TARINA develops ways to increase market access for farmers. TARINA interventions and research strengthen market linkages for the production, sale, and consumption of diverse crops, dairy, and small ruminants.
In Bihar, TARINA has facilitated the establishment of two sustainable micro-enterprises at the self-help group (SHG) level. One SHG started a flour mill that can provide services to 500 households in a catchment of eight villages. Another started a milk parlor in Munger that procures and sells milk and milk products. Such products are procured from SHG members in TARINA villages. In order to strengthen income generation, SHGs have established a linkage with Sudha Dairy, a dairy cooperative enterprise of the Government of Bihar, for milk procurement. TARINA also empowers women’s collectives raising small ruminants by increasing their market access through capacity-building on market information, scientific methods of measurement, soft skills for market interaction, and more.
In Uttar Pradesh, TARINA has been developing input linkages with farmer producer organizations (FPOs) like Lehra Agro Producing, Ltd., in order to supply farmers with high-quality seeds at subsidized rates. This has improved the farmers’ yield. Efforts are also ongoing to reduce farmers’ post-harvest losses. Hermetic storage sacks were distributed to farmers for a household-level trial. Farmers were engaged in monitoring the quality of their grain and the storage environment, and qualitative interviews indicate an overall positive user experience. In response to TARINA’s participatory intervention approach, demand for hermetic bags has increased. The market for hermetic bags has moved closer to farmers, creating a linkage between the farmers and the suppliers of hermetic bags.
In Odisha, TARINA has been carrying out agri-nutrition planning exercises with SHGs to educate members on the nutritional value of different crops, which enables them to better bargain at market. Exposure visits to successful women collectives have been undertaken for women SHG leaders to familiarize them with management of federations, as well as the benefits of collective marketing of their agricultural produce. TARINA also organizes buyer-seller meetings and interface meetings for the SHGs. These meetings were regularly attended by officials of Regulated Market Committees (RMCs), state-run agriculture extension centers (Krishi Vigyan Kendras), and the Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, as well as local traders. The meetings have helped provide the women SHGs with critical information related to agriculture and allied services available for women farmers. Women leaders from the SHGs empowered through TARINA interventions in Odisha have also become members of local-level institutions, such as regulated market committees.
In addition to interventions to improve market access at the field level, TARINA has been involved in conducting various studies to understand the nuances of markets. TARINA is conducting a study to evaluate, improve, and inform agricultural marketing policy in Bihar to incentivize year-round production and increase the supply of nutritious non-staples. A responsive marketing system, coupled with an adequate supply chain, can strengthen the income pathway for farmers through a diversified crop production system. Yet, agricultural marketing in India remains a challenge. TARINA-Center of Excellence has also been trying to look at the role of food availability and household food purchases in determining dietary diversity for women in the four project districts of TARINA. This study brings together market availability and household food purchase behavior in a novel way to analyze the determinants of women’s dietary diversity. The market-level data for the analysis focused on the availability of up to 250 food items together with their prices across 12 local markets for a period of 12 months (2018-19). Data on availability was then complemented with household-level data on food purchases and women’s dietary diversity (also over 12 months) in 300 households.