S4S, an award-winning startup based in Aurangabad helps women farmers turn entrepreneurs selling dehydrated fruits and vegetables using solar power
Small and marginal farmers, or those with less than two hectares of land, make up over 86 per cent of Indian farming. A majority of these smallholder farmers are women. Their participation is not just invisible, but they own very little land. In many ways the challenge of reforming agriculture in India, starts with empowering women farmers, especially the landless and poor.
This is what drives the vision of S4S Technologies, a food processing company that works with women farmers and equips them to become entrepreneurs by processing agricultural produce at the village level. Their innovations, which span giving rural women access to technology, finance and market linkage for their products, leads to the doubling of their household incomes. This in turn gives them both an independent income as well as a voice within their families and communities.
The Plate’s Aarthi Ramachandran speaks to Nidhi Pant, a co-founder at S4S Technologies. Nidhi is a chemical engineer by training, a young woman entrepreneur herself who has won multiple awards and a passionate votary for changing the lives of women farmers through entrepreneurship. Nidhi spoke about how she and her co-founders at S4S Technologies came up with the idea of working with rural women; how her company works with the food industry and how food processing as an activity has transformed the lives of the 800 women farmers it works with.