154, Vijaya Pastala, Under the Mango Tree | A Hybrid Social Enterprise that Creates Livelihood from Bees
Under the Mango Tree increases agricultural yields by teaching rural farmers to keep bees.
Vijaya Pastala and Under the Mango Tree are a good illustration of something that I believe which is, miracles find you while you’re in motion.
Vijaya started experimenting with her business idea in January 2009. By January, 2010, Vijaya had 8,000 rupees in the bank. That’s less than $120 USD. At the time, the monthly cost of running Under the Mango Tree was around 34,000 rupees. Under the Mango Tree was gaining positive press, but beneath the surface, Vijay’s personal savings, which she was using to fund the company, were running out.
During this crisis, Vijaya received a request for a meeting from a stranger. Given all that she was managing, she considered turning down the meeting. It turned out that the stranger was willing to provide the funds needed to meet their operating costs. By May 2010, Under the Mango Tree won the UnLtd India competition, which provided their first seed investment. Other money was to follow, including support from Acumen.
Under the Mango Tree works with marginal farmers, that is farmers who have an income of about $600 per year. They train farmers to transfer wild bees into a bee box. As a result, the farmers increase their productivity, their income and their savings. Under the Mango Tree also helps farmers to gain access to markets for honey and other bee-related products.
Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Vijaya Pastala
“We work with marginal farmers.”
“There are only five types of bees that make honey and out of those, there are only two bees that can be boxed.”
“It takes a farmer 18 months to become completely at ease with being a beekeeper.”
“We are a honey brand in the market in India.”
“We have created an ecosystem of beekeeping.”
“We train women’s groups to create a swarm bag or a bee veil.”
“We’re like a one-stop-shop on beekeeping.”
“It’s farmers who are training other farmers.”
“Agriculture is something I’ve always worked on.”
“I understood the importance of sustainability.”
“The hybrid came into being from day one.”
“I realized that, in India, we don’t really showcase the origin of the honey.”
“When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s on your head – everything.”
“Yields are going up 40% to 60%.”
“We have trained about 700 women beekeepers.”
“We have six women who are training other women to be beekeepers.”
“Keep knocking on doors.”
“Use your network.”
“Don’t be shy in asking for help.”
“Set yourself a timeframe.”
Social Entrepreneurship Resources:
- Under the Mango Tree: http://utmt.in/
- Under the Mango Tree on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UTMT
- Under the Mango Tree on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UTMT.in
- Under the Mango Tree on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/utmt_honey
More Stories of Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger
In 2017, we’re emphasizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In February, we are focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger. You can read more about Sustainable Development Goal 1 here, Sustainable Development Goal 2 here, or learn about the Sustainable Development Goals here.