Years back, Manjari Sharma spent 15 days in the remote villages of Bihar as part of volunteer work. It was then that she witnessed the skills of the women there. Apart from managing all the household chores, they found time to start a small-scale food business of pickles, papads, chutneys and more.
Manjari, an IIM graduate and a corporate employee, decided to quit her job and help these women scale up their businesses and provide financial independence to them. She started a for-profit social enterprise called ‘Farm Didi’ to empower rural women.
Manjari’s role here was to make them aware of the food safety components and business aspects. She helps them to market the products all over the world and spread the word about preservative-free locally made food items.
Farm Didi has so far helped 1,080 women from 40 villages and plans to reach a million of them. Around 100 self-help groups of women are already part of this initiative and the women earn a decent income.
“To increase income for marginal farmers, we need to bring them together. We also need to increase their role in food processing. Right now the farmers are mostly producers, but if food processing starts happening in villages, farmers will get a higher share of income,” said the social entrepreneur to LEF Journal.
Watch to know more about this passionate initiative:
Edited by Yoshita Rao
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