Updated: Jul 2, 2018
Mrida solar microgrids and agricultural interventions are not meant to be an end in themselves, but rather a means to an end – namely, sustainable and holistic rural development.
The access to clean energy brings new local economic opportunities for villagers and improves rural livelihoods. Children can study after sunset, while women-folk can set up Self Help Groups engaged in activities such as stitching, weaving, pulse grinding and traditional handicrafts among others – using the extra working hours to generate supplementary household and village income. This truly becomes a virtuous circle as the villagers end up earning more than what they spend for the energy access in the first place, thereby generating wealth in a sustainable manner.
Small and marginal farmers in rural areas typically practice subsistence agriculture – just enough to meet their basic needs. On the other hand, cultivation of high value crops, plants and herbs, their processing and value addition, and access to markets using Mrida’s inputs and skill sets, can potentially provide higher returns, facilitate more investments and lead to progressively higher disposable incomes and improved lifestyles over time – another virtuous circle in the making.
Be it the solar micro grids or the agricultural interventions, neither is in the form of a grant or for free. Any intervention represents a self sustaining, financially viable business model for Mrida, even as the core focus remains sustainable and scalable, holistic rural development.
Business models, innovative solutions, improved technologies, and better possibilities. All in all, win-win situations for all concerned. And self-sustaining ‘Virtuous Circles’