We have provided evidence for learning and decision making on scale-up of agriculture initiatives through impact assessments, including IFC’s sugarcane initiative (which was scaled from 2,000 farmers in the pilot phase to 200,000 farmers) and the organic cotton programme of CottonConnect.
We are the impact evaluators of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission. We have extensive experience in supporting enterprises on market studies, feasibility studies, and business plan development, and assessing agribusiness projects to establish their efficiency and efficacy for its primary stakeholders is our forte. Our work on Action Research on ‘Understanding the Dynamics of the Traditional Milk Market’, and facilitating actions for strengthening the sector has won us the 2011 Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) national award on ‘excellence in research’ under the category of significant contribution to “Social Research”.
3Fold provides a solution to the challenges in smallholder farmers and artisans. In order to scale it up and provide a more integrated interface to the customers, Mindtree, Vrutti, Industree and CMS have taken a societal platform approach. The digital solution, called agri-stack, focuses not only on the farmer as a key stakeholder in the ecosystem, but also on various other stakeholders who extend support and show business interests towards farmers at different points in a farm product’s life cycle. Such stakeholders are invited to this platform with an intent of exploring new opportunities, expanding business scope, improving current business efficiency, exchanging data or even plugging into each other’s systems through interoperability. The solution would follow this approach to enable reuse of resources on the platform, community engagements and data sharing, network effects, agri analytical insights, 3rd party innovations and content via on-ground usage.
The three major components of Agri Stack are Agri Bus, Capacity Building and Change Management Platform and Data Ecosystem.
Agri Bus is a common ground for different systems and mobile/web applications to plug in and use each other’s offerings. There are many systems represented on the agri bus in the above illustration of which one is Micro-Business Marketplace. This is a store for multiple Micro-Business plans using various agri produces which farmers grow. This will help the farmer to climb up the value chain considering business options using raw materials they are producing. These business plans will be open to contribution by credible institutions, agri-businesses, domain experts and many more such parties. Like this, many other systems are plugged into the Agri Bus solving different purposes.
Capacity Building and Change Management Platforms run parallelly through the Agri Bus to provide support at multiple stages to stakeholders on the platform. While all the systems on the Agri Bus will fulfill essential purposes, it is important to realize different stakeholders on the Agri Stack will need handholding for distinct purposes at varied points of time. Capacity Building platform supports skilling and institution building which is required at various touch points in the process.
The development sector’s primary vehicles of implementation are Projects and Programs. The “Platform Paradigm” is radically different from program implementation and is more about building ecosystems. They require a certain mindset in terms of letting go of control and move to an incentive driven model of collaboration. They are as much about “sense and response” as they are about “best practices”. The Change Management Platform helps the various stakeholders in embracing this change and gives them the digital tools to execute the change over time.
The Data Ecosystem brings in various data points like feeds contributing weather information, state level market prices, pest attack data and aggregated farmer data. These can be leveraged by all players on the Agri Bus to use in their own systems to enhance or support it.
Growing Prosperity of Smallholder Farmers in India. 3Fold Model – Wealthy, Resilient and Responsible Farmers
Designed, Tested and Being Scaled up by Vrutti, Livelihood Impact Partners in partnership with Mindtree, Social Venture Partners and Industree.
Vrutti in collaboration with Catalyst Management Services, Mindtree, Social Venture Partners and Industree has designed and tested 3Fold model which is currently in the process of being scaled up. The model focuses on growing prosperity of smallholder farmers in India. 3Fold is about building wealthy, resilient and responsible farmers – making them successful entrepreneurs, and sustained job creators, having their income increased by three times. It believes in the empowerment of farmers and their entrepreneurship orientation/potential and nudging the same to achieve the impact. 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.
Three parts to this model: