Changemaker: Ajay Etikala
Country of Implementation: India
Less than avg $1.5 daily income of 250+million small Indian farmers is due to their dependence on middlemen. They procure from farmers at extremely low prices and add up to 250% to consumer prices. Farmers hardly get 25-30% of final prices. Farmers are forced to take loans (40-150%)- 15 farmers are committing suicide every day. Farming has become unviable and riskier as inputs costs like seeds, fertilizers etc are skyrocketing and made farmers helpless.
Indiscriminate use of pesticides and chemicals has degraded environment, soil fertility, polluted water-bodies and lead to the adverse health impacts like acute poisoning, cancer, neurological effects in humans, animals etc. Major causes of concern are the bioaccumulation in environment, animals, water bodies and the prolonged time period it takes to express the negative health consequences.
We are creating a model where we are connecting small organic farmers to end customers directly, so that we can increase the farmers’ incomes by providing them their fair share so that we can motivate them to do their sustainable, traditional and organic farming practices. By directly connecting to end customers we will also be able to make organic produce affordable and reduce the prices, so that more people could afford it which creates more demand which will motivate more farmers to shift towards organic and sustainable agri practises.