Does the name of this social enterprise sound familiar? Perhaps it’s because the name Jagriti Agro Tech was inspired by Jagriti Yatra, a 9000km train journey across India with a group of 400 youth to ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship. The purpose of Jagriti Yatra is not to expect youth to become entrepreneurs immediately. Rather, they are empowered to turn experiences into something positive for their communities. Jagriti Agro Tech was founded by Ashmeet Kapoor, who took the journey with Jagriti Yatra across India.
Born in India, Kapoor is a 26-year-old graduate who recently completed his master’s degree at Brown University. He returned to India wanting to improve the lives of India’s rural poor.
“I wanted to work to improve rural livelihoods using enterprise, but I needed to get my feet on the ground to explore where I could have the most impact,” Kapoor explained.
His discovery began with the Jagriti Yatra experience that introduced him to the challenges facing farmers in India.
“Many of our farmers are underpaid, malnourished, are frequently using chemicals that harm their health, and rely on practices that seriously degrade their land. Not only this, the food that they are producing is often coated in harmful chemicals, has little taste and is low in essential nutrients.”
Jagriti Agro Tech connects farmers directly to markets. They supply affordable organic fruit and vegetables direct to households in Delhi sourced from farmers in the surrounding states under the brand I Say Organic. To incentivize the use of more sustainable practices, Kapoor plans to pay farmers prices 25% higher than current market rates.
“We currently have no means of marketing our produce, and initial conversion costs to organic farming require time, effort and money,” said Nepal Singh, a farmer from southern Haryana. ”I Say Organic is giving us better rates for our produce, and clearly labels it, making it far more worthwhile to farm organically.”
Photo from Jagriti Agro Tech.
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