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Project Zaraat by Enactus DCAC: A Beacon of Hope for Farmers Suffering from Post Harvest Losses

Project Zaraat aims to minimise post-harvest losses and enhance forward linkages through a self-sustaining enterprise. Post-Harvest losses refer to the losses taking place after harvesting but before final consumption, the primary cause of which are storage and transportation.

Sugandh Bhatnagar
Project Zaraat by Enactus DCAC- Volunteers
Project Zaraat by Enactus DCAC- Volunteers

Beneath the apparent tranquility in parts of rural India, lies a community suffering in silence. Agricultural sector forms the core of the country, facilitating employment for over 40% of the people and contributing to 17% of the GDP. However, statistics paint a rather dismal picture

Every day 28 people dependent on farming die by suicide. Moreover, India still imports produce worth approximately 1.47 crores. In fact, India stands as low as 97th in Oxfam’s food availability index while 103rd  in 2018 global hunger index.

Enactus DCAC is tirelessly working towards the upliftment of this community through its latest project, Project Zaraat. Enactus, Delhi College of Arts & Commerce was founded on the 1st of January 2013 & since then; they  have successfully implemented 7 projects & sustained 5 of them, impacting over 1 million lives, sustaining more than 120 livelihoods through its community-driven projects. Their latest endeavor, Project Zaraat aims to minimise post-harvest losses and enhance forward linkages through a self-sustaining enterprise. Post-Harvest losses refer to the losses taking place after harvesting but before final consumption, the primary cause of which are storage and transportation. 

This amounts to agricultural losses of 93,000 crores per year. A figure close to 40% of the country’s produce. This occurs due to the perishable nature of agricultural produce which often forces farmers to sell their produce at whichever price is currently prevailing in the market, thereby resulting in a loss of bargaining power.

Working under the close mentorship of Michigan State University and Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Zaraat provides the farmers with an affordable, portable and eco-friendly storage solution that extends the shelf life of the produce by upto 10 days, thereby allowing the farmers to maintain the freshness of their produce without any decline in the quality.

However, this was just one of the many problems and Enactus DCAC did not stop here. Seeing payment security, an average rise in income of 15-20% as well as consistency of demand; we are partnering with B2B aggregators and have already held successful meetings with companies like Zomato Hyperpure, Crofarm, Farmer’s Family etc.

They started their work from our community in Chilla Village, Mayur Vihar where they established their first storage solution and conducted a successful pilot. The pilot witnessed multiple farmers availing the benefits of the solution and inevitably, building faith in their project.

The farmers are excited to work with the team and further maximize the output achieved. Enactus DCAC is planning to rapidly expand into other communities by setting up similar storage solutions and hence, empowering the farmers.

This persistent endeavour has allowed them to fulfill 8 out of 17 UN sustainable development goals while receiving multiple recognitions for the same. The project is a recipient of the KPMG Ethics Grant and also awarded special mention at Enactus Early-stage Nationals. Boosting numerous farmers in their journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle and higher standard of living, Project Zaraat aims to not leave any stone unturned.

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