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Students of Enactus DCAC empowers farmer through project Zaraat
Students of Enactus DCAC empowers farmer through project Zaraat

Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for approximately 58% of India’s population. However, it contributes to only 20% of the GDP. This is due to reasons ranging from poor access to reliable and timely market information, absence of supply & demand forecasting, inefficient supply chains to inadequacy of cold storage facilities. Indian farmers face post-harvest loses amounting to 93,000 crores per year with the Small and Marginal farmers that form 86% of the farmer base, facing the brunt of these losses.

Having launched their pilot, Project Zaraat, an initiative by Enactus DCAC, a not-for-profit international student body organization, aims to uplift the small and marginal farmer community by reducing post-harvest loses and enhancing forward linkages.

Zaraat helps preserve the freshness of agricultural produce and hence, extend its shelf life by up to 10 days, saving them from the problem of distress selling by establishing storage solutions in farmer communities,. Under the guidance and direction of Michigan State University and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, they work with a solution that works on the concept of evaporation cooling and proves energy-efficient, affordable and portable.

Currently Zaraat is working to connect with several B2B aggregators with the aim of eliminating unnecessary middlemen and to provide the farmers with an income boost. The farmers are also being integrated into an FPO which will warrant collective bargaining strength. Realising the rising problems of climate change, they are also looking into sustainable agricultural practices such as organic farming and composting.

Project Zaraat was recently awarded the KPMG Ethics Grant and also received a Special Mention at the Enactus Early-Stage National Competition 2021. By the end of the year, they aim to have sustained the livelihoods of 100 farmers by giving them with a 25% increase in income, a 60% reduction in post-harvest losses, and a 20% reduction in energy usage. Visit www.enactusdcac.com for additional details.