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RESET (Regenerate the Environment, Society and Economy through Textiles)

Project RESET wants to create sustainable life, by combating climate change and improving farming communities' socio-economic conditions.

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

A projetc devised by a partnership between the Indian NGO Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural Development (GVK) and the US fashion manufacturer MetaWear, RESET has as its goal sustainable life, where populations across the globe live in harmony with the nature and each other. Sustainable life can be achieved by combating climate change/environmental degradation and improving socio-economic conditions for farming communities.
GVK will conduct research in farming communities and will seek to convince farmers to switch from a conventional, pesticide-based farming to a regenerative-organic one. The farmers who decide to join RESET will be logistically and economically supported by GVK. For this purpose, GVK will organise and carry out training sessions for the cotton farmers, in order to present the project, promote regenerative organic cotton practices, increase awareness of the importance of protecting the environment and teach farmers how to farm in a regenerative-organic way.
Moreover, GVK will provide farmers with all the means necessary to start the project, including purchasing organic seeds: farmers do not need to invest any amount of money.
Afterwards, GVK will purchase regenerative organic cotton from the same farmers, and will sell it to fashion manufacturers across the globe, such as MetaWear. The latter will produce regenerative organic garments and, with the help of GVK, will advertise the project worldwide, with tangible outcomes of an increased awareness and sensitiveness of the general public around this innovative regenerative-organic concept.
Initially we will work with 350 farmers, aiming at increasing this number every year for 5 years. At the end of the fifth year, we will have impacted 15000 farmers plus their families (roughly 60000 people overall).
Part of the programme is Tip4Change. This android technology directly connects for the first time small farmers and global consumers, leading to increased transparency and accountability.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our direct beneficiares are cotton farmers (tribal and non-tribal) in Andhra Pradesh, India, whose socio-economic conditions will improve. Our solution is REGENERATIVE organic farming, a holistic systems approach that aims not only at protecting, but also at regenerating the environment and the socio-economic fabric previously spoilt by conventional farming. In details, in 5 years RESET will:
• Double the income of 15,000 farmers, 60,000 overall if their families are included
• Reduce the cost of cultivation by 50%
• Increase on-farm efficiency and yields by 25%
• Ensure 10% higher premiums from organic & regenerative certifications
• Open up 5% higher profits with rotation crops like pulses
• Develop and support farmer-producer organizations
• Establish 20 women-based cooperatives
• Provide opportunities and justice for women in farming villages
• Eliminate child labor and other forms of exploitation from 100 villages
• Create 100 jobs for rural youth and the destitute.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

RESET displays 3 main innovations:
- apart from meeting the ordinary criteria of organic farming production, in addition RESET concerns the regeneration of the environment and the socio-economic fabric previously spoilt by traditional farming. A new regenerative certification is even being designed on purpose, meeting more stringent regenerative-organic parameters;
- the project involves a direct connection between customers and farmers’ stories by using a technologically innovative app designed on purpose, called Tip4Change. This android innovation will lead to a better understanding of cotton farming and apparel production by end consumers, with tangible outcomes of an increased demand for regenerative organic apparel as well as of a feedback loop for farmers to incentivize adoption;
- RESET mobilises farmers so as to increase their awareness of threats brought by climate change and traditional farming, creating a bottom-up movement and self-sustainable communities on the ground.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Majority Adoption: I have expanded the pilot significantly and the program product or service has been adopted by the majority of our intended user base.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural Development (GVK) was born to develop an idea of sustainable life, in a world where human beings can live in harmony with the nature and each other. Our NGO believes this can be achieved by combating climate change/environmental degradation and addressing farming communities' socio-economic issues. To achieve our goal, we work with marginalised farming communities in South India, implementing several projects including RESET.

http://gvksociety.org/

Expertise in sector

  • 5-7 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

I have worked for the top pesticides companies and have seen the devastating impact of these lethal chemicals first-hand. Farmers, especially women members, have succumbed to fatal death while applying pesticides in cotton fields. I realized that the story can be otherwise. Cotton fields can be solution, not the problem! Institutional interventions facilitate this paradigm shift.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Cotton farmers in South India are controlled by unreliable markets and lack of negotiating power. Plus, our climate is changing, and conventional cotton farming is a major contributor to ecological degradation. In detail, cotton farmers are:
• exposed to toxic pesticides
• Destitute (less than $2 per day)
• Exploited by middlemen, pesticide dealers and trade forces
• Required to make high investments with high market risk
• Excluded from mainstream service systems like market information, and government infrastructure like transportation
• Over 300,000 farmers committed suicide in the last decade because of a vicious cycle of debt from their reliance on chemical inputs
In terms of environment:
• Cotton farming occupies 6% of land in India but consumes 44.5% of the country’s pesticides
• More than 30% total annual GHG emissions come from agriculture
• 20,217 lts of water are needed to produce 1 kg of conventional lint cotton
• 94% of Indian cotton is grown using GMO seeds

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Apart from GVK and MetaWear, RESET will partner with:
- GIJS SPOOR, a pioneer in organic cotton programs who founded 2 big organic cotton programmes, Chetna Organic Cotton and Zameen Organic. He has extensive hands-on experience in agricultural projects in India. He is an expert in hybrid profit/non-profit Organisation Development and rural development;
- SANNE VAN DEN DUNGEN, an expert in sustainability across cotton supply chains with an extensive knowledge and experience on Cradle to Cradle and Circular economy and restorative business concepts that is gained from years of work experience at EPEA. Sanne can contribute both as a leader and as a team player for success of organic cotton projects;
- WOMEN ON WINGS, a Dutch NGO which aims at co-creating jobs for women in rural India through acceleration of social enterprises that employ these women. It closely collaborates with GVK in terms of expertise, strategy and planning;
- GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH, with logistic support.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

3 main competitive advantages can be detected:
- a strong women inclusion, a fundamental aspect in order to implement the idea of building community-based women farmer institutions;
- strong sense of solidarity and affinity among community members, leading to an improved cooperation and performances which will determine the success of RESET;
- willingness and ability to change lifestyle for a better future, with farmers accepting and adapting to our innovative regenerative-organic concept.

Geographic Focus

RESET will impact farming communities in Andhra Pradesh, India, however creating a global impact too

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project is kickstarting in June/July 2018. Two pilot phases have been carried out, demonstrating successfully its feasibility.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

Attachments (1)

RESET Funding Deck 4_5.compressed.pdf

A detailed description of programme RESET, including its solutions and goals.

1 comment

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Photo of Russell Davis
Team

Good idea and I would like to know more about this effort. Perhaps there is value in adding you to our project and to our other ongoing projects. Let's talk, my WhatsApp number is +55 82 9 9809 8700
https://h2cb2b.wixsite.com/ruralchallenges (Note the India Project Page)