as raw material for consumption, advice on infant nutrition, diets, coladas, compotes among other preparations.

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