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Sponsored: The Tribal Farmers Of Sittilingi Show Resilience In The Face Of Difficulty

Sponsored: The Tribal Farmers Of Sittilingi Show Resilience In The Face Of Difficulty

Tucked away in a tribal belt of Tamil Nadu lies Sittilingi village, 70 kms away from the town of Selam.

In this tribal hamlet there are about 500 organic farmers and 100 of them are turmeric farmers. These farmers are part of The Sittilingi Organic Farmers Association - a collective of organic farmers, started by the Tribal Health Initiative, which helps these tribal people with many facets of livelihoods and health.

SOFA was formed in 2008 to train the farmers in organic farming and to help them market their crops. At present, the community has about 15,000 people, around 4,000 of them are farmers and of that 500 are into organic farming.

With the pandemic and lockdowns, life has not been easy for these farmers. SOFA has in many innovative ways supported them last year to sustain but the challenge seems bigger this year.

The problems that we faced last year are the same problems we face this year as well. Because unfortunately again there is a lockdown and the buyers are not coming. The markets are down and therefore the wholesale buyers are not coming. Last year we had about 50 tonnes of turmeric, and this year we have 80 tonnes of turmeric, says Dr. Regi George, the founder of the Tribal Health Initiatives.

With no access to markets, no wholesale buyers and no exports, last year the farmers were staring at a distress sale. SOFA, with the help of interest free loans from Rang De, and a few other fundraising initiatives, were able to give the farmers almost 70 to 80% above market price. This not only helped the farmers tide through the crisis but also buy inputs for the next harvest. And this year they have a bumper crop of almost 80 tonnes.

With the interest free loans and other initiatives, SOFA was able to help the farmers with 3 things:

1. To build a godown to store the excess unsold turmeric.

2. To get an additional organic certification, with the hope of being able to sell globally.

3. To explore the variety of turmeric the farmers of Sittilingi grow, and try to partner with other organizations to try out different types of turmeric.

Even though SOFA has some committed buyers, they are not able to ship the turmeric across to them. The doors to export are still closed. While a bumper crop is a blessing in normal circumstances, with the pandemic and lockdown situation, this seems like a very difficult situation for the farmers of Sittilingi.

Rang De supported close to 100 organic farmers of Sittilingi last year with interest free loans, with a loan amount totalling to about 27 lakhs. And there is a 100% track record of repayment from these tribal farmers. They don't need a handout, they just need us to support them now at this time of difficulty.

The timely support would save them from distress sale and also help them store the excess turmeric and help them to sow for the next season, which is around the corner.

We continue to support these farmers but we need you to join in to revive the lives and livelihoods of these farmers. You can join in as a social investor and put a smile on the face of a farmer in rural india - Invest Now

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About The Campaign

About The Campaign

 

Schools are beginning to reopen amidst a lot of chaos. Teachers have had to undergo salary cuts, many parents have not been able to pay the school fees due to job losses. For low income households, the challenge is accentuated further. With classes going online, thousands of children have had to scramble for gadgets to get online. The digital divide has never been more obvious, resulting in several kids dropping out of school.

To address the brewing crisis in the education space, Rang De along with NDTV hopes to intervene by providing interest free loans to low income households. The campaign aims to create awareness about the problem and raise interest free loans for student communities across India.

About The Partner

Rang De is a peer-to-peer lending platform that enables individuals to invest in fellow Indians. Started in 2008 as a non-profit, Rang De is now an RBI regulated peer-to-peer lending platform (NBFC-P2P).

Rang De's mission is to provide access to low cost, collateral-free loans with respect and dignity. Since inception, Rang De has been supporting farmers, artisans and small businesses and individuals who have been denied credit or cannot afford high-interest loans.