India is a land of village communities, although the rapid urbanization of recent years. The predominantly rural character of India’s national economy is reflected in the 70 per cent of its population living in rural areas (2010), providing livelihoods for the large majority of people in India.
Securing a sustainable livelihood for smallholder farmers remains the principal means of reducing poverty in India. Besides promoting economic growth and income generation, agricultural trade has significant implications for other key public policy objectives such as rural development, food security, poverty reduction and income distribution, biodiversity protection, as well as food safety and health.
Key question is how to expand production while minimizing adverse social and environmental impacts. Dealing with entrenched rural poverty and major impacts from agriculture on ecosystem viability presents an extraordinary challenge to all the stakeholders involved. Prakruthi targets key commodities in India and identifies the stakeholders who have the largest interest in sustainable production of them to ensure that production can continue in a sustainable manner. This includes smallholders, plantations, trade unions, government, traders, manufacturers, retailers and investors. Good cooperation is paramount in order to develop sustainable development initiatives to their full potential and thus improve the working and living conditions at the beginning of the production chain.
Prakruthi’s projects include several activities, including organizing of smallholder farmers, providing advice and training to farmers and implementing of quality assurance trajectories. Smallholder farmers need to be organized or they lose out to larger commercial farmers, especially when it comes to accessing high value markets (export and certified markets). Prakruthi is promoting fairness, justice and sustainability with its sustainable value chain projects to ensure that agricultural trade and commodity production will deliver outcomes that favor both the environment and poverty reduction.