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Asmita Info Brochure (Final) .pdf

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“Being a good farmer is difficult in itself, being a good farmer in

but it is approached in an incorrect manner, keeping logic aside,

adverse conditions is more so.” Going by this saying, things don't

and endorsing vote-bank politics and slogan driven policies. We

look good for the farmers in Vidharbha at present. It seems that all

have landed ourselves into a scenario where crop insurance

the important factors that go into sustained and profitable farming

compensations for failed crops are so low they seem like pennies in

have conspired against them. How else could one explain the wrath

a beggar-bowl while the incentives to commit suicide go into six

of nature, low land fertility, unavailability of affordable capital,









monopolistic traders and non-responsive politicians all acting in
tandem to reduce agriculture from one of the noblest of trades to a
mere mockery. The hands that feed the society are being
compelled to tie life ending knots. The farmer who once held his
head high on being called 'Bali-Raja' is now ashamed of his own
existence. How shameful is the fact that we as a society allowed
such a fall to happen? How shameful is the fact that we boast about
national GDP growing at 9% while the economic urban rural divide
is widening into an unsurpassable chasm?

The solution lies in thinking at the micro rather than macro level.
Given the percolation efficiency of our government, bureaucracy
and co-operatives, hardly any of the fortune released at the top
reaches the bottom of the pyramid. If the solution has to be
effective, it has to be at the level of the problem itself — at the
bottom of the pyramid. The long term solution can't be loan
waivers or subsidies hiding behind the walls of the power corridors.
It has to walk to the fields every day, hand in hand with the farmer,
comforting him with its presence, giving him his confidence back,
letting him know that it is the EFFORT that counts and it will be

The problem of dwindling economic sustainability of agricultural

rewarded no matter what. The farmer has to be treated with

practices of the marginal and landless farmers, as perceived by my

respect. Not as a liability, but as an asset handled improperly for so

naive mind, is not that it is too complicated a problem to be solved

long. This is where ‘Asmita’ comes to the picture.

'Asmita' strives to give the farmers a sense of Self Respect through for-

from a distributor thus getting a discount on the MRP.

profit and sustainable business practices. It is based on the principle of
symbiosis wherein the farmers and the business will benefit from each

Procuring quality seeds, fertilizers and other necessities in bulk

Providing the members the knowledge of ways to improve their

other's growth and prosperity and grow together. It will start as a pilot

yields based on the soil type, water availability etc. Providing high

project in agro-trading with soybean as the target crop and a capital

quality seeds and fertilizers at the MRP (which will be later

investment of `500,000 covering approximately 40acres of farmland and

deducted from the payment made for the produce). Thus, no

a group of 15-20 marginal farmers (1-4 acres of land/farmer). The

need for them to borrow money from external sources and

fundamental working of the business model of 'Asmita' is as follows:

curtailment of black-marketing of fertilizers.

Creating awareness about ‘Asmita’ in the selected village by door
to door visits and understanding the problems faced by the

Signing an agreement with the selected farmers to sell their
entire produce to 'Asmita' at the prevalent market rate on the
day of their choice (so that we can't force them to sell on a day
the rates are low). These farmers are now members of Project



Buying the harvest from them on the day they select and make

In the short term, we plan store the produce for a few months to
let the prices rise and forward-sell it at a profit; in the long term,

Accepting forms from the village farmers and selecting 20 worst
case scenario farmers for the pilot.


they received.

and the possible exit through 'Project Asmita'.


payments in cash after deducting the price of goods and services

Conducting a Gram Sabha (Village Meeting) in the village to
explain the farmers the current vicious cycle they are caught in


throughout the crop cycle.

farmers to fine tune the project details.


we can forward integrate and enter soybean processing business.

A minor part (20%) of the net profits is taken as salary by the
promoters and the rest is re-invested for business growth and

Symbiotic Model:
The ‘Asmita’ business model is symbiotic in nature resulting in benefits

for both us as well as the farmers.

and their problems better and thus enable us to do more
meaningful work in future.

Advantages to farmers:

The pilot project helps us at ‘Asmita’ to understand the farmers

The ‘Asmita’ business model once fine-tuned and tested for

No borrowings, so the entry door to the vicious cycle of interest

loopholes for soybean can be replicated on a larger scale for

amounts building up is closed.

other crops like cotton.

They get access to technical knowledge at no additional cost
helping them to improve the crop yield and get more out of their
limited land holdings.

The profits margins get improved owing to reduction in costs and
increase in production.

These profits if sustained over a few years would help them to
break the shackles of poverty and improve their overall standard
of living.

Advantages to Asmita:

Why Make Profit?
‘Asmita’, although working for the benefit of the farmers, is not an NGO.
It is a profit making business and profit making is one of its goals. The
choice of a profit making model over a non-profit on is based on the
following considerations:

A non-profit model has to depend on constant flow of funds from
external sources for its sustenance.

Buying fertilizer, etc. at bulk rates and charging the farmers at

For-profit models are more motivated and efficient.

MRP leaves a margin for profit making.

For-profit models have a better chance and rate of expansion.

A profit is made based on difference in rates of soybean at the

The promoters don’t have to depend on any other source for

time of procurement and selling.

their monetary needs and thus can focus their energies better.

Project ‘Asmita’
C/O Anukool Chavhan
Gujri Chowk, Pusad,
Dist: Yavatmal
Maharashtra, India
Pin: 445204

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