Provide empirical evidence of your proposed solution's success/impact at present. If your project is in the idea phase, please provide evidence that speaks to its potential impact
The village herbs community enterprise has been able to provide secured livelihoods for 1800 poor landless women gatherers for the last 5-6 years, who earlier earned below $ 1 daily. Initial 3-4 years were difficult & only it 3rd of the beneficiaries could be reached due to lack of capital & cash flow problems. The women earn better today, got food security & better health & productivity. Their assets increased with some household gadgets like fan or radio. Women got bank account, savings & cheap credit. Few even got group/family insurance benefit for occupational hazards/healthcare accidents. Their awareness grew as they moved for review meetings & exposure tours by & for the company. They spend more on children’s education. They have better social status & dignity. Few women even fought or even local governance council elections.
Local banks were impressed with the financial performance & started lending for short term to the village herbs for routine business working capital after a Grameen Foundation (GF-USA) loan to CCD for disaster resilience in women entrepreneurs. much of the loan & now repaid & financial viability rations look sound.
CCD trained about 10,000 (ten thousand) rural poor families to grow & use 10 species of herbs kitchen gardens on wastewater. This cut about 50% of their healthcare budget.
The positive health impact & budget savings was found by as World Health Organization (WHO) consultant Dr. Lakshmi Rahamtullah.
Collateral Benefits –
CCD was enthused by the success of this community health enterprise. So it started & more enterprises based on local resources & traditional skills & (LRTS) as below –
a) Energy – smokeless stores & biofuel pellets in partnership with British Petroleum.
b) Food – Grocery (pulses, spices, oil) retailing & mango pulp factory
c) Fiber – Coir enterprise to restore lives of Tsunami victims, organic cotton factory & tree cotton variety farming to reduce faming costs as suicide prevention/as prevalent in other states due to farmers indebtedness as cotton farming is loss making
The village herbs company has a turnover of Rs. 7 million (US $ 150,000) annually ensuring income of Rs. 4,000/- each to 1,800 women gatherers. This is 30% above the income they got before or other gatherers get today. This is part from the security (saving, credit, insurance & market assurance) & social (empowerment) benefits village herb members got.
Other 3 companies provided similar benefits to other poor producers (farmers, weavers & sales women) in near by equal no. ‘s of (totaling 2,500 – too & half thousand)
CCD’s herbal medicine company, mango pulp factory, bio-fuel pellet & smokeless stove companies are recognized widely in NGO world as examples of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR, please see http://www.karmayog.org/newspaperarticles/ newspaperarticles_9996.htm)
How many firms do you expect to reach?
CCD has identified 5 such Community Based Enterprises (CBE) in the herbal sector in 5 neighboring safety it will incubate them similarly from their present start up stage in bulk marketing of raw drugs & OTC unit. It may later start other rural development enterprises there. For instance, Sheopur district in Madhya Pradesh state & Balangir district of Orissa state are amongst the poorest ones.
What is the volume of private SME finance you aim to catalyze?
CCD has designed a budget of US $ 500,000 for outreach to 5 other states in GMCL format. Other enterprises may take double of this investment. Water borne diseases (WBD) affect about 4% of the population & 10% of children, as in Balangir with over 50,000 patients annually. WBD include diarrhea, hepatitis, typhoid, cholera, jaundice, worms, malaria etc.
What time frame will be required to reach these targets?
What would prevent your solution from being a success?
Rain fall is vital for herbal production & climate change is a huge risk to upset herbal production. Legal restrictions such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) helped consumer safety but many rural herbal enterprises were closed. For, govt. did not pay to upgrade quality of factories/processes through training & infrastructure. Thirdly, govt. welfare scheme of Rural Employment Guarantee (REG) is paying good wages for non farm work such as road building or pond digging. More laborers are attracted to it than treacherous act of herb collection from wastelands.
There 3 factors are beyond the community control – climate, policy & other schemes. They pose potential risk to herbal enterprise. Potential strategies to minimize there risks are to (a) promote cultivation near assured irrigation funds (b) to seek investment & technology to maintain up to date standards & (c) to tap lucrative premium markets to price/wages. Flower that needs next business plan few years from now.