Post-harvest losses in India are not a mere hypothetical scenario but a grave reality that plagues our agricultural sector. Farmers across the nation face significant losses leading to both financial strain and wasted resources.
According to a government-backed study in 2022, India lost about 5–13% of its fruits and vegetables and 3–7% of other crops, including oil seeds and spices. In monetary terms, this translates to a staggering ₹1,52,000 crores!
Despite growing 23% more grains and crops in FY22 compared to FY15, the post-harvest losses have only reduced by less than 1% during the same period.
The root cause? A severe post-harvest infrastructure problem.
Government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY) aim to finance cold storage chains and other infrastructure. However, these schemes often don't cover single or standalone storage facilities, leaving small or marginal farmers, who constitute nearly 85% of our farmers, in a lurch.
The Challenges: What Farmers Face
The lack of accessible post-harvest services poses a significant threat to the income of our farmers. These include: Crop Deterioration: Without proper storage facilities, perishable crops can quickly deteriorate, leading to a loss in quality and market value.
Financial Loss: The inability to preserve and transport crops effectively leads to financial loss, as farmers are forced to sell their produce at lower prices or even discard it entirely.
Limited Market Access: Without proper packaging and transportation, farmers may find it challenging to access distant markets, limiting their selling options to local areas where prices may be less competitive.
Dependency on Middlemen: Lack of post-harvest facilities often forces farmers to rely on middlemen who provide these services at a high cost, further reducing the farmer's profit margin.
Inability to Benefit from Government Schemes: Many government schemes related to post-harvest infrastructure require collective or large-scale investment, excluding small and marginal farmers who cannot afford the initial costs.
Difficulty in Meeting Quality Standards: Without proper post-harvest handling, farmers may struggle to meet the quality standards demanded by modern markets, further limiting their selling opportunities.
Seasonal Price Fluctuations: Lack of storage facilities means farmers must sell their produce immediately after harvest, often when supply is high, and prices are low. They miss out on the opportunity to store crops and sell them when prices are more favourable.
Loss of Opportunity for Value Addition: Without access to post-harvest services like processing and packaging, farmers lose the opportunity to add value to their products, limiting their potential income.
Rang De's Solution with Partners: A Ray of Hope
How Does Post-Harvest Credit Work?
Post-harvest credit is a financial tool that empowers farmers to access essential services like warehouses, proper packaging material, climate-controlled storage environments, and cold storage facilities.
By providing credit at crucial stages, Rang De ensures that farmers can afford these services without bearing the burden of distress selling.
More so, these services are provided to the farmers at the farm gate by our Impact partners which reduces their dependency on middlemen and gives them the freedom to sell their own crops at a reasonable price.
Rang De's partnership with FPOs and Impact Partners focuses on implementing this solution in rural areas. Together, they work towards common goals, such as reducing post-harvest losses, empowering farmer incomes, and creating sustainable agricultural practices.
Post-harvest losses in India are a complex problem, but with innovative solutions like post-harvest credit, there is hope. Rang De's collaboration with FPOs, Gramheet, and Manjari Foundation is a testament to the power of collective action.
Your Social Investments with Rang De isn't merely a financial decision; it's a step towards a movement that curtails both food and financial losses for farmers.
By joining us, you're part of a solution that resonates with the heart of agriculture.
Join us in this journey, and let's avert post-harvest losses, one social investment at a time. Visit rangde.in to invest in a farmer today.