Under The Mango Tree (UTMT) promotes beekeeping to increase agricultural productivity, enhance incomes, and improve livelihoods of marginal Indian farmers. It works on a hybrid structure comprising the for-profit arm, Under the Mango Tree Natural and Organics Private Limited and the non-profit, UTMT Society.
How does Under the Mango Tree operate?
- UTMT uses an innovative multi-pronged approach to add beekeeping to small and marginal farmers' basket of activities.
- It provides them training and hand-holding support over one year.
- It also creates master trainers to facilitate scaling up and sustainability at the village and district level.
- UTMT ensures market access for honey and beeswax thus creating an ecosystem and more livelihoods around the beekeeping value chain.
Currently, UTMT operates in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
What scale and impact challenges did Under the Mango Tree face
Since its inception, UTMT has grown from working in one district in Gujarat to working at various locations across three states. So far, it has impacted 66 villages in 12 districts. But it faces constraints in terms of scale. UTMT's grants-based model poses restrictions in how fast it can grow and influence more farmers.
How is Scale-Up Program helping Under the Mango Tree?
Scale-Up Program mentors are using the knowledge gained from training farmers over the last few years, and its impact, to put together a new business model that will focus on providing pollination services for larger farmers. This will consecutively create a new revenue stream for the not-for-profit business arm and reduce its dependence on grants.
Inception: There was no "eureka moment" that catalysed UTMT. It was like finding the piece that propelled the completion of a puzzle. I'd returned from a trip, where I learned the bond between bees and agricultural yields and single-flora honeys. My research led me to India's first Farmers' Report highlighting the role of bees in agriculture. Amazingly, no one had taken it further.
A simple idea began to grow: what if farmers were trained to add bee boxes on farms to facilitate cross-pollination, and also provided markets to sell honey thus collected to increase incomes? UTMT is answer to that idea
MIF: While the journey of reaching out to 25,000 farmers over the next five years is a long road ahead, MIF was catalytic in pushing UTMT to start reviewing its current model and strategizing and planning for a more cost-effective and sustainable model.
Vijaya Pastala Founder, UTMT
Read Under the Mango Tree's success stories:
"I stopped migrating since 2011 because I started earning enough through beekeeping" Yuvrajbhai Padvi, Gujarat (belongs to a family of traditional honey hunters).
"I have 2 beeboxes on my farm and want many more. Within a few months, my crops and guava yields will be much higher"- Vimaltai Vadvi, Maharashtra.