Small-scale dairy is practiced by more than 70 million rural households, the majority of which are run by women. Women play a pivotal role in dairy production but their effort does not get the due recognition and they face many obstacles. This reduces cost-effectiveness of dairy work for them. Small-scale dairy presents many other problems for women: low recognition, lack of access to affordable credit, risk mitigation mechanisms and insurance, markets, and lack of knowledge on feed and fodder. Dairy work does not economically empower women to the expected level in spite of being a source of supplementary income and nutritional security.
To improve this situation, CARE India implemented a pilot project to promote a gender inclusive dairy value chain in Tamil Nadu from 2013-2015. The project enabled women to become entrepreneurs along all nodes of the value chain in addition to being animal owners, by designing and developing new credit products for setting up feed shops, fodder plots and heifer calves. The project helped women access livelihood finance by moving them up the value chain.
Meet the Team
R. Devaprakash | Regional Program Director | CARE India
As a Regional Program Director with CARE India, Devaprakash has lead over 10 projects and managed over 40 NGO partners for qualitative implementation to create impact at the community level. Devaprakash has also established strategic partnerships with business schools, governments, financial institutions and business networks and presented several papers and publications in global conferences on financial services. Over the past several years, Devaprakash has published over 60 articles on banking, rural finance and livelihoods in leading journals and magazines. Devaprakash has worked with CARE India since 2001; and has over 28 years of experience in banking, economic analysis, rural livelihoods and agricultural development. Going forward, Devaprakash will focus on representation and liaising with local bodies, national and local advocacy by creating innovative partnership, business linkages and visibility. Devaprakash holds a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore and is a member of the Indian Society of Social Scientists and the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics.
Shashank Bibhu | Technical Specialist, Livelihoods | CARE India
Shashank provides in depth understanding of market and development issues with knowledge in approaches and models of livelihood programming, specifically in value chain promotion, to help advance CARE India’s livelihood programs’ approaches and strategies. As a member of the CARE International task team, Shashank constituted “Women in Value Chains Global Strategy”, and today he is supporting the expansion of the design to increase reach and impact of the initiative. Shashank will be supporting the team with active engagement in the field, including leading scoping studies in new geographies. In addition, Shashank will develop and contextualize geography and channel specific business plans and value provisions, while liaising with national and state level actors and institutions. Previously, Shashank has worked with the Indian School of Microfinance for Women, Ahmedabad (ISMW), leading projects for the UNDP; and has received several trainings from CARE India and CARE Bangladesh. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Symboisis International University and a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Manipal University.
R. Balaji | Value Chain Coordinator | CARE India
Balaji is a Value Chain Coordinator for CARE India, and specializes in microfinance and livelihood. He supports the team with his technical oversight, guidance, direction and supervision in the areas of participatory DVC and women’s entrepreneurship development. Balaji has several publications, including the “Dairy Value Chain Approach” and “Financial Literacy Module for Community.” His previous work with CARE India was in the role of Specialist-Capacity Building & Dairy, where he managed the portfolio of Dairy and Capacity Building. Before joining CARE India in 2009, Balaji served as the Chief Manager of Operations at Sangamam Womens Cooperative and looked after 38 microfinance branches. Balaji has over 10 years of experience in livelihood, research, program management, and microfinance, and has an Agriculture, Management and Doctoral background. He is a certified Microfinance Expert from Franfurt Institute of Finance & Management and holds a Master of Business Administration from Alagappa University obtained in 2009.