Increase Profits for 3,500 Poor Farmers In India

by Seva Mandir
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,


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,


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 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,



Letter from Kanti Lal -


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


Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh Medi

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


Durga Kumari sends you her greetings
Durga Kumari sends you her greetings

Wishing you a very happy, prosperous and wonderful 2011. Thank you friends for extending peace, love and support to all of us in 2010. We look forward to another great year with you. Year by year, our association is getting stronger. Thank you very much for adding happiness to our lives.

A small drawing made by Durga Kumari is presented as a token of our wishes to you.

Have an awesome year ahead.

Warm regards,



members fixing a part in the Mill
members fixing a part in the Mill

Dear Friends,

Happy Holiday Season!

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. This year the winter started a little later but it is pleasantly cold right now. We hope it is also nice weather where you are.

Many thanks for supporting this significant program. The program has made a lot of success and has changed many lives in our region. I am writing to share with you the half yearly progress report of the Dal Mill Project that you are supporting. The report covers a very detailed description of the Mill program and how it is benefiting several farmers in the most deprived region of Udaipur District.

As you know that the farmers in Kotra (the remotest and greener region of Udaipur District) grow various kinds of pulses and lentils but the production for Tur Dal (Pigeon Pea) is much higher in this region. The Dal Mill Program provides these farmers with a profitable livelihood option by milling their raw produce and making it much more marketable and profitable product. The half yearly report enclosed gives a very nice step by step description of the raw Tur Dal that is being processed by these tribal farmers. I would like to quote those steps in my cover letter for you. But I do hope that you will take a closer look at the report enclosed and get a full picture of the progress made in the last six months –

• First, procuring the raw Tur from the farmers

• Putting the raw tur into a grading machine which separates it into three grades A, B and C. And this grading machine also separates the dust, stones and other unnecessary things from the Tur.

• Tur of “A” grade is believed to be of the best quality and grade “C” is the least. When the grading is done the upper cover of the tur is removed with the help of water and then it s left in the sun to dry.

• It is put into another machine which has different kind of filters to separates the husk and besan (the flour/powder) from the Tur.

• The tur is greased with mustered oil to remove the remaining cover of the tur and is left in the sun to dry.

• Now the refined tur is taken to another machine called “Fadka” which supposed to break the tur into two parts but it doesn’t do it in a single go. Therefore, the output is again taken to the previous machine which has filters to separate the remaining tur, besan, husk and the final dal.

• This is how the cycle goes on and on until the whole tur has been broken into two pieces which is considered as Dal.

• Now after weighing the dal, it is taken to the packaging centre, where it is packed in three kind of bags viz 1 kg, 2 kg and 5 kg bags.

• The Dal is ready to sell now.

• The other by-products like besan and husk are also sold in the local market as supplement food for animals. These two by-products are sold between Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 per kg.

These farmer’s group called Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh has recently participated in a trade fair organized by the District Authority for Development of Handicrafts and Small Scale Industry Udaipur. It was held in the town hall, from October 2 to October 11 2010. The group also displayed their stall in this far with the purpose of the sale of their Dal and to make the civilians of Udaipur aware of their organic, good quality, locally produced product. During the current year, 12954.5 kg of raw tur was procured. About 10,000 kg of tur has been processed and almost all the processed dal has been sold by the end of November 2010 this year.

The farmers are all vey excited and happy at this progress. This has all been possible because of support from people like you. We would like to thank you on behalf of all the farmers of Medi Cluster and from everyone here at Seva Mandir.

Please have a look at the report enclosed. Please consider supporting this project again during this festivity and also tell your friends about this project.

Thank you once again for all your support and faith. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

With warm regards,




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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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