Our partner organisation, the Rural Organisation for Social Education (ROSE), has successfully registered the ‘Pudukkottai Organic Farmers Producer Company Ltd’ as a business, as of the 10th of April, 2015. By doing so, ROSE are further organising their resources to be better suited to support entrepreneurship and the selling of local produce, both of which help tackle cycles of poverty.
Over the past year Tzedek has been partnered with ROSE, an organisation that has been working to empower 100 marginalised female farmers through sustainable, eco-friendly agricultural techniques, in India. This aimed to provide both food and security for these women. By helping them provide themselves with a sustainable food source which they can sell for added income, their children can be freed from domestic tasks and can in turn go to school. By becoming a social enterprise the organsation is better able to sustain itself. Self sustainability is a key priority for Tzedek.
Crucially, ROSE targeted not just women, but women who were widowed, destitute or divorced and are trapped into repaying crippling interest rates on loans they had no choice but to accept; these are the women who have the least support, the largest families, and the greatest need to be freed from the cycles of poverty. By providing them with greater, more reliable incomes, these women can pay off the loans, and thereby have more financial flexibility.
After 6 months, 50% of the women had availed themselves of the loans, exactly the target that was aimed to be reached at the half way point in this yearlong project. All of the women have increased their incomes, some by as much as a third. Over 22 acres of land have been cultivated as a result of the project, and will continue to be used for this purpose in the future.