Women-led Producer Company for Fairer Rural Incomes

Alexander Mahagreen Producer Company (called “Mahagreen” in short), a farmer-owned company led by women-farmers, was established on 11th March 2011. This company spearheaded by small and marginal  organic farmers works to ensure a sustainable environment and social justice among the small and marginal farmers of Marathwada region in Maharashtra through promotion of organic farm produce. The Mahagreen Producer Co. Is facilitated by Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD) and together we work for the promotion of sustainable livelihoods through organic farming, so far ten thousands of small farmers in the region have been enabled to transform to organic farming practices.

The company is led by its Managing Director, Ms. Chandrakalabai Bobade, seemingly a typical woman of a rural village in Aurangabad district of Marathwada region. However, she is not typical when she gets down to her business of being the Managing Director of the Company. So are the other seven directors of the Company. Mahagreen has also recruited a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to take care of the business and compliance matters. The business has been on the rise and so is the confidence among the directors and members.

The company is owned by the farmers and the products offered by Mahagreen are what the farmer shareholders or members produce. Produce of many small and marginal farmers, even value added food products using simple technologies, are many times combined, packaged, and sold under the label of Mahagreen. Currently, Mahagreen has about 1000 members representing farmers clubs in 50 villages. These farmers are actively engaged in the production of organic foods, organic farm inputs, and value added food produce mostly from small and marginal farms. Their products – particularly organic farm inputs – are sold to rural markets within their own and surrounding villages. The rural demands are mostly for farm inputs like vermi-compost, Cow Pat Peat (CPP), and biodynamic composts while there is also some demand for value added food produce. The food grains and some basic value added food produce has found markets in Aurangabad, Mumbai, Pune, Secunderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, and Nilgiris. There has been regular demand from Pune for vegetables and food grains. Mahagreen believes in the principles of “small is beautiful” – small farms and small appropriate technologies for the empowerment of organic farmers.

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