From a very young age, people are told to be conscious and compassionate towards the environment. Rohit Jain takes this teaching very serious and is founder of Women on Wings’s partner Banyan Roots Organic which means to bridge the divide between urban consumers and traditional farmers, giving health-conscious consumers easy access to affordable, nutritious food while ensuring sustainable farming for the -mainly female- farmers.
Making a difference to farmers
Rohit was born in a village but he received formal education in Udaipur and Pune, and went on to be trained in IT. During his education, he felt deeply connected with issues of farmers, rural to urban migration, and the various difficulties faced by people in villages. After completing his education, Rohit spent a year volunteering with several NGO’s, finding solutions to problems by understanding grassroots-level issues and the economic cycle of farmers. It was then that he developed a love for villages and villagers. Taking forward this love, he established Banyan Roots, which employs organic farming to fulfill the manure demands of the people.
Learning from rural life
Living in villages and eating traditionally grown organic food, Rohit realized that the food in urban areas is very different from what is found in rural India. Rohit: “It has lost its taste and its originality. I also understood that the main problem is not of lack of education but of dwindling traditional knowledge. Traditional seeds and – methods of farming are on the brink of getting lost. Farmers become disconnected from nature. These days, neither the farmer nor the nature is happy, and consumers simply don’t know what they are eating. We need to change all that.”
Passion for farmers
In 2011 Rohit developed a business model and established Banyan Roots Organic Pvt Ltd. Since 2017, Women on Wings supports Rohit in growing his company. Recently, a team of Women on Wings’ experts evaluated Banyan Roots’ strategy in Udaipur. Antoine Miltenburg, agro expert at Women on Wings: “We evaluated every aspect of the business and were able to define short and longer term actions. Setting roles and responsibilities will create more clarity about each project. Also we advised to refine the business model and define the strategy, including key performance indicators. Being a farmer’s son myself I too have a passion for all that concerns farming, so I could very well relate to many issues Rohit is dealing with. Many are very global.”
Picture: Antoine and Rohit in Banyan Roots’ retail outlet, Udaipur