Seva Mandir is committed to improving the lives of rural communities in South Rajasthan.The Dal Mill (lentil processing) project aims to increase the incomes of 3500 marginal farmers (and their families) by giving them a fair price for their products. In the process, the farmers are also being trained and sensitized to become co-owners of the mill.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Pulses are grown extensively by marginalized farmers in pockets of Southern Rajasthan. However, the farmers sell their produce unprocessed and normally through a chain of middlemen. Due to the fact that it is unprocessed and the middlemen charge huge cuts, framers receive a tiny fraction of the price paid by the consumer. Moreover, since the farmers are scattered and not unionized, middlemen and traders are able to dictate the prices, causing further loss to the farmers.
How will this project solve this problem?
By cutting out middlemen and operating on ethical standards, the mill provides a fair price to farmers. It also acts as a rate equalizer, as other traders are forced to buy at a higher price, thereby benefiting those farmers not selling to the mill.Since the mill is located in the village, it significantly cuts transaction costs. Finally, farmers that are part of the cooperative are able to control the process of dal making and selling and will receive a share of any future profits.
Potential Long Term Impact
The low incomes received from pulse cultivation has led to many farmers cultivating BT cotton, damaging the soil and leading to child labor. The mill is creating a fair market for pulses, increasing cultivation of pulses and reducing that of BT cotton. Therefore in addition to increased incomes and well being of poor farming communities, the project will lead to ecologically friendly and sustainable agriculture.
Total Funding Received to Date: $10,199
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $6,801
Total Funding Goal: $17,000