Increase Profits for 3,500 Poor Farmers In India

by Seva Mandir

Wishing you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thank you for your support to our project ‘Increase Profits for 3,500 Poor Farmers In India’.

With your support we began a new year and are excited about the hopes and surprises it will bring. YOUR support is bringing real changes in the lives of these farmers.

With your support last year we have reached to approx. 6000 farmers through our lentil mill programme. We are able to make this progress only because of the support from YOU. 

We request you to sign up to a monthly donation by clicking on recurring donation of an amount that you want to give and help us to make sustainable progress in coming year.

We look forward to your continued support. Please do consider visiting Seva Mandir when possible. Once again, wish you a very Happy New Year to you and your family. 

Best wishes,

Atul Lekhra & Seva Mandir Team 

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Today, 10,000 destitute farmers of southern Rajasthan are connected with Seva Mandir’s lentil processing mill. These poor farmers, who were often cheated by the dealers - now don’t have to sell their crops at low prices. Lentil processing unit procure their crops in the village itself and provide them fair price by finding niche markets for their produce, hence increasing their profit share by cutting transportation expenses and dealer commission.

Below are the views of some of the farmers and visitors who are linked with our lentil mill:-

Seeing the losses in agriculture, farmers were forced either to migrate or to commit suicide. Today every farmer in Kotra is pretty confident that his produce will get a fair price in the market.”– Ram, Farmer

“The lentil mill gave farming a new vision.
– Naresh, Farmer

“Faydo hai Faydo” meaning “There is profit” – Jelki, one of the elderly woman of the village said with her toothless smile and glittering eyes. She is associated with the lentil mill since its initiation.

I was on a verge of quieting farming for it only gave me loss. The lentil mill gave me new hope– Sohan, Farmer

Emily, one of the visitors to our lentil mill said “It is clear that this mill has been a very important resource for the local community.” 

Another visitor Mrs. Shankar said, “I will be talking about the progress of this project to my friends when I go back to my home in the US”.

It is because of your support we have been able to help increase profits of these poor farmers. Thanks for your trust and support, the lentil mill has grown over the period of time providing livelihoods to thousands of farmers who would have otherwise exploited in the supply chain.

We look forward for your continuous support. If your travel brings you to this part of the world, please do visit us. We would love to take you to Kotra village where you have been helping these poor farmers break the vicious circle of poverty.  For any quarries, question, doubt or just to have a word with us feel free to write to me at

Warm Regards,

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

India is one of the largest exporters of Lentils, but it is an unfortunate truth that the cultivators of Lentils live a life of drudgery. They seldom got profits for their produce and were often subjected to exploitation.

With the start of the Lentil processing mill by Seva Mandir in Medi village of Kotra region, the farmers are able to draw returns of their labor and produce in a fair mechanism. Today, 10,000 farmers of southern Rajasthan are connected with the Lentil processing mill.  

A farmer at the village says, “Today every farmer in Kotra is pretty confident that his produce will get a fair price in the market.”

Naresh (name changed) is a farmer in Medi village with a small piece of land; like most others in this area, his main produce is lentils. In fact, his family has worked in the fields here for generations, cultivating this staple crop.

Compared with many others in his community, Naresh tried always to invest in good quality seeds and regular irrigation. But despite his best efforts, his family income remained low, mainly because of a lack of proper storage for his crops and problems with transport. 

Every time he wanted to sell some of his harvest, Naresh had three choices: he could travel to the market using local transport, which raised his costs; he could walk the several miles there; or he could sell his lentils through middle-men, in which case he would not receive a fair price.

Over time, the financial position of his family worsened until some were forced to leave the village in search of laborer work. But even this radical step didn’t protect them from hunger. 

The solution for this family's increasingly unstable situation came with Seva Mandir’s agriculture programme: Naresh and others from his community were given support and proper training to become co-owners of dal (lentil) mill. 

The principal aims of the project are to operate along ethical lines, guarantee proper storage for the harvests and ensure fair prices to the farmers by cutting out the middle-men. The farmers who are part of the cooperative are now able to control the process of dal (lentil) making and selling, they are guaranteed a fair market price for their crops and they receive a share of any future profits.        

Thanks to the generosity of Seva Mandir's supporters like you who made this project possible, the economic situation of Naresh's family continues to improve. As one of the farmers participating in the dal mill cooperative, he is able to support his family and provide them with a decent standard of living. 

His initial contribution to the project was 100 rupees ($2). This investment, and the support of Seva Mandir in enabling the farmers to realize the scheme, has given Naresh assurance that his efforts will bring him appropriate rewards. Indeed, with time he will be able to cultivate a little more of the land and further ensure that his large family's finances are stable. The future is now brighter for them all.

Naresh says “The lentil mill gave farming a new vision.

It is because of your support we have been able to help increase profits of these poor farmers. Thanks to your trust and support. We look forward to your support in running this mill so that the farmers eliminate drudgery from their lives.

I am also thrilled to share with you that one of our photo has been selected among top 15 in its category to feature in the Global Giving Photo Contest 2016. The organization whose photo has the most votes by noon EDT on July 22, 2016 will win and receive a prize of $1,000. Voting began on July 18, 2016 and will end on July 22, 2016. Please confirm your vote to help our project “Send a Child in India to School for a Year” by clicking on the below link:

Your one vote to this photo can bring change in the lives of many more children. Please do share this information with your Friends, Family members and colleagues. 

Thank you


Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

In 2008, Seva Mandir had set up a community enterprise- “Lentil Processing Unit- Dal Mill” in Medi village in Southern Rajasthan in India. This unit procures raw lentils from the farmers directly (thus cutting the middle man commission), hence providing them fair price for their produce, process the lentils, and find a niche market for the processed lentils.

The idea of setting up the Dal Mill had certain objectives attached to it. The farmers from tribal areas had to take their produce to the main market at the district level for selling, this involved additional transport cost and state road taxes. The setting up of dal mill proved to be a beneficial deal for the farmers. Not only do they get good price but they save on the transportation costs as well. One more key feature apart from the fair price was the regularity in making the payment for the purchase; the farmers get the money instantly at Seva Mandir’s Dal mill without any delay.

Harish, a farmer from the Cheekhla village came to Dal Mill which is about 5 Kms away. When asked as to why he and other farmers chose to sell their produce to Seva Mandir’s Dal Mill over the nearest market. He said “Not only do farmers get a fair price for their produce but there is transparency in the functioning of the mill and payment is made instantaneously for the produce being sold”.

Harish feels that Dal Mill has helped farmers a lot by not only saving their transportation costs and offering the fair price but also preventing the situation of distress selling to the local dealers at the time of crisis. He has been selling his produce to the Dal Mill for a couple of years now.

This year we are planning to buy a mini truck to transport the processed lentils from the unit to the Udaipur city for selling.  I am sure, your continued support will help us achieve our commitments at the field. We would have not been able to manage such a setup had your support not been there.  Thank you so much for your trust in Seva Mandir. Should your travel brings you to this side of the world, please do consider visiting Seva Mandir.

With Warm Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

I would like to thank you for your continued support to Seva Mandir. Your support has enables us to help poor farmers get a fair price for their produce and avoid exploitation of the retail chain. These farmers are from one of the remotest villages of the region where we work.

You can imagine the status of life there with the fact that even today – there is no electricity in the village. However, this area is famous for its lentil production. Since its tribal area, farmers still practice indigenous farming hence they produce lentils which are free from any harmful chemicals and pesticides. However having said that- farmers face a lot of problems in many ways. Firstly-the local dealers whom they sell does not give them a fair price for their produce. Can you imagine- they just receive one third of the retail price (in which the lentil is actually sold in the market). Secondly – since they are very poor, a lot of farmers sell lentils in distress conditions ending up selling their produce in loss.  Thirdly- if they consider going to the main markets to sell the lentils, it involves a huge transportation cost, state taxes and requires a lot at-least a day which means loss of one productive day.

In this context, in 2008, Seva Mandir set up a community enterprise- “Lentil Processing Unit” in the village. This unit procures raw lentils form the farmers directly (thus cutting the middle man commission), hence providing them fair price for their produce, process the lentils, and find a niche market for the processed lentils.

Kanti, a farmer who sells his lentils to the Unit says “I am selling my produce at this unit since 2010. It has made my life easy. Earlier, I had to travel 40 Kms to sell my produce. The local dealers used to exploit the poor farmers like us, by weighing less and giving low prices of the lentils. But now, with the lentil unit, we are given fair prices and instantaneous payment of our goods. I have been able to save some money for my children’s education”.

Around 10,000 farmers benefit from the lentil processing unit. With your support, Seva Mandir has been able to secure the following machinery at the unit – De-stoner, Grader cum splitter, Milling machine, Crusher and Moisture Meter. We plan to buy a packaging machine soon which will help in better water proof packaging.

This all would have not been possible without your support. Thank you so much for your trust in Seva Mandir. Should your travel bring you to this side of the world, please do consider visiting Seva Mandir.

With Warm Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Priyanka Singh
Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan India

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