Women’s Market & Consumer Engagement
Recognising the significance of engaging with markets and consumer groups, DDS goes beyond merely participating in mainstream markets; and instead strives to create its own market spaces where Sangham women assert their presence and influence. To help educate and empower consumers about the benefits of healthy and sustainable choices, DDS also actively works towards creating awareness and fostering consumer engagement through various initiatives.
Sangham Dukaanam – 1999:
Sangham Dukaanam, also known as the Market of the Walkouts, is an autonomous market operated by DDS women. The market exclusively sells ecological foods, particularly millets, at prices determined through participatory consultations with farmers. Sangham women elect a Market Committee to represent them and actively participate in decision-making. The market has expanded to urban outlets and currently generates an annual turnover of 10 million rupees.
Millet Mobile Van – 2007:
The Millet Mobile Market, launched in 2007, travels to Hyderabad, a major metropolis, for three days each week. It sells produce in various locations, including areas with agricultural and rural development institutes, agricultural banks, and government offices. Apart from generating income, the mobile market also serves an educational role by challenging current food and farming visions.
Community Production Centre – 2018
The Community Production Centre (CPC) is a value-addition centre setup in 2018 to innovate and promote new recipes of millets for ready-to-eat items like snacks, biscuits, cakes etc and also ready-to-cook items like khichdi mix, pongal mix etc. Without using Maida, White Sugar and Refined Oil, the unit prepares easily consumable millet recipes that are nutrition-rich. Currently, the unit sells more than 40 varieties of millet snacks and ready-to-cook items .
Café Green Ethnic – 2003 & 2021:
Café Ethnic, inaugurated in 2003 in Zaheerabad town, is a restaurant dedicated to millet-based dishes. It showcases the versatility of millets in cuisine, surpassing rice and wheat in terms of nutrition. The café was remodeled and relaunched in 2021 and currently sources all its ingredients from organic growers. Café Green Ethnic provides an opportunity to experiment with millet recipes, reaching urban consumers and promoting millets as a healthy dietary choice.
Consumer-Farmer Interface (ConFarm) – 2017:
DDS launched the ‘Beyond Organic’ initiative, encouraging consumers to consider sustainable practices that benefit farmers, soil health, and the ecosystem beyond just organic labels.Consumers provide financial support to farmers at the beginning of the farming season, and in return, they receive products according to their investment value at harvest time, eliminating intermediaries. Organic millets, pulses, oil, jaggery, and other essential items are supplied to consumers in bulk or on a monthly basis.