From monoculture to diversification: a family's success story in India 

28 March 2023

Photo credits: Action Education India

In the north-east of India, the Kharbuli family has succeeded in moving from a monoculture that was not very profitable and was very sensitive to climatic hazards, to an activity with high added value. A successful diversification, thanks to Action Education's professional training and state subsidies. 


Training in diversification, a solution against the consequences of monoculture

The Kharbuli family lives in the vicinity of Shillong, in the state of Meghalaya, located in the north-east of India. The Kharbuli's had been growing mushrooms for a long time, before they received their first training from Action Education, which led them to diversify their production. They then started growing ginger in parallel. A second training course - as part of Action Education's EP4SD (Promoting Enterprises for Sustainable Development) project - led them to reflect on how to add value to their production. 

"Until we were trained by Action Education, we used to grow ginger and sell it on the market. As prices were extremely volatile, we sometimes suffered huge losses due to low prices. During the training, we were exposed to various ginger processing techniques and methods of marketing our products. We are very happy with the improvement of our business. Lovinstar Kharbuli, active member of the collective.

Thanks to these trainings, they have embarked on the development of higher value-added products (ginger juice, flavoured sweets, powder...), have formed cooperatives and have even developed their own brand!


Diversification was an immediate success, encouraged by the state


women producing ginger juice in indiaWith little financial input to start the business, the juice is handmade from organic ginger and sold in returnable glass bottles. The first sales took place at nearby markets and were an immediate success, with very good feedback from customers.

With demand for ginger products high, investment in machinery to expand production was necessary, but the family did not have the capital. In view of the potential of their business, the Meghalaya state government provided a grant of 5.8 million rupees (about €65k) to the organisation, which comprises several collectives, including the Kharbuli family. In the near future, the collective plans to set up a large-scale ginger processing unit.


Towards a project to train 10,800 young people in 3 years

young people in vocational training in india

Action Education's Enterprise Promotion for Sustainable Development (EP4SD) project started in August 2020. Implemented in the states of Assam and Meghalaya, it focuses on school dropouts living below the poverty line.

The objective is the promotion of micro-enterprise through training in different fields (entrepreneurial skills, sales and business development, fashion and garment trades, electrical repair, beauty and wellness...). The project targets a total of 10,800 young people over 3 years. By 2022, the project has trained 4,767 young people, of which 68 % are women. 



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