one farmer commits suicide every half an hour
The core of agricultural distress is farmers’ lack of agency to access a fair price.
Gramhal aims to solve the problem of distress selling faced by more than 118 million smallholder farmers in India. The majority of smallholder farmers in India are involved in sustenance farming of food grains using informal credit.
Around the harvesting season, the price of the produce crashes to its lowest, while the farmers’ need for money is at its peak. Farmers transport their produce to the agricultural market at their own expense without any knowledge of current market prices. Additionally, a long chain of intermediaries transfers their expenditures on the farmers, leading to unfair price discovery. After spending so much, and the produce lying in front of the trader's shop, the farmers are unable to negotiate or reject the price offered by the trader. Farmers have no choice, but to sell their harvest at a throwaway price.
These conditions have pushed 62.6 million farmers into a vicious debt cycle, leading to more than three hundred thousand farmers’ suicides in the last two decades across India.