Samridhi Agri Products Pvt. Ltd.For a long time, it was regarded that rural development is the primary pre condition for growth of a developingcountry like ours. This understanding is going through a change, with rapid urbanization becoming the trend of theday. However, this has had adverse implications for the agricultural sector. With the fast diminishing land holdings,this predominantly agricultural dependant population is struggling to meet their ends. Agriculture has been losing itscapacity to engage a large workforce. In such scenario any livelihood solution to the rural population should be theone which is labor intensive and has a capacity to absorb people who are otherwise unemployed or underemployed.BackgroundPromoters of Samridhi Agri Products Private Limited are a group of professionals who have had professionalexperience in the fields of microfinance, rural retail, banking and IT. As the group realized that there might be anopportunity to make an impact in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh. With the aim of reaching to rural masses theyestablished microfinance company but realized that while micro credit is empowering the underserved sector, it isunable to penetrate into the lowest strata, where people have no employment or resources and hold no bargainingpower. They then started Samridhi Agri Products Pvt Ltd in 2009 with the objective of providing business solutions andlivelihood options to the population which does not have enough bargaining power in the market. Having started itsoperations towards the end of year 2009, Samridhi started with milk procurement from April’10.Currently Samridhi has around 200 farmers across 10-odd villages selling their milk at better than market rates to it.Regular milk sales allow them to move from subsistence to earning a market-based income. Typically, these womenalready own 1-3 cows and sell milk to a middleman every day. However, they are constantly subjected to delayed andbelow-the-market payments for their produce. Through the dairy initiative, Samridhi works with these women andgives them accurate and timely payments. Samridhi’s rates are higher than that given by the middlemen or state dairycooperative.Though this activity of company could reach out to the population which hitherto did not have any control over thepricing or payments of their commodity and consequently was getting disillusioned from dairy as business, still thiswas not touching the lives of people who were resource-less.While interacting with other stakeholders and participants in the field Samridhi realized that in case of marginalfarmers three main problems affecting are as follows. 1. Unreliable supply of inputs and non-availability of implements 2. Exploitation by input suppliers in case of making inputs available on credit 3. Lowering productivity of land thus making agriculture unviable for small landholdersWhile in case of people who did not have any land the problem was that of subsistence as they are totally dependenton wage labor while not learning any new business skills they are most likely to remain unskilled making it almost surethat they would never own productive asset.To get involved in the above areas, Samridhi now proposes a new project, aimed especially at those who haveabsolutely minimal assets, and therefore lack of access to finance and resources.The activities in the project and the people targeted are explained below:
Proposed Project-Livelihood Promotion through initiatives in dairy and agricultural inputs:The organization seeks to generate incomes for rural households by providing them with cattle for milk production, aswell as agricultural services. The motive is to supply these services at better than market rates and no additional coststo the clients.Objectives- 1. Economic Objective: To provide members/ clients with a source of income by facilitating better services at lower prices. Besides giving them a direct source of income, we also aim to impart the necessary skills to enlarge their production, by using resources in the most efficient manner. Apart from maintaining a client base, we seek to provide community level employment as well. The staff employed to carry on the operations will be picked from the same village, and hence be provided a fixed support of income. 2. Social Objective- To empower the impoverished sector, not only economically, but by giving them a sense of independence and knowledge, that will generate community participation and decision making. This holds especially true in the case of gender roles, since the sources of income are directed towards the women of the household. This is based on a simple logic, that women are better decision makers when it comes to household finances. Any form of communal/ gender or any other factor of divide shall not be recognized in provision of the said services.In order to maintain the above objectives, the basic model seeks to provide the following services: 1. Enhancing farmers’ technical capacities- The farmers are given training, under that they are told about the required amount of resources to be utilized, the appropriate soil mix, the crops suitable given the natural environment, and the most efficient way of employing their resources. An important development in this area is that of SRI technique of crop production, which many farmers are not aware of. This technique helps use the natural resources and labour in the most efficient manner thereby maximizing their produce. 2. Micro Credit- the managing team at Samridhi are the promoters at Sanchetna Financial Services Limited, a micro finance company operating in three districts of Uttar Pradesh. There will be crop loans which will be different from normal microfinance loans in the sense that these will have loan inflow for farmer to be in smaller and timely installments but the outflow/repayment will be at the time of harvest only. 3. Training on cattle rearing- Since our members in the area are also engaged in milk production, we provide them with the necessary information on cattle rearing. A healthy environment and constant check up on the cattle’s health is conducive to good production. For this, they are trained on the likely diseases and the way to deal with them in every season. 4. Extension Services- The members are provided with veterinary services where a doctor makes weekly trips to ensure regular check up for the cattle. Along with this, we provide minimal health services, like de worming tablets and vaccination for the cattle. 5. Availability of inputs and cattle Feed- Besides farm inputs, we will also provide cattle feed to the members at their doorstep, for prices more favorable than the market price.
6. Risk Mitigation- Services like cattle insurance are also brought to the clients. For this, Samridhi has obtained the required license to function as a Micro Insurance Agent. Proposed Area- Samridhi already has its milk operations at Deva block of Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh, for the past seventeen months. As mentioned above, the company has been working on a dairy project where it deals in milk procurement and provides the milk producers with better than market rates. Since we have already established a clientele in the surrounding areas, we envision to start these two activities in the same areas. Physical features- The district of Barabanki is well fed by rivers Ghagra, Gomti and Kalyani. The climate conditions are those prevalent in plains, mainly extreme climate. The primary soil type if found to be alluvial soil, due to proximity to rivers. Social and Economic features- Barabanki district is marked as ‘A’ category district that is the socio economic parameters are below the parameters set on national average grounds. Deva Block is a rural block, where agriculture and animal husbandry are the main economic practices. Bee keeping is also an important economic activity practiced. The main crops grown are wheat, paddy and maize. Menthol oil is a vastly grown cash crop in the region. The average income in the area, for a farmer or a dairy producer, is very low, and there are a large number of villages where the population is essentially below poverty line, while a few villages have relatively better off people. Our target clients are the ones in the lowest economic strata. Target Clients and Approach- As has been mentioned above there will be two target segments that the project seeks to address. These segments along with the proposed interventions have been explained below.Target Group Characteristics Existing Gaps InterventionMarginal Farmer Land- Less than 0.5 Acres Viable land Cattle Rearing for Fixed Wages Livestock- None Cattle Training on cattle rearing Input- In part Resources to purchase input Technological implements on rental credit Technology- None Farming skills SRI Technique of crop production Bargaining Power- None Inputs on creditSmall Farmer Land- 0.5- 2 Acres Resources to purchase input Input on credit Livestock- 1- 2 Cattle Skills Technological implements on rental credit Input- Available Better than market prices SRI Technique of crop production Technology- In part Bargaiining Power- None Livelihood Generation through Cattle Rearing
Livestock is unique productive asset as it can generate asset of similar nature and quite frequently it can do. That’swhy it was thought to be appropriate that the best way to provide productive asset to people living poverty line willbe through livestock. Also as Samridhi is already paying remunerative prices to the milk producers it makes perfectsense to make milk production as primary activity.This model is designed for those who cannot afford to purchase their own cattle. Under this model, we provide eachof our clients with one cow/5 goats for milk production. The client rears the cow on her own and meets all relatedexpenses. As long as she provides us with 2.5 L/ day (1700 Rs. Worth), she gets a fixed salary Rs. 500. Any milk abovethis minimum requirement belongs to the client and she can decide whom to sell this milk and at what price. Taking atypical example of 5 Liters milk being available the client can end up making Rs. 500 as fixed wage and Rs. 1700 byselling the milk to Samridhi collection center. Another benefit for the clients will be the offspring of the cow which willbe their property and company will not have any ownership over these. This way the family may end up owning about4 – 5 cows within a span of 10 years.Along with this organisation will also provide for other extension services such as availability of Veterinary doctors forfield visits as well as availability of cattle feed at lesser than market price.Grid below explains various activities and who will be owning those activities. Activity Samridhi Client Cattle Purchase Samridhi purchases and gives it to the client Client receives cattle from Samridhi Cattle Maintenance No involvement Maintains on her own Milk Selling Collects milk from the clients and sells it ahead Gives milk to Samridhi Risk Mitigation Cattle insurance in Samridhis name No involvement Calving Keeps the original animal after calf starts giving milk Owns the calf Veterinary Services Makes services available to the client Pays for servicesWhen the cattle is pregnant, the client still gets Rs. 500 every month. After giving birth, the client gets to own the calf.Until the she calf starts giving milk, the original cattle with remain with the client, and thereafter be taken back by thecompany and allotted to another client. The calf is owned by client.Livelihoods Enhancement through Agri Resource Center for Marginal FarmersIn view of increasing prices of inputs and declining land holding, majority of marginal farmers who are below povertyline, are unable to hold access to important requirements for increase in crop production and with this comes everdeclining productivity. This deters growth, when added to the conventional methods of production employed by thefarmers. From our study, we have seen that most of the farmers are not acquainted with the efficient techniques thathave come up in agriculture. These techniques may not necessarily employ modern technology. In fact, some of thevery productive techniques of increased crop production require only very basic natural resources. But provision ofthese resources varies across geographical areas, and hence we are looking into a fixed method of providing these
resources, irrespective of factors that cannot be controlled. Since our model is based strictly for below poverty linepopulace, we combine agricultural development with micro credit.The proposed model consists of opening up an input store for farmers in villages that are highly impoverished. Thetarget clientele comprises of people who cannot afford to pay for farm inputs in cash. For them, we provide microcredit, such that they are provided the inputs on credit. This is done by providing them a membership with theorganization. For non members, the model works in a different way. Activity Samridhi Input Store Manager Client Receives from the Farmers Kit Provides to the Store Delivers to the client store Receives from Soil Testing Provides to the clients No involvement Samridhi Purchases and keeps at Sells to the clients and pays the revenue Purchases from the Consumable Input the store to Samridhi Store Individual Venture for Center In-charge Vermi Compost revenue source for him/her Same as above Purchases and keeps at Rents out to the clients and pays the Uses on rent from Non Consumable Input the store revenue to Samridhi the store Provides to clients Receives from Credit through Sanchetna No involvement Samridhi Sells directly in the Crop selling No involvement No involvement marketPropagation of SRI Technique for Food GrainsSamridhi has developed institutional network with organizations which are expert in the field of enhancingproductivity and thus living status of marginal farmers.Two such organizations are ASI-VOCA (www.asintl.org) and Trust Microfin Network (www.trustmicrofin.org) . ASI-VOCA has developed such resource centers in past also and they are looking at increasing their outreach withSamridhi’s help. They are mainly into promoting horticulture and improving techniques of growing and handling cropsmainly for vegetable.TMN has been in forefront of promoting SRI technique for Paddy and Wheat production as it ensures that theproductivity increases at least by 100% without any significant increase in the inputs. As this technique ensures thattheInput on Credit:When a client undertakes a membership with us, she/he pays a membership fee upfront and attains a “prepaid card”.For every member, we provide soil testing and a farmers’ kit to have them keep a record of their farming. Besides this,all the consumable items like fertilizers, seeds, pesticides etc. are provided to them on credit. The credit limit extendsto four times the amount under a particular prepaid card. For other farm implements which are non consumable innature- like the spray pump or the diesel pump, the clients get to use these on a rental amount. To differentiatebetween the two kinds of store supplies, we introduce two different prepaid cards, with different features.The rental will be about 10% of what it being currently charged so as to make a positive push for the marginal farmersto become part of the initiative and discourage larger farmers.
1. Consumable product- This card entails a purchase of the consumable items on credit. The amount of credit can goup to four times the amount on the card. The loan will be repaid after the crop has been harvested. There will be asmall cost to loan that will be charged, however the interest will be very low.2. Non Consumable product- Farm equipments like spray pump, diesel pump, chronometer etc. can be rented outfrom the input store. The usage of these implements is more or less fixed. Hence the allotment of the equipmentaccording to the per hour need, will be decided beforehand. The members who choose to buy this prepaid card, willpay the rental fee upfront at the time of card disbursement, and nothing in the future.Non Members:For those who decide to not become a member with the organization, the farm inputs will still be sold at the sameprice. However, there will be no credit provided to them. Also, the facilities of farmer kit and soil testing will not beavailable to them. Implements for rent will be allotted on priority basis. Only after the members have been assignedthe usage slots, the non members will be eligible to rent these. They will pay on a per hour usage basis.Building Social Capital through the Model-The primary objective of this project is to enhance production for farmers and dairy producers. Another objective thatwe are looking at is to enhance community level employment. The input store will be managed by personnel of thesame village where the set up has to be conducted. Our employees who provide training and micro insurance will alsobe from the villages that we look to encompass within this project. These individuals will work as salaried employeesfor the organization.For the cattle rearing program we envisage almost 30 – 40 daily wage laborers moving from wage based job to beingentrepreneurs.Monitoring and Evaluation-To monitor the effect of the initiatives mentioned above, we go by two measures: 1. PPI Indicator- The “Progress out of poverty” indicator is taken as the benchmark against which the standard of living of our clients is measured. These indicators range from assets held by households, to features like level of education in the children of the house. 2. For agri input store members, we provide a farmer’s diary in the farmer’s kit. In this diary, he is required to maintain a cash flow of activities that he undertakes during the process of farming. For cattle clients, we check the income inflow in the house on a regular basis, and then compare it with the baseline data. The baseline data is formed on the basis of average income in the village.Possible Challenges- 1. In the input store model, we face an incentive problem. The store manager may have an incentive to rent out the non consumable implements and charge a fee of his own. The usage of these items cannot be checked, and hence Samridhi may not get any revenues. To check for this problem, a possible solution is to keep the rental on these products so low, that the clients have no incentive to cheat and at the same time to make documentation transparent enough for members to see that if the store in-charge is not following the rules then he/she is harming their interest.
2. In the Dairy model, social issues like higher caste not willing to keep goats if these are provided. As cows and buffaloes are much higher in terms of asset value as well as cost of maintenance is high, goats are much better proposition to rear so Samridhi will like to promote the same. Initially Samridhi will focus on the groups which are traditionally known to keep goats and later on once the business model is proven would like to promote the same to group. 3. In case of Cattle maintenance it is made clear to the group that the maintenance of the cattle is responsibility of the care taker and thus cost will be borne by him/her. Samridhi arranges for visits by Veterinary doctors as well as arrange the cattle feed at the resource center which the members can buy on credit also after taking the membership.Managerial Capacity-Sanjay Kumar DhauntaSanjay Dhaunta has been working with GCMMF / Amul since May 2004, after getting a PG Diploma in RuralManagement from IRMA.He is the Branch Manager of Amul products in a region that has registered growth year after year. His expertise insales & distribution and handling the toughest market in Amul’s Portfolio will come handy as Samridhi starts sellingpackaged milk products.Surabhi RanaSurabhi is a 2004 alumna of IRMA and has about seven years’ experience in marketing and branding. She has dabbledwith diverse range of FMCG products across categories, Dairy Food, personal care, processed foods & writinginstruments. After passing out from IRMA, she joined the marketing team of Amul.She then joined Earthy Goods, a venture promoted by ICICI, which provides marketing expertise and market access toproducts produced by small-scale industries/ individuals in HP & Uttarakhand. Currently she is a Brand Manager withan MNC in the field of Agri Inputs.Lokesh Kumar SinghLokesh is a Chemical Engineer from HBTI, Kanpur and holds a diploma in rural management from IRMA. He has gotover seven years of experience in different fields. He worked in SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. (India’s largest NBFC-MFI)for over 3 years where he headed the expansion between 2004 and 2007 in 12 states including UP, MP, Rajasthan &Bihar. During this time, he built and managed a loan portfolio of over Rs. 200 Crores with 100% repayment rate.During this period he recruited and managed over 1200 employees.
Niraj PareekNiraj is an alumnus of the Accenture-XLRI HR Academy (first batch) and has over five years of experience. He workedin the Accenture India Delivery Centre at Bangalore for over two years in the HR Team. As part of their recruitmentteam, he was involved in recruiting over 24,000 employees in two years. Prior to Sanchetna, he had a stint with a UPbased MFI, where he managed their Varanasi and Dehra Dun regions.Garima SiwachGarima is in-charge of new initiatives for Samridhi. Currently she is looking after the initiative for livelihood creationthrough providing cattle to below poverty line population in target area of Samridhi. Garima is a Post Graduate inEconomics from The University of Mumbai. She has worked on several research projects such as ‘Self Serving BiasesCreated by the Reservation Policy in India’, ‘Banking Sector Reforms in India’, ‘Health and Education infrastructure indeveloping countries’ and ‘Land Rights and Land Reforms, from the gender perspective’. She has also interned in thearea of corporate finance with companies in Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur.Gautam KumarCurrently pursuing Rural Management & Development from Patna University, Gautam was formerly employed asDivisional Manager with Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited- the second largest MFI in the country. The roleinvolved business development, marketing and sales of financial products and liasoning with govt. officials, regulatoryauthorities, dealing with external agencies etc. He has also worked as Shelter In Charge cum District Co-ordinator withPRATHAM- Mumbai education initiative (NGO), Lucknow and Bahraich (UP) for educational rehabilitation and over alldevelopment of rescued child laborers.BudgetThere will be two components in which the money will be spent.Cattle Based Livelihood ComponentIn this livelihood component the money will be spent in buying cattle. As we plan to target 25 villages under thisproject and each village will have about 10 cows per village it will total upto 250 cows.Number of Villages Cows/Village Cost/Cow Total15 15 INR 20,000 INR 45,00,000Agri Resource CenterIn case of Agri Resource Center there will be two main components. 1. Asset acquisition 2. Working Capital
Funds Required for Asset Requisition will be as follows.Number of Villages Value of Assets/Village Total15 INR 50,000 INR 7,50,000Working CapitalNumber Input Farmers/Village Working Upfront Total Inflow Balance to beof Required/Farmer/S Capital/Villag Inflow/Far arrangedvillages eason e mer15 6000 100 600000 2000 3000000 INR 6000000Total RequirementsAs discussed above total requirement for the project to be implemented is about Rs. 1,40,00,000 out of which aboutRs. 30,00,000 has been arranged by Samridhi and balance Rs. 1,10,00,000 is what we are looking forward to arrangefrom multilateral aid agencies.Projected FinancialsProjected financials for the next five years are given hereunder. The basic assumption that we have taken is that theproject is implemented across fifteen villages, and there are 100 members in each village.Cash Flow Statement 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Inflow Equity Agri 20000,00 50000,00 0 0 0 0 Loan 40000,00 100000,00 0 0 0 0 Opening Cash 0 14079,59 25843,30 10722,78 -2707,16 245577,62 Membership Fee- Agri 7200,00 15912,00 3341,52 701,73 147,39 28,02 Input Sales- Agri 11626,09 296858,73 699833,12 849585,58 1065897,42 708669,08 Asset Lease- Agri 750,00 8265,00 13323,75 14656,15 16121,77 7466,92 Sale of Milk- Cattle 12126,00 65311,20 68620,00 68620,00 68620,00 32148,00 Total Inflow 91702,09 550426,52 810961,69 944286,25 1148079,42 993889,65 Outflow Input- Agri 36924,65 422132,54 676255,48 818269,13 777052,19 571611,49 Rent- Agri 36,00 402,00 612,00 622,71 612,00 306,00
Other Costs 360,00 720,00 720,00 720,00 720,00 360,00 Total Expenses 46044,37 462060,33 732184,72 870459,08 825481,43 597026,11 Net Profit before Tax 7448,75 75861,66 93640,06 112913,11 114017,75 71361,45 Cumulative Profit 7448,75 83310,41 176950,47 289863,58 403881,33 475242,78 Tax 2234,62 22758,50 28092,02 33873,93 34205,32 21408,43 Net Profit After tax 5214,12 53103,16 65548,04 79039,18 79812,42 49953,01 Dividend 1042,82 10620,63 13109,61 15807,84 15962,48 9990,60 Retained Earnings 4171,30 42482,53 52438,43 63231,34 63849,94 39962,41Net Profit increases from Rs.5,21,412 in the first year to Rs.49,95,301, not going into negative for any year. Dividendsare taken at 20% of net profit.Balance Sheet Liabilities 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Equity 20000,00 70000,00 70000,00 70000,00 70000,00 70000,00 Term Loan 40000,00 132000,00 104000,00 76000,00 48000,00 20000,00 Retained Earnings 4171,30 46653,83 99092,26 162323,60 226173,54 266135,96 Membership Fee- Agri 7200,00 23112,00 26453,52 27155,25 27302,64 27330,66 Total Liabilities 71371,30 271765,83 299545,78 335478,85 371476,18 383466,62 Assets Agri implements less dep- Agri 1450,08 6892,64 6044,00 5195,36 4346,72 3922,40 Advance to members- Agri 28991,03 196478,09 240526,00 291036,46 79896,44 0 Cows- Cattle 24000,00 40000,00 40000,00 40000,00 40000,00 40000,00 BMC less dep- Cattle 2850,60 2551,80 2253,00 1954,20 1655,40 1506,00 Cash 14079,59 25843,30 10722,78 -2707,16 245577,62 338038,22 Total Assets 71371,30 271765,83 299545,78 335478,85 371476,18 383466,62The requirement for term loan in the beginning of the project stands at Rs.40, 00,000. It increases in the second year,and thereafter we start repaying since a self sustainable profit is achieved. The term loan stands at Rs.20, 00,000 atthe end of the five year period.