Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund has invested 10mn INR in Zameen Organic, a farmer-owned cotton marketing company. Zameen Organic is a pioneering farmer-owned marketing company for Fairtrade, organic and pesticide-free cotton.

The three year old firm works with marginalised farming communities in rural India to improve livelihoods by increasing efficiencies, lowering input costs and raising incomes through certification.

Zameen’s farmers hold the most shares in the company and play a big part in shaping the policies as well as benefitting from shareholder dividends.

Zameen Organic was setup in 2006 by Agriculture and Organic Farming (AOFG) India with an initial group of 300 farmers in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, an area renowned for its farmer suicide problem, and the tribal area of Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh.

How Zameen works

Farmer Ownership

Zameen believes in the ‘trade, not aid’ approach to rural development, and so do our farmers who are investing their own capital into Zameen. For every ton of raw cotton Zameen buys from farmers, they set aside an organisation development expense of 1,100 rupees (approximately £15) to invest in Zameen.

We also have plans for two farmers to sit on our board and we work with Agriculture and Organic Farming Group (AOFG) to train farmers and develop their organisational structure.

Agriculture and Organic Farming Group (AOFG) AOFG Partnership

Zameen has a close partnership with AOFG, a non-profit NGO. AOFG’s aim is to facilitate the development of independent, legally-registered farmer cluster associations that are self managed and able to directly sell organic Fairtrade cotton to buyers to strict international requirements.

Guaranteeing a transparent supply chain

By providing brands and farmers with direct access to each others’ resources, Zameen reduces supply chain complexities and creates a transparent process. Direct access means minimising the supply chain to maximise benefits to farmers; cutting out middlemen and moving up the value chain.

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