This is the second phase of this project. The first phase gave women farmers training in sustainable organic practice. Now we are helping 20 of these women to move their produce up the value chain by training them to create and market canned products. These products will not only net more than the sale of raw produce, but their longer shelf life allows for a more flexible response to changing conditions such as COVID restrictions, and will open up new markets.
Agriculture activities and the movement of goods have been disrupted due to Covid-19. To add to that, the recent Nivar Cyclone affected weather patterns inland, leading to low yields or loss of crops due to unseasonal rains. Disrupted yields mean the women work long, hard hours yet receive a pittance for their produce or it goes waste for want to buyers.
We're help women already producing organic crops turn those crops into products like pickles, sauces or condiments. We're collaborating with one women's self-help group, or sangam, to help them pick the products and recipes that will maximize their return and to teach them how to prepare and market those products. Because canning minimizes food waste, maximizes the value of the crop, and allows for wider marketing, we hope to increase the women's income 25%.
With the income they earn from their business, 20 women will now be able to send their children to school and obtain adequate health care. As business takes hold, they can share their knowledge and serve as a model for other sangams. The multiplier effect will increase the economic vitality of the entire village. Preserving produce to amplify its value is an idea that must take root wherever there are women farmers in distress.
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