cThis has been possible through proactive working of the farmers company Nallavur Farmer Producer Company Limited (NAFPCL). This farmers producer company was set up with the facilitation of MSSRF.
Starting with procurement of 2 tonnes, over a span of 3 years, there has been a multifold increase in the tonnage procured (18 tonnes now). There has been a 75% to double the increase in the net income gained by the farmers, which they would have otherwise been unable to realize in the market, had they sold directly.
One of the unique features of this venture, has been the involvement of women in the procurement process, which has usually been the forte of men. The woman leaders from respective farmer producer groups played a vital role to reach black gram from the field to warehouse in a systematic manner without intervention of local vendors. Although they faced criticisms from the local vendors, it has not deterred them.
The Nallavur Farmer Producer Company Limited was registered under the Producer Company Act in 2013, is currently working in 12 panchayats, 3 blocks in Villupuram district. MSSRF has facilitated by providing space for stoarage and for technical inputs, while ICRISAT has provided the three layer polythene bags, which is free from storage pests, for storing the legumes.
The role of the NAFPCL has been on providing technical information for water augmentation, promoting pulse crops, providing continue capacity building for small and marginal farmers, introducing improved technology, ensuring fair trade and equity and equality among the members. At present, there are 54 farmer Producer groups consisting of 932 farmers as shareholders of which 784 or 84% are women and the remaining, men.
The producer company has also facilitated the farmers to sell seeds to the local vendors and realized a higher price than what was possible earlier.
This business venture has given women farmers the confidence to face local vendors and also to move into procurement process for other commodities.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.