Udyogini

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Name: Udyogini
Country: India
Year of establishment: 1992
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Legally recognized non-profit status, Women’s association or organization

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Udyogini

 Placeholder

Name: Udyogini
Country: India
Year of establishment:
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Legally recognized non-profit status, Women’s association or organization

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Description

Udyogini, a not-for-profit, is a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860. Udyogini means woman entrepreneur. Udyogini came into existence in 1992. It entered the micro-enterprise domain through the 'Women's Enterprise Management Training Outreach Program,' initiated and funded by the World Bank Institute. It aimed to strengthen the capacity of intermediary Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to deliver management training to poor women entrepreneurs. In 2001, a Strategic Planning and Organisation Development exercise induced significant changes to implement field projects directly to help producers and micro-entrepreneurs establish their micro-enterprises. Udyogini works with poor, mainly marginalized, poor, and rural women who live in and around ecologically sensitive areas. Its work improves their skills as producers and their knowledge of the markets they operate to ensure long-term returns. Integrating an inclusion strategy, Udyogini strengthens rural livelihoods and jobs through saving and protecting the environment and local ecologies. Currently, Udyogini is working with about 50,000 producers and aims to increase its outreach to 100,000 producers by 2025 in five states, i.e., Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. Udyogini has directly impacted value chains (such as Agriculture, livestock, NTFPs, Medicinal and Aromatic plants, vegetables, Sal, herbs, and incense stick) that show potential for scale in difficult market conditions in remote districts affected by poverty, conflict, or climate challenges and broken enterprise ecosystems. Udyogini also provided business services to NGOs, CBOs, and Government projects to build their capacity to design and deliver business services.

Nature Element: Forests, Mountains
Type of Action:
Sustainable Development Element: Jobs and livelihoods (SDG 1) , Gender equality (SDG 5) , Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12) , Climate action (SDG 13) 

Nature Element: Forests, Mountains
Type of Action:
Sustainable Development Element: Jobs and livelihoods (SDG 1) , Gender equality (SDG 5) , Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12) , Climate action (SDG 13) 

Environmental Impacts

It transformed lives of 1200women into MAP value chains & helped them become leaders for women's economic & social empowerment. MAP value chain in Uttarakhand is the major contributor to women's income today, with income increased by 45% from baseline. More than 1200women have planted 1 million herbal plants in 25ha wasteland, generating 1.2million person-days of labor jobs. More than 25 Women's Enterprise Groups from 45villages have procured & dried more than 600kg of plant produce from these herbs. In addition, 400kg of kidney bean, finger millet flour, turmeric, ginger, etc was procured & sold to Women Green Enterprise. With less than EUR 100 of investment, these women's collectives have earned a profit of EUR 150 each & set up a walk-in store for retail selling. It currently employs more than 12 young women & men directly & indirectly.Multiplier impact includes improving the green cover by 20%, particularly for earlier 25hectares of wasteland.Women entrepreneurs providing quality planting materials of MAP species is achievement. Earlier, planting materials could procured from HRDI; by growing a nursery locally, Udyogini demonstrated innovation & lowcost model for self-employment.Provided incentives against unsustainable extraction of MAPs by supporting sustainable value chains that feed into national and global herbal medicine markets.Protected fragile mountain environments by enhancing protection & cultivation of dwindling MAP species which resulted in 10% reduction in wild harvest of medicinal plants reported & 70% less incidence of wild attacks reported.Promoted cultivation of endangered plants & covered 45+ acres of land.Convergence and collaborations were made with MNREGA and brought MAP cultivation under the plantation category INR 10 lakh.Produced MAP sold to major MAP purchasers such as Dabur Emami Organic India.On several occasions, the government has invited Udyogini in Uttarakhand to present its model on MAP

Sustainable Development Impacts

Growing MAP enabled women producers to contribute to improving green cover. It has resulted in other families adopting practice & growing MAP on cultivable wasteland. 450000 saplings have been planted on 45 ha of land in past 5 years. These efforts resulted in reduction in wild harvest practices, increase in population of selected plant species, & increase in net area under production, contributing to environmental conservation. Protecting, managing, & developing resources is pivotal but creating livelihoods & jobs is equally important. Udyogini created & strengthened local livelihoods & involved large number of rural, marginalized communities in conservation of medicinal plant species. Action leveraged strengths & resources of partnerships with local governments, peer organizations & institutions in bringing about system change. It promoted livelihoods by integrating women, youth, & collectors in value chain through capacity building for entrepreneurship mindset & skills development

RESILIENCE, ADAPTABILITY, AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY

Most low-income families in upper Himalayan region migrate or do substantial farming & labor. With Udyogini, women farmers learned to do scientific cultivation of MAP & used their wasteland to cultivate it. As women have started MAP cultivation on their wasteland, families have reduced their tendency to collect MAP from Bugyal by about 10-15%, to which there are two direct benefits. First, stop extracting MAP from bugyal & cultivate it using their wasteland & because animals do not eat MAP, loss of MAP is not significant. Second, Cultivating MAP on wasteland reduces incidences of soil erosion in rainy season with a positive environmental effect. Use of plastic for mulching on standing crops is replaced with leaves, which further improves organic matter in crops as it does not involve any chemical-based substance like plastic. Produce of MAP crops is lightweight, due to which transportation cost of MAP is lesser than transportation cost of other fruits & vegetables in hilly areas

REDUCED INEQUALITIES

Udyogini has worked on 6 MAPs species with more than 1000 women farmers in the following three implementation models to ensure sustainable MAP value chains. Women report that it is the first time an agency has been providing them good quality planting material and continuous hand-holding support from production to processing and marketing. Youth entrepreneurs have been selected and are already motivating farmers to engage in MAP cultivation. Udyogini supports farmers in the cultivation, pre and post-harvesting process of MAP crops, monitoring the field activities, and collecting and aggregating the produced crops from the fields. Udyogini has facilitated a MAP cooperative called Badri Kedar in 2011, which collates products from 34 producer groups and 5 farmer groups and motivates farmers to engage in MAP cultivation. Cooperative supports farmers in cultivation, pre and post-harvesting process of MAP crops. It also collects and aggregates the produced crops from the fields and sells these products to appropriate markets. All the efforts are built on existing 3 Women Enterprises' early successes in procurement, processing, product development, and marketing by building entrepreneurs' capacities further, making access to financial support and marketing linkages possible. It will also extend technical assistance in obtaining certification to compete in the consumer markets effectively.

GENDER EQUALITY

Udyogini aimed to promote high-value low, volume cash crops that could be grown in cultivable wastelands and help the community build resilience to cope with climate change. Moreover, as the women are directly targeted through Udyogini and partner cooperatives (owned and managed by women), it enabled them to have control and access to income, thereby helping them participate in the decision-making system in both domestic fully and public spheres. As the women, SHGs, and producer groups would approach and create peer pressure on Gram Panchayats to submit a relevant plan to MNREGA. Most project interventions focus on training (skill and entrepreneurship), exposure, and farm demonstrations, utilizing the communication strategy. Udyogini encourages women farmers to cultivate MAP & ensuring MAP produce of women gets a reasonable price. For this, Udyogini conducted training & exposure visits and demonstrated MAP plots to shift women farmers' mindset from collection to cultivating endangered species. They were also encouraged to cultivate other cash crops to expand their product basket & grow it throughout year. Udyogini gets necessary license from HRDI, which ensures that herb is solely produced on woman's land and not brought from the wild. This is necessary because bringing MAP from Bugyal is a crime by law, and cultivation of MAP is not done without a license; otherwise, forest department confiscates herbs and assumes that this product is illegally extracted from forest

Scalability

Udyogini have been working for conservation multiplication & mainstream cultivation of some of these rare endangered medicinal aromatic plants. It further adds other MAP crops like Satawar, Ashwgandha, Aktara, Milk thistle, specially for the low-lying area, to scale up MAP cultivation in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Jharkhand. Trial of all these MAP species has done with community & it has shown positive response. SPOs and modules developed to deliver for further scaled up so that community can easily take up cultivation & create awareness among women & producer institutions for mainstreaming

Replicability

Udyogini is saving precious herbs from unsustainable harvest & its exploitation in Uttarakhand by growing them on the wasteland of communities in upper Himalayan regions. In collaboration with Council of scientific & industrial research, Udyogini has successfully conducted trial in Uttarakhand on Tagar (Valeriana wallichii) & Kesar (Saffron), which are native MAP species of Himachal Pradesh & Jammu & Kashmir respectively. Simultaneously, Udyogini has successfully conducted another trial on Shatavar, Ashwagandha, & Milk Thistle grown in low temperant regions, states like Jharkhand and Rajasthan