Increase Profits for 3,500 Poor Farmers In India

 
$10,149
$6,851
Raised
Remaining
Wish you a very Happy New Year 2012!
Wish you a very Happy New Year 2012!

Dear Friend,

I very much hope that you are enjoying the holiday season. From all of us here at Seva Mandir, a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you. May 2012 brings peace and success to you and to your family. We thank you for your kindness that you gift us always. With this letter, we love to share some key highlights of year 2011.

For Seva Mandir, the year 2011 has been a year of changes and success. Ms. Neelima Khetan stepped down after 12 years of her excellent leadership (total 25 years of association with Seva Mandir) in March. Ms. Priyanka Singh became our new Chief Executive in April 2011. Seva Mandir is ready to see many more years of its successful engagement with rural communities in Southern Rajasthan in her leadership.

In October, Seva Mandir became the implementing agency for the MNREGA projects for 32 sites in rural Udaipur. It is a significant achievement as well as an indicator of the faith of the 74 Panchayats in Seva Mandir's work. These Panchayats have endorsed us to be their implementing agency for MNREGA. Of these 32 sites that were sanctioned, the work has begun on the 22 sites. Most of these sites of pastureland development and currently the building of boundary wall is going on.

In 2011, Seva Mandir has been included in two working (sub) groups - {i) Child Survival & Development and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and ii) Girl Child} constituted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to review the existing priorities, policies, strategies, programs and their implementation for fulfilling the rights of children to survival, development (including early childhood care, early learning, elementary education). Also, to highlight emerging issues and recommendations, resources allocation and utilization for Twelfth Five Year Plan of Government of India.

Several of Seva Mandir's programs have seen a maturing in the last years. For example, in the villages where Seva Mandir organized regular immunization camps, the complete immunization of children is 60%, while in comparison villages it is only 35%.

Similarly, the work on Natural Resources is yielding a lot of benefits to the poor. Every year grass worth Rs. 52 lacs (5.2 million rupees) is being harvested from the common lands developed under this program.

In April 2011, Champa Devi from Vassela village was awarded the "Woman Exemplar Award 2011". It is another reason to look back and feel joyous to see that a community member of Seva Mandir was being recognized by rest of the society for her selfless services.

We are privileged to experience exciting stories of women like Champa Devi. A big credit goes to friends like you for this. Your support has always been the source of our emotional strength. It helps us keep going with our work. It is gratifying that with your support we have been able to create spaces where ordinary people can exercise truth force to bring about social and political transformation.

We hope you will continue to be with us in future too. Your faith and untiring support is very critical to us at the moment. Especially, when national and international scenario is changing rapidly for civil societies and the definitions of 'development' are being re-explored.

We believe that the full and deep impact of Seva Mandir's work lies not so much in the tangible development activities that it promotes, but more in bringing the poor and rich together and enabling them to work for the commons of building more just and oppression free communities.

We look forward to your continuing contribution in the year 2012 too. Wish you a very bright and successful New Year.

With warm regards,

Deepti

Grading Machine - cleaning and repair
Grading Machine - cleaning and repair

Dear Friends, Greetings from Seva Mandir! I hope you are well. Many thanks for supporting farmers living in remote villages of Kotra, Udaipur. This time, I have brought you a letter from the farmers themselves. The letter below accounts the recent happenings at their Dal Mill that you are supporting. At the same time, a small request for you from these farmers - they wanted to repair their machine because they were facing constant problems at the technical end. They got someone to evaluate the status of the machine and eventually got it fixed. However, in their evaluation of machine, it turns out that if they have a stone separator, it will help them produce a better product (final dal) as well as overcome causing damage by the stones in raw tuar/dal. So enjoy reading their letter and please consider to support the farmers in buying the stone seperator. Please write to me if you have any queries. Thanks you again. With regards, Deepti --------------- "Hello, The procurement for raw tuar began early this year. The target was set to procure only 3,100 kg of tuar so that we can process it before the raining season starts in July. However, we couldn't process it entirely and still had 1,000 kg of raw tuar dal yet to be processed, by the time it began to rain in our region. The procurement remained significantly low this year, primarily because we had been facing a number of technical issues with our machine. The milling therefore has been affecting our business a lot. In the meantime, we got an expert from OSAW industries, Ambala, Haryaana to guide us about the technical issues we were facing with our Dal Mill Machine. The expert advised us to either we could get the existing machine repaired and buy a brand new stone separator. Or we buy the entire machine altogether. The technician couldn't himself repair the machine because he didn't have sufficient knowledge and tools to repair a machine of a different brand. It was decided that we contact our manufacturer who has originally built this machine. After much persuasion of two months the company sent their technician from Sri Ram Associate, Akola, Maharashtra. The same person came who had come in the past to install the machine for the first time. He examined the machine and gave recommendations with costs as under - Work to be done: Expected cost Replacement of the Roll (Stone) Rs. 6,500 5 filters (Jaali) Rs. 3,000 8 bearings Rs. 600 2 eccentrics Rs. 400 1 Stand for the vibrator (18*12) Rs. 300 Expected service charge (TA, DA) Rs. 5,000 Others Rs. 2,000 Rs. 17,800 (USD 400) We also hired a welder for a day for quick fix some problems. However, the technician suggested to buy a stone separator for separating the stones from the dal while milling. Even though the raw dal is manually cleaned and sieved before processing. He explained that sometimes iron particles and stones cause damage in the machine. The roll which splits the tuar into two pieces has been causing problems. He showed these to us and we observed ourselves the marks made by the stones and iron particles on the filters (Jaalis) which cover the roll. He strongly suggested us to have a stone separator so it saves our machine and also saves stones to go in our final product. The expected cost of a stone separator would be around Rs. 50,000 (USD 1,000). Ultimately it was decided to get the machine repaired first and later around the time of procurement in December 2011 onwards, if we secure enough funds, we will buy a stone separator. In August the technician came and repaired the machine. If the machine is ready we could go for the increasing our product portfolio. We will also have the Green Gram and Black Gram coming in October and November. So our machine in good condition is the need of the hour. This is all what is happening Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh. Till now we have sold the entire final product (Dal) that we had in our stock from previous harvest. We are receiving more demands which is a good sign. Around July-August, we also did some plantation in our premises of Dal Mill. In total we planted 50 saplings with the staff of Seva Mandir. The team at Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh"

Dal Mill Repair Work
Dal Mill Repair Work

Links:

Processing is on
Processing is on

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir!

Hope you are well. The monsoon has come to Rajasthan last week. Everyone is excited to have clouds in the sky and hoping to have a good monsoon year. I am sharing the annual report of Dal Mill program that you are supporting.

The report accounts detailed information on the current status of the mill, their produce and the challenges faced in running the mill. As you know almost all farmers grow tur (pigeon pea) and sell it in raw form to earn cash. The average productivity of tur in the region is 2.5 – 3.0 quintals per bigha. Official figures show that the total production of tur in Kotra block is around 650 metric tons. As a study states, a processing unit of the capacity of 2, 40,000 – 5, 00,000 kg in a year can serve the purpose, by easily sustained through production from the region and having sufficient room for further expansion if successful. Therefore a mill (Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh) was set up in 2008.

Last year the total production of raw Tur was 12,954.5 kg of which 7,381.8 kg was processed and sold at different prices in the market. The procurement began in January 2011 with Rs. 41 per kilo. Subsequently the prices fell upto Rs. 25 per kilo. In early 2011, a Dal fair was organized to sell the stock of dal previously procured and processed. In December last year on the 20th the Sangh distributed the profit of the year 2008 and 2009 among the member farmers of the Sangh.

In addition, the spillover effect of the Mill is that the local traders also began to buy the produce for the right price. This has been the biggest achievement of this program. This has all been possible because of your sustained support to this program. Even though last year was tough for the farmers because the prices for the Dal fluctuated heavily, this meant that the dal was procured at a higher rate, but later the prices in the market gone down heavily. It inflicted some losses to the farmers. However, the mill is creating enough market pressure on the local traders who procure the dal at low prices and also cheat the farmers on the total weight of their produce. It incurs double loss to poor farmers. Now the equations are changing. Having an access to a mill which pays the right price to the farmers is forcing the local traders to also pay the right prices. Please do have a look at the report enclosed for more details.

Thank you very much for all your help. I hope that you will enjoy reading all the progress these farmers are making. Do write to us if you have any queries. We will keep you updated about the progress of this program as well as about the monsoon.

With warm regards,

Deepti


Attachments:
Business planning at community level
Business planning at community level

Dear friends,

Hope you are well. Thank you for your continuing support. We are very grateful to you donations and inputs .

Every time with our letter to you, we wish to acquaint you with Seva Mandir a bit more. In this letter, you will get to know about the process of our business planning.

Seva Mandir focuses on communities rather than on individual/s. The belief is that in order to bring about the durable changes in the society; the constructive work involving all the community members is important because social problems are complex. It therefore, takes longer but the outcomes are more sustainable and long lived. Therefore, Seva Mandir has a three pronged strategy –

1)      To create and strengthen institutions for development (at the village, organization and society levels)

2)      To enhance people’s capabilities for self-development (both at individual and community level); and

3)      To create sustainable improvements in the livelihoods base.

Our bottom-up approach allows creating stakes for every section of society to participate in their own development. We very much hope that you will enjoy knowing about our business planning phase that we are going through right now.

It has been a very hot summer here in Rajasthan this year. We are now all prepared to welcome the monsoon which should be here in the next week and half. Gradually it is getting humid day by day and we are trying not to let the rising temperatures effect us and are currently in the midst of the exciting organization wide planning process to develop our 7th Comprehensive Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan outlines the strategic direction and action-plans for Seva Mandir over the next three-year plan period (2012-2015). 

Seva Mandir has been preparing Comprehensive Plans since 1990 as a way to systematically review and evolve its near-term strategic priorities across all programmatic areas.  The process of putting together the Comprehensive Plan also serves as an opportunity for Seva Mandir to reflect upon the work we have done, examine the environment we work in and evolve our strategies accordingly, within the context of past lessons learnt and the overall long-term vision of the organization.

The process for creating the 7th Comprehensive Plan began in late 2010 and includes all levels of Seva Mandir’s tiers viz. - from the villages where we work all the way up to the Chief Executive Officer.  The Comprehensive Plan process is consistent with Seva Mandir’s bottom-up approach, with the kick-off meetings taking place at the village level with the Chief Executive present.  After these initial meetings, the staff members at the zone and block offices had an opportunity to share their thoughts, observations and information.  Using the information gathered from the field, the Programs devised their strategies for the upcoming years.  These were presented to the organization as a whole, where debate, discussion, criticism and suggestions took place.

We are now headed into the final stages of this exciting process.  Programs are incorporating the comments and suggestions into their reports, and putting the final touches in to the operating frameworks. This is an exciting time at Seva Mandir and we are really looking forward to the next few years when we can put these strategies into effect and watch the change they make.

The integrated approach allows all our partners, friends, donors and well wishers to contribute to the holistic development of our communities. Any project/program that you support for Seva Mandir is a part of this comprehensive plan. Thank you so much for regularly supporting our cause and making a difference.

We will soon be providing you with an annual report of our programs you are supporting on Global Giving. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

With warm regards,

Deepti

Dal being processed
Dal being processed

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir!!

I have three things to say before we talk about the project you are supporting.

One -we recently participated in a fund raising event on Global Giving UK. The challenge Top 10 wins challenge (1st to 14th March) required the participant projects to raise at least of £ 500 with minimum of 25 donors. Seva Mandir participated with its project “Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers in India”. This project helps 5000 poor, marginalized farmers in rural Udaipur to have better crops and thus earn more money/food. This is done through a variety of programs including – seed bank program, using organic manure prepared with the help of earth worms (vermin-composting), growing cash crops like vegetables (preparing nurseries) for self sustenance and income generation. You would be very happy to note that this project raised £705 from 31 donors in the Top 10 Wins Challenge and therefore it won a bonus prize of £300. It is a perfect gift on this Holi for our farmers.

Secondly, on the 19th and 20th March we celebrated our festival Holi (festival of colors in India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi). The festival is also a symbol of celebrating the harvest of winter crop in our region. This festival signifies the end of our winters and beginning of summer. March is also our financial year end and therefore it is wonderful to end our year with lots of support from people like you and having a good harvest at this Holi. And

Finally, this year, at this point of time, Seva Mandir is going through some change. Our ex Chief Executive Ms. Neelima Khetan has stepped down on March 31st. She has spent 25 years with Seva Mandir and the last twelve years as the Chief Executive. The organization excelled during her time and with her leadership marked a number of achievements. Though she has left us due to our constitutional norms, we are very happy to have her as our Trustee on Seva Mandir Board. Her continuing association with Seva Mandir is very assuring for all of us. 

Ms. Priyanka Singh has taken over as Chief Executive of Seva Mandir from April 2011. She has spent over thirteen years with Seva Mandir heading Education and Health program and leading Badgaon Block (a geographical unit for our work). She has a post graduate degree in rural development from the same institute as Ms. Khetan did. She is very capable and a great person to work with. With her deep understanding of issues in rural development and support from all our friends like you, we are very much looking forward to seeing Seva Mandir keep doing its good work in the next years to come. At this point of time, we all look for your continuous support and faith for many more years of working together.

Mr. Kanti Lal Pargi President of Nala Utpadak Sangh (Dal Mill Federation) has written a small note on the program you are supporting. It is given below (translated into English from Hindi) my letter which we hope you will enjoy reading.

Thank you so much for supporting this project. It is your support that helped these farmers to sell their produce at better prices than market and you will read in Kanti Lal’s email that due to this program, the local traders are now buying their produce at better prices which never happened before. Though there are still challenges but we hope to overcome these with your conituing support.

Thank you once again. We are grateful to your donation and hope to receive a continuous support from you in the future too. We hope that you will be able to visit/write to us. Please do consider to encourage our new team and leadership.

Happy Holi to you and your family from all of us here.

With regards,

Deepti

deepti@sevamandir.org

--------------------------

Letter from Kanti Lal -

Friends,

It has been three years since the dal mill has been operational. Not only the benefits of the mill are being enjoyed by its 86 members, but fellow farmers are now enjoying greater profits. Kanti Lal Pargi, President of Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh (Village Medi), shares with us his insights on breaking monopoly

We are operating this Dal mill and trading center for last three years and if we talk about our success than we should talk about the benefit which all the farmers of Medi are getting not us 86 members. In earlier days when dal mill was not there the farmers need to bring their produce to nearby town in Gujarat to sell or they had to sell it to the local trader who paid them very little price for their produce . Situations worsen if the farmer has marginal quantity (Generally less than 10 kg) to sell .In such cases the local traders take advantage of the fact that the farmer will not prefer to go to the town to sell this little quantity and incur a substantial amount of traveling expenses which is even more than the value of the produce to be sold. In this situation the local trader pays them just half of the price.

But when we at Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh started buying the tuar (Pigeon Pea) directly from the farmers at the same price being offered by the Mandi (market), these local trader were left with no option other than buying the tuar at the same price from the farmers. And this year we are witnessing of a strange situation these local traders are now paying even more than the mandi price. This has happened just because of our presence as there is an alternate option to the farmers to sell their tuar and creating a perfect market.

However the situation for other produce of the farmers is same as it was earlier because the local traders are still enjoying the monopoly for these produces like Black gram, Green gram, Gram, maize, wheat etc.

To combat monopoly for other produce we are also planning to start trading for Black gram, Green gram, Gram etc. also. The brainstorming is going on and let’s sees what best we can do to overcome this situation.  

Kantilal Pargi

President

Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh Medi

succesor to current Chief Executive Seva Mandir
succesor to current Chief Executive Seva Mandir

Links:

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Organization

Seva Mandir

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
http://www.sevamandir.org

Project Leader

Priyanka Singh

Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan India

Where is this project located?

Map of Increase Profits for 3,500 Poor Farmers In India