Chetna is a small producer organization and promotes environmentally, socially and economically viable agrarian based livelihoods in ecologically depressed regions. Chetna work with marginalized farmers from different rural Regions in India namely Odisha, Telangana and Maharasthra towards making farming a profitable occupation.
From 234 in 2004 Chetna grew to around 9'487 farmers today striving to achieve food security, seed sovereignty and has since transformed into a robust farmer owned program. Focusing on locally available input resources and viable financing models has resulted in minimizing external risks associated with rain-fed agriculture and market dependence.
Chetna improves farmers' negotiating position, explores linkages to ethical markets and supports the compliance with various internationally accredited certification standards for their produce. The positive results of the Chetna and Fairtrade Cotton project can be witnessed in the stabilized socio-economic conditions of this group of smallholder farmers.
Fairtrade and other social premiums helped the farmers to construct warehouses in remote villages and set up procurement centers at the cooperative level where cotton from the farmers'groups is aggregated and stored until low season when prices are higher. Apart from eliminating the threat of various insects and fungi from storing cotton at home, farmers no longer face the danger of lurking fire hazard in their living spaces.
Chetna actively supports farmer training and eco-centers, skill development such as tailoring, establishing seed banks, creating safe water facilities and empowerment of women and children. Especially women and children play a significant role in the overall development of the rural communities. Despite the fact that women contribute more than 75% of all agriculture work they have little or no say in the decision making. Chetna envisages a model of development where women become informed decision makers in the community and children have access to quality food, healthcare and education.
Through its cooperatives, Chetna Organic proudly owns a 10% share in Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills.