DOMAIN AREAS

Applying our expertise across Livelihood, Health and Wellbeing for Workforce.

We have extensive experience in supporting - enterprises, vulnerable communities with healthcare and first mile workers with their wellbeing.

Livelihood Practice

We work with vulnerable people who operate as small producers (farms, forests, allied industries, fisheries and MSMEs) to enhance their livelihoods. Our overall objective is to promote wealthy, resilient and responsible small producers at a national scale through inclusive entrepreneurship. Our approach to build wealth for small producers focuses on having effective market engagement and co-creating business solutions that benefit both businesses and small producers.

Our Beliefs:

Strengthening small producers and their livelihoods at a national scale lies at the heart of our mission and our work is built on a set of core beliefs and learnings:

  • We believe that the market and market-led supply chain development is beneficial for small producers given the volume and value of operations rather than production-based work
  • Commodity-specific and end-to-end operations are the best pathways to maximise returns
  • Small producers, on their own, find it difficult to access and thrive in the marketplace, given the scale, quality, investment, skills and expertise required. Therefore, a business service organisation partnership with entities like Vrutti and Fuzhio is critical for their betterment

Our Approaches:

We ensure that our beliefs are turned into action by employing impactful approaches like:

  • Ensuring small producers receive reasonable prices for the risk and effort they take in the value chain
  • Maximising the proportion of the consumer pie and reaching small producers
  • Calibrating Bundled services (market channel, capital and capacity building) and addressing their interdependencies to make it work for the entrepreneur
  • Working through collectives or clusters to bring power—collective agency—to deal with the ecosystem
  • Working with established market players and engaging with them as supply chain partners through co-investment is an effective way

We use multiple levers to achieve our vision, such as:

  • Building programmatic models and approaches
  • Providing technical and strategic support to organisations
  • Engaging and shaping investments and policies
  • Leveraging technology-enabled platforms and directly implementing programmes at scale

Our Approaches:

By building capacities for various actors (internal and external) based on market opportunities and institutional architecture

By facilitating appropriate financial services throughout the value chain—incubation, production, processing, marketing and so on

By forging business partnerships and orchestrating a range of solutions

By providing technical support—value chain studies, landscape studies, feasibility studies, business planning, hand-holding and mentoring support, institutional diagnosis and assessments, quality assurance systems, technology products, etc.

To address the various levers of impact, we work with a number of organisations like:

Vrutti, which has a strong grassroot presence and domain expertise, works on the mobilisation and institutionalisation (institutions and clusters) of small producers in order to build their collective agency and supply chain readiness

Fuzhio which specialises in marketing, bringing market opportunities to entrepreneurs, and developing a market-ready supply chain

The GREEN Foundation, that has a strong expertise in biodiversity and conservation, works to promote sustainable, climate-friendly practices

We implemented a number of important initiatives, including:

3-Fold – Working with Vrutti, the 3-Fold model aims at building wealth, resilience and responsibility for the smallholder farmers by working end-to-end on five major value chains. This model delivers six key services, customised and bundled, to the farmers. This programme has been working in six states with over 70,000 small and marginal farmers through 29 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).

Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program – Working with Walmart, the Vriddhi programme works with 50,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India to expand their domestic capabilities and participate in the global economy. It offers on-demand learning and personalised mentoring for MSMEs, as well as onboarding and incubation support on Flipkart and Walmart Marketplaces.

Working with SEWA Bharat, we are providing mentoring support for strengthening Bihar’s only women-led Karnabhoomi Farmer Producer Company, set up in 2018 by 750 women shareholders across two districts: Munger and Bhagalpur.

Investing for Impact

We want to achieve impact at scale by co-investing with change agents to shape solutions and investments. Some of the work we have implemented in this regard is outlined below:

Inclusive Entrepreneurship Development Fund:

With the ambition of offering flexible financial products customised for individual small producers, we are in the process of setting up a blended finance facility through the innovative use of philanthropic and debt capital. We will be leveraging guarantee capital to “de-risk” the investment for investors and NBFC partners.

Establishing a Platform for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (PIE):

PIE follows the societal platform principles and leverages open-source technology, knowledge resources and deep hand-holding support from pools of professionals, enabling enterprises to directly access national and global markets and reach scale.

Partner for shaping policy, generating knowledge and evidence, and undertaking innovative work:

  • National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM): Vrutti and CMS are undertaking an impact evaluation of the NRLM (along with 3ie and Stanford University) to determine the impact of the programme using rigorous econometric methods. The study covers about 27,500 households across 9 states in India, about 1,000 village organisations and over 4,000 Self-Help Groups. This is a one-of-a-kind ongoing national programme to be evaluated, and the methodology is being celebrated with high policy relevance and evidence uptake by the government. The Ministry of Rural Development is utilising the findings to course-correct the elements of the NRLP and as design inputs for the NRETP (National Rural Economic Transformation Project).
  • Cotton Connect: The Organic Cotton Farmer Training Program is supporting 16,000 farmers across India to convert to an organic system of production that can be cost-saving and less damaging to the environment. CMS is undertaking an impact evaluation of the programme over 6 years, covering 8,000 farmers across 4 states, to determine whether;
  • Ensuring small producers receive reasonable prices for the risk and effort they take in the value chain
  • whether farmers can successfully adopt organic cotton production through an extension services program

This unique evaluation attempts to determine the profit margins and returns from organic farming. It also provides sectoral inputs on topics including whether going organic for a farmer makes financial sense, if so, how to support it, and if not, how to make it profitable, despite the fact that doing so is both climate-friendly and need-of-the-hour.

  • Agri and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Finance Market Assessment in India: The objective of this study is to increase access to agri-finance by building digital agricultural lending platforms with financial institutions (FIs) and agribusinesses and to increase adoption of CSA technologies in the relevant agri-sub-sectors and value chains, contributing to the larger vision of WBG‘s Climate Action Plan 2021–2025. This study is expected to also feed into the climate finance strategy of IFC, which aims to mainstream climate in the agriculture sector and in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). An interesting exploration of agri-finance, this study attempts to bridge the gap in financing for farmers and the other players in the value chain through private sector lending while keeping profitability, technology, gender, climate responsiveness and inclusion in mind. This landscape study will also develop products for the value chain sector, looking at it from both the demand (farmers/value chain-implementing partners) and supply (financial institutions) sides.
  • Economic Resilience model: COVID-19 has significantly affected the livelihoods of vulnerable communities. We are developing a scalable model for building economic resilience among vulnerable populations. Currently, piloting with 6,000 vulnerable households at three locations across the country with the Head Held High Foundation, Gopabandhu Seva Parishad (GSP), and Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF) as partner organisations. The pathways designed to enhance resilience are conservation (cost cutting, risk reduction, etc.), diversification (of income and revenue streams), aggregation (helping the poor save and invest), and risk pooling (formal and informal insurance mechanisms).

We work towards the holistic development of small producers and to pave the way to a brighter future. All of our work is geared towards achieving the UN SDGs, specifically Goals 1, 2, 5, 10, 11 and 17.

To learn more about the work we do, contact us at

RELATED PRODUCTS

3FOLD

3FOLD

3 FOLD – Wealthy, Resilient and Responsible Farmers
3Fold is about developing wealthy, resilient and responsible farmers – making them successful entrepreneurs and sustained job creators, helping them increase their income by three times. It believes in the empowerment of farmers and their entrepreneurship potential.

It addresses the key gaps of:

  • Lack of integrated services (end-to-end) which is appropriate to the farmers,
  • Need for ‘diversified options’ (value addition, farm, allied and off-farm), augmented by ‘integrators/activators at field level’ and ‘technology’, and
  • Establishment of a sustainable eco-system at a Cluster level, that enables collaborative actions for collective impact.

Know more about 3Fold

PIE

PIE

This is a digital, societal platform that provides scale and integration to farmers and artisans. It serves the farmer and other stakeholders who play a vital role in the farmer’s livelihood. Such stakeholders are invited to this platform with an intent of exploring new opportunities, expanding business scope, exchanging data and even plugging into each other’s systems through interoperability.

Know more about PIE.

Measure of Livelihood

Measure of Livelihood

Inspired by the Sustainable Rural Livelihood framework, Measure of Livelihoods is a participative monitoring tool for assessing livelihoods.

The tool has three parts:

  • An iconised reference tool – which lets the community identify themselves with five kinds of persons within their village. The tool is derived from a series of indicators of five capitals, which are locally relevant.
  • Detailed case studies of select families. Choice of families is based on analysis of data from the iconised reference tool.
  • Understanding of the vulnerability context,which largely refers to factors affecting people’s livelihood and vulnerability.

The first part provides quantitative data and trends on how the five capitals behave within the project area. The second part provides the qualitative aspects, within the same sample, so that managers can take critical decisions such as re-strategising. The third part provides contextual information which validates the first and second part and also addresses the attributability of changes in livelihoods.

The tool has been used across multiple villages and has helped programmes assess the progress on outcomes easily. Please reach out to us for more information.

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