Inclusive Value Chains

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This model is being carried out for PACS in the Kandhamal district of Odisha by Access Development Services. It focuses on 4000 female turmeric and vegetable producers.

Project summary

This model involves:

Project context

Kandhamal is a predominantly tribal district in Odisha where agriculture is the primary occupation of rural communities.

Tribal people generally reside in very remote locations and have their own unique cultures and languages. As a result they find themselves separated and excluded from mainstream society. Consequently, agricultural practices are primitive and yields and income from farming are very poor.

However, there is huge potential. The laterite soils in Kandhamal are fertile and vegetables grow well in the region. In addition, certain crops have a high market value. For example, Kandhamal turmeric is organic by default and has one of the highest curcumin contents in India. The local ginger is also famous for its unique flavour.

Although the vegetables have a more local market, the spice products have scope for a national and international market.

Establishing producer organisations

This model involves organising female turmeric and vegetable producers into village level producer groups with 12-15 members.

Some of these producers are then elected to be members of a cluster level producer group (along with producers from other nearby villages). The cluster level producer group aggregates the surplus crops from the village producer groups.

From these cluster level producer groups, a few members are elected to make up a Board of Directors for a Producer Company. Each Producer Company is responsible for selling and marketing the produce. They are also in charge of providing the producer groups with inputs (such as seeds, fertilisers and pesticides) and access to financial services.

The producer groups are supported by the Small Producer Assistance Resource Centre (SPARC) - a dedicated structure that has been set up by ACCESS as part of the project to provide training and support.

SPARC supports the cluster groups with agricultural training and market information (such as crop prices, trends and forecasts) along with links to relevant suppliers, banks and government programmes.

Innovative ICT training

This model uses Information Communication Technology (ICT) “extension training” - an informal educational process - including video screenings and audio information to teach producers about current agri-practices.

These audiovisual training methods are an engaging way of helping the producers – many of whom are illiterate – to learn about agricultural science and new farming techniques.

In addition to ICT training, the women are taken to visit farm demonstration plots to help them to gain first-hand experience of the new practices that they are learning about.

Adding value and end-to-end support

End-to-end support (from planting, cultivation and harvesting, right through to storage, transportation and marketing) is given to the producers at all stages of the value chain. This helps producers to increase both the quality and the quantity that is required by buyers.

In addition, they are also helped to add value to their products by cleaning, grading, sorting and packing the produce. This adds at least 10% to the sale value.

Good packaging and branding of the produce also adds value. In time, each Producer Company will develop their own marketing and branding strategies, but ACCESS’s profit affiliate – Ode to Earth – is currently providing this service.

When it comes to selling, the Producer Companies are linked in to online market information including data about crop prices, seed prices and buyers. This information helps to ensure that producers make the right decisions about when and who to sell to, and are paid a fair price.

Engaging with the private sector

Through its specialized for profit affiliate – Ode to Earth – ACCESS is helping the Producer Organisations to build sustainable market linkages.

Under the project, meetings for buyers and sellers are organised every year to establish business to business linkages. These meetings also help to increase the producers’ market intelligence, strengthen negotiations and forge relationships.

Converging with government programmes

The model also links up the Producer Companies to relevant government programmes and schemes that can provide additional and ongoing support. For example, there is District-level infrastructural provision (supported by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Food Processing Ministry) for turmeric warehouse storage.


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