Sahayog

Dairy company providing smallholders farmers with market access.

Investment Snapshot

2015

First Year
of Investment

THE CHALLENGE

In India, nearly half of all rural households own a cow, making dairy farming the second most prevalent occupation. While dairy is a critical part of the country’s agricultural sector, the industry relies largely on smallholder farmers living on less than $3 a day and therefore remains highly fragmented.

These farmers struggle with access to quality veterinary care and modern farming practices, which results in incredibly low yields—about one seventh of the annual average in the United States. They also cannot afford modern equipment such as chilling stations to preserve the milk, resulting in wastage.

THE INNOVATION

Sahayog provides a holistic set of services ranging from production to distribution, recognizing that interventions are required at every step along the value chain to improve farmer’s incomes. The company offers programs and initiatives, ranging from microfinance loans for cattle purchases to paraveterinary services to improve the health of cows, employing advanced technology at every step of the process.

Sahayog also purchases and collects the milk from the farmers, then processes and chills it at its state-of-the-art plant before selling the milk to buyers across the state of Madhya Pradesh, completing the link from farmers to the market.

THE IMPACT

Since starting operations in 2013, Sahayog has grown to work with 23,000 smallholder farmers from more than 300 villages across five districts in Madhya Pradesh, a poor state with an underdeveloped dairy sector. It also operates a chilling and processing plant and 272 primary milk collection centers, where milk is tested and evaluated and farmers receive instant receipt for the quality and quantity of milk delivered.

With its set of services, Sahayog can improve a farmer’s business by more than 20 percent over a period of 12-24 months while creating a more fair and transparent marketplace.