Major Component of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmet - Producer Company of Freed Bonded labourers 

Freed Bonded labourers at 20 locations with Organic Farm Schools aim at declaring their habitations as Sustainable Freedom Villages (Pragati Gram) demonstrating a model at micro level that could contribute towards achieving the Global Sustainable Goals 2030 to End Hunger, Achieve Food Security & improved Nutrition, and Promote Sustainable Agriculture. In an effort to ensure sustainable freedom through increased income, PGS supports liberated bonded labourers in on-going management of a Farmers’ Producer Company. Comprised of 350 former bonded labourers, the producer company is a community-initiated activity in which agricultural inputs such as seeds, organic pesticides, vermi-compost and agri-implements are provided at a subsidized cost through 4 Agri-service centers. 

After harvesting their crops, members of the producer company are linked with the appropriate markets in order to obtain sustainable sources of income through on-line and off-line marketing channels. Members of the producer company harvest products such as brown rice, millet, flour, pickles, chilli, chestnuts, and lemons. During 2018-19 it is expected that an additional 150 farmers will join the producer group, resulting in a total of 500 farmer participants. 

Farmer's Producer Company 

Farmer's Producer Company, called 'Pragati Gram Fresh' is a Producer Company registered under the Companies Act, 2002. It is an initiative by about 150 first generation owner cultivators located in remote areas of Allahabad district. After getting agricultural lease rights from the government these cultivators have freed themselves from intergenerational debt-bondage. With the support of NABARD, we came together and formed the producer company with a focus on innovations in organic farming.

Nearly 150 Progressive farmers from different parts of the district have also joined our organic initiative by dedicating a proportion of their land for the purpose. All our farmers have got themselves registered for organic certification under PGS system with the National Centre for Organic Farming (NCOF), the nodal agency nominated by the Govt. of India for organic certifications. NCOF has granted PGS-green certificate to these farmers as an approval for organic transition practices. After pursuing cultivation practices of organic transition for a period of three years the farmers will be eligible for certificate of PGS-Organic.

Our member farmers are cultivating grains, pulses, oilseeds, spices, vegetable and fruits. With the support of qualified professionals they are also participating in various post-harvest value-addition practices like sorting, grading, packaging, processing and retail marketing. One of our farmers and BOD member Mr. Manish Singh, has been awarded by the Hon'ble Chief Minister of UP Mr. Akhilesh Yadav for innovative organic farming. We commit ourselves for responsible farming and ethical agri-business with triple bottom line:

Maximization of Profit | Minimization of Social Injustice | Reduction in Environmental Risks

City-based consumers from different walks of life are supporting our endeavor by regularly purchasing our products. We aim to achieve a win-win situation for producers as well as consumers through an efficient supply chain management.

For more information, follow the link: Pragati Gram Fresh

 - How -

  • Organic Farm Schools
  • Four Agri-service centres
  • Mobile Procurement Centres
  • On-line and Off-line marketing
  • Citizens Group Meeting
  • Training on Community Grain banks
  • Training on Joint Liability Groups

Organic Farm Schools: We provide training on low cost organic cultivation practices. In each Farm School 30 member farmers (freed bonded labourers) who have received agricultural lease under government scheme would participate to improve farm level efficiency. The plots of such farmers are normally of inferior quality having no irrigation facility. Organic farming is a best choice to earn income for the participant farmers to sustain their freedom by reducing cost of cultivation and better earnings from such plots. During 2018-19, PGScontinues tosupport 15 JaivikKisanVidylaya, an organic farmers’ school, providing training opportunities to farmers with a focus on organic farming, agriculture production, harvesting seasonal crops and soil testing. During 2018-19 we aim to start organic farm schools at 5 new locations with an average of 30 farmers attending classes at each location. These are operated by one experienced trainer and one organizer & they facilitate six training modules for each group of farmers. During 2018-19, we aim for a total of 20 Organic Farm Schools, 5 new and 15 already established.

Agri-Service Centres: These ensure timely supply of organic inputs. Such bio-inputs are mostly prepared by the SHG members.Agri-service centres are a step to reduce the dependency on loans to buy costly chemical inputs from the market, which push the member farmers into bondage situations. The member farmers can get the credit facility from group also for such inputs, if required. With timely supply of organic inputs,not only will the yield improve but also the undue burden of payment is reduced because of the credit facility.Moreover, increased yield of organic cropssupports the families to achieve food and nutritional security ensuring better health of their family members and reducing burden of bad loans for health expenditure.  During 2018-19, we aim to open 4 Agri-service centres. 

Mobile Procurement Centres: We provide technical support to Farmer Producer Company to purchase surplus grains from member farmers after harvest with fair weighing and fair price. It helps member farmers to get instant payment of their produce, which thereby reduces their dependency on bad loans for purchasing inputs for next crop. During 2018-19, we aim at opening 20 Mobile Procurement Centres.

On-line and Off-line Marketing: We provide technical support to the Farmer Producer Company to sell the procured products with the help of Android based mobile app – ‘Pragati Gram Fresh’ and government sponsored on-line marketing portal e-NAM as well as off-line marketing opportunities to get better value transfer to member farmers.

Citizens Group Meeting: During 2018-19, we aim at facilitating the formation of 20 Citizens Groups to support the cause of freedom from Bondage, Indebtedness, Sustainable Agriculture, Environment Protection and Organic Food Production by providing downstream partnerships for an efficient short distance supply chain. Meetings of each Citizens Group will take place once in a year in which 30-40 members from civil society will participate.

Training on Community Grain Banks: During 2018-19, we aim to support 10 Community Grain Banks where community members can access food and supplies at minimal cost, or through bartering, to avoid entering into further debt during the crisis. These grain banks also receive voluntary contribution from farmers’ club members and civil society to achieve the objective of Zero Hunger at micro level among most marginalized communities.

Training on Joint Liability Groups (JLGs): During 2018-19, we aim to conduct trainings at 6 locations with a participation of 40-50 SHG members. We aim to facilitate 100 JLGs for accessing easy crop loans (at 4-7 per cent per annum interest rates) from banks. This will benefit about 3000 family members of 500 members of FPO, about 10000 producers as well as consumers at selected villages through Organic Farming Schools.

- Impact -

It is a step towards sustainability where the Freed bonded labourers will start earning income on sustainable basis through their Farmer Producer Organization (FPO). This will thereby eliminate their dependency on bad loans. The food and nutritional security will be achieved and expenditure on treatments will be reduced.

- Others -

  • Farmer's Producer Company
  • Farmers’ Club Programme
  • Farmers’ Club Association
  • CAT Exposure Visit for Farmers
  • Contract Farming
  • Linkage with the UP State Ag. Department
  • Linkage with the UP State Horticulture department
  • Agri-Service Centres
  • Agri-Business Training Centre (ABTC)
  • Joint Liability Group (JLG) Initiative
  • Training on Apiculture
  • Training on Floriculture
  • Training on Medicinal Plants
  • Training on Bio-fertilisers
  • Meet With Expert (MWE) programmes
  • Ag. Land development and Food Security 

Our Achievements: Jan - June, 2018    

- Producer Company received Gramin Samridhi Samman award for 2017-18 from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). It was a state level award given to the three best producer companies choosen out of 250 companies functioning in the state of Uttar Pradesh.  

- Number of shareholders increased from 350 to 500 farmers, 50 percent of new shareholders belong to the category of first generation owner cultivator i.e. ex-bonded laborers who have earned lease rights for agricultural plots from the State Government 

- Civil Society response and participation - by ordering products from the Producer Company: 610 residents from 23 locations are buying products of the producer company on-line through mobile app.