For the women farmers in Kanakapura village on the outskirts of Bengaluru, becoming entrepreneurs was a distant dream nine years ago.
Back then 37-year-old Nagarathna would preserve indigenous millets and paddy seeds at home and eventually sell them.
When she realized that 13 other women were doing the same thing in nearby villages, she got them together, and with the help of the GREEN Foundation and Mindtree, launched Janadhanya – a website to sell seeds online. Now, each of these women make a profit of Rs 80,000-Rs 90,000 every year.
From a dozen odd members, Janadhanya now has nearly 2750 members. It is an association of farmers working towards conserving agro biodiversity. The platform provides a direct link between customers and farmers. It eliminates the need for middlemen and thus ensures a fair price to farmers.
When Nagarathna visited Mindtree’s headquarters at Bengaluru on Thursday with her 13 group members, she shared her inspirational journey.
“When I started selling indigenous seeds, I did not get much profit. Later, I met women in nearby villages and we decided to work together. Today, our husbands are taking care of farming and we are looking after the business,” she said to the Times of India.
The report also mentions that a pilot project to train, and connect 40,000 women farmers and artisans in rural areas to the market has been launched.
“It has potential to showcase how technology can be leveraged to enable sustainable income for women,” Clement Chauvet, chief skills and business development, UNDP told the Times of India.
You may connect to the Janadhanya website here.