We turn otherwise discarded produce into revenue.
- Sweet oranges cultivation involves high investments amid market uncertainties - Farmers only start getting revenue from the 4th year - Women labor workers have livelihoods confined to crop cycles - Over 58 percent of the rural households in India continue to depend on agriculture as their the principal means of livelihood. As per the Economic Survey, the sector share in GDP was 17.4 percent in 2015-16 and the share in employment is 48.9 percent of the workforce. Thus, greater emphasis on agriculture interventions is necessary for inclusive development.
Changing climate and surging input and labor costs adversely impact the livelihoods of these low-income and disadvantaged farmers in the area. A number of external and internal factors cause sweet orange trees to shed fruits prematurely – causing more damage to the price of the fruit. Natural weather conditions such as excessive rain, lack of irrigation, hard winds, cyclones etc. accelerate the premature ripening and fruit dropping process. About 4 out of 5 fruits are estimated to be dropped at different stages, leaving farmers in drudgery.
Horticulture labors in Nalgonda, Anantapur, Kadapa and Prakasham districts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states in south India, especially women, are unskilled in a particular commercial trade or activity, resulting in the lack of women’s financial contribution in a household. Additionally, fewer seasonal cycles lower the household income, resulting in the family living in extreme poverty.
Grameena Vikas Kendra discovered that the smaller sweet oranges contain a bioflavonoid called ‘Hesperidin’ which is valuable to the pharmaceutical industry. We purchase the small oranges from the farmers at reasonable prices and sell to the pharmaceutical companies, as fresh as well as dried fruit. This way the farmers are able to earn from their crop from the beginning instead of waiting for four years.
Sweet Orange farmers in Andhra make high investments on the plantation of sweet orange but have to either deal with inadequate prices or a low-quality crop due to market and weather unpredictability respectively. Another factor with sweet orange plantation is that for the first four years the plant yields small size fruits which are not used conventionally.
■ This project provides the farmers with an additional revenue which has been in most cases almost 50% increase in earnings.
■ The farmers have been introduced to a new market opportunity.
■ We have partnered with Women on Wings and are involving more and more women in sweet orange cultivation.