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Microspin makes attempt to change life to debt ridden Vidarbha cotton farmers

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-03-28 12:00:00 – Vidarbha

Microspin Machine Works’technology, which enables the entire process of converting cotton into fabric in 25000sft, is changing the life of debt-ridden cotton farmers in Buldana, Mahrashtra with their crafted Yarn initiative. Spun, dyed, and woven by the farmers in the region who also grow the cotton, the fabrics represent hope for the people of Vidarbha.

Incubated out of IIT Madras, Microspin’s journey to Maharashtra began three years ago when Kannan L., the CEO and director, happened to meet the head of a credit cooperative from Buldhana district. As a result of their collaboration, the company’s small-scale unit, that produces yarn from cotton, travelled to Vidarbha. They have set up their factory in a warehouse that was used to store agricultural produce, said Kannan.

Today, 100 men and women work there, churning out fabric from the cotton grown on their lands. For most of the farmers, their jobs at the factory provide regular income as opposed to agriculture, which is a seasonal affair. Kannan said that they are busy for two months a year during the harvest season; at this time, they cope with work at the farm and the factory, since their jobs give them the option of working in shifts.

They work on their fields for two hours early in the morning and then come to the factory, said Hemamalini J., manager - HR and admin. According to Microspin, when people shop for cotton textiles, for every Rs. 100 that you spend, less than Rs. 5 goes to the farmer. Their initiative aims to help the farmer earn more and “save enough to put into agriculture, said Kannan.

They have created a smooth working culture. If a worker performed well, the company make sure he/she is rewarded in cash or in kind in front of everyone else. In Vidarbha, where there are little or no job opportunities, the regular flow of income gradually changed the lives of the people.

There was a change in the attitude of the people; the job opportunity gave them a sense of accomplishment. Microspin is now planning to sett up a factory in Bangalore. They are also foraying into garment manufacturing and talks are on with Madura Garments for the process.

They are testing the waters with white shirts that are now available for order online. This field is completely new to them, admits Kannan. But as a start, they are selling their shirts and fabrics at an exhibition in Chennai. The fabric is midway between thick khadi and fine linen — Microspin claims to use biodegradable ingredients in its bleaching and scouring process.

According to Kannan, they have plans to sell their clothes in boutiques and big stores at a price that benefits the farmer. The government and private agencies are presently carrying out various relief measures to help the farmers of Vidarbha; Kannan adds that this is their way of “contributing to the farmer”.

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