The plight of Indian cotton farmers is well known. Irregular monsoons, shrinking field area, and negligible returns on produce are crucial reasons that cause tremendous distress to this community.
Adding to their woes is the fact that cotton fabric yields 30 to 50 times the value compared to its crop; what the hardworking farmer parts away with right in the beginning.
Microspin Machine Works was established by Fractal Foundation in 2011 to ensure that farmers didn't have to settle with the raw end of the cotton value chain. A machine that can easily be installed in a farmer's backyard, Microspin mechanically converts raw cotton into yarn and then further into yards of fabric.
Cotton farmers can now be empowered to earn additionally from value-addition make better margins on their produce and supplement their source of income all year round.
How does Microspin Machine Works operate?
Step 1: Fractal identifies stakeholders such as entrepreneurs or
cooperative societies as potential adopters of Microspin.
Step 2: Then, the enterprise is tutored to engage cotton farmers and train them to use Microspin.
Step 3: Wholesale quantities of finished yarn and fabrics is then marketed under the brand name CraftedYarnto apparel houses.
What scale and impact challenges did Fractal face?
1. Fractal was primarily facing identification challenges of potential adopters for Microspin.
2. Achieving scale to impact as many cotton farmers as possible was another challenge.
3. They also wanted to identify ways of creating demand for CraftedYarn.
4. Lastly, getting the textile industry to recognise CraftedYarn as a quality and credible brand was a challenge.
How is SIAP helping Fractal?
1. MIF is leveraging established networks and ecosystems with leading apparel manufacturers for the acceptance and adoption of CraftedYarn.
2. We are road-mapping a targeted approach to create demand for the purchase of CraftedYarn by retailers and wholesalers.
3. A strategy to create steady demand for CraftedYarn is also in place.
Inception: My friend from the Kisan Andolan said that a cotton farmer in his village had taken his life because he was unable to repay a loan of a mere Rs 20,000. Just a week before this incident, I had purchased a cotton shirt for Rs 1200, a lot more expensive than similar shirts made of synthetic fibers.
How could the producers of premium materials not earn adequately? My investigations led to the realisation that the way for them to increase their earnings is through participation in the value-chain. For that, the step of converting cotton into yarn should be of accessible scale, proximate to farms.
MIF: "The key contribution of MIF has been to prioritise what Microspin should focus on in the pursuit of a larger goal."
Kannan Lakshminarayan Founder, Fractal Foundation
To know more about Microspin, click here