Story link: http://www.goodnewsindia.com/index.php/sieve/article/business-ranis
Members of women’s Self Help Groups [SHG] in Warangal, AP are climbing the agri-business value chain. According to a feature article in the Deccan Chronicle today, they began gathering neem seeds lying to waste and supplying them to corporation like ITC. This year the district collected almost a third of the state’s total of 760 tonnes, earning a net profit of Rs 14.5 lakhs out of a turnover of Rs 65 lakhs.
But they haven’t stopped there. They now want to add value to the seeds and then sell them directly to local farmers as bio-fertilisers and -pesticides. They smelt another opportunity while doing business with farmers. The state is encouraging production of maize which requires less water than paddy. Finding farmers reluctant because of a lack of an assured market, these SHG have stepped in and guaranteed a floor price to growers. Farmers can now deal without middlemen and also have the produce picked up at their doorstep by the SHGs.
These women are now plotting to extend agricultural credit to farmers on a wide scale.