young farmer at the processing unit
First of all, a very big thank you for your continuing support to this program. I am writing to provide you with a brief description of what we have been doing all this while in this project you are supporting. I will attempt to give you a short overview of the progress we have made in this covering letter however; a detailed report on the same is enclosed for your reference.
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. These tribal farmers traditionally would sell their raw produce to the middlemen who then subsequently sell it to the market (aggregators, traders, millers, retailers etc.) for processing, polishing and packaging of the Dal. In this value chain the farmer who produces it, earns a very small part of the profit as compared to the retailers/processors. We did a study a couple of years ago to assess the profits earned by these farmers and the value chain that exists. We realized that setting up a small mill for these farmers could help take away the middlemen/traders in the value chain and the farmers could earn the larger part of the profit. In this view the Dal Mill Program started to provide a profitable livelihood to these farmers. Following are
some snapshots of this program –
• In the region – Kotra – the production for Dal is around 1,200 – 1,500 metric tons.
• The farmers typically receive Rs.25-30 per kg on their Dal (raw) depending on the quality of their produce.
• These traders typically further sell the produce at Rs. 30-35 per kg to the market from where the raw dal is transported to the processing facilities.
• The dal mill was set up in 2008 by Seva Mandir with the support from you and other friends.
• 50 farmers became the member of the Dal Mill Program. The mill was purchased in mid 2008.
• Early 2009 the construction for the Mill house started. Today it is a nice building with one wide hall with two windows. In front of it an altar has been built to dry their produce or for other processing purposes.
• To date the 8 villages in Medi region together form a group for the Dal Mill Project.
• Today there are 111 tribal farmers are the members of the Dal Mill project.
• Their group is called Nala Dal Utpadak Sangh, Medi.
• This year the total Tur Dal they have processed is nearly around 10,000 kg.
• Around 2,500 Tur dal has been sold so far and some placed an order to purchase more.
• Now the farmers earn Rs. 70 per kg for the processed organic Dal they produce.
This has all been possible because of support from people like you. We would like to extend our gratitude to your support and faith in this program.
Recently we had organized a fair to promote the product among other citizens of the District. All the hotels, local traders and friends were invited. My colleagues and I have been also purchasing the dal as well for our personal use and we are really proud of these farmers’ product. For the marketing of their product a brochure has also been developed and we are also looking into ways that would help market their product and connect these farmers’ local, organic produce with the common man of Udaipur city.
Please have a look at the report enclosed herewith; it will give you a brief idea of the overall program. We would be very happy to receive feedback from you in case of any.
Thank you once again for all your significant support. We hope that you would be able to visit us someday.
With warm regards,