Lipok Social Foundation Partners with Rainmatter Foundation for a Green Economy

Namaskar from Maharashtra. Greetings from Lipok Social Foundation.

I am glad to share our news in this platform. This is our first post and hence just an introduction in our first post. Lipok Social Foundation is based in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The organization works with farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions - yes, these are the same regions infamous for farmer suicides in the country. We team up with communities to help them secure water, livelihoods, and their environment.

We strive to work with farmers, communities, government, civil society organizations, consumers, retailers, and host of planet earth’s stakeholders to bring about sustainable production, consumption, and livelihoods. This is our mission. We heard from the grapevine that Rainmatter Foundation has also a similar vision :slight_smile: An exchange of emails confirmed this and the team at Lipok is now an enthusiastic partner of Rainmatter Foundation.

More on this partnership in the next posts. Keep watching :slight_smile:

Joy Daniel
Founder Director, Lipok Social Foundation.


We are pleased to partner with Rainmatter Foundation to embark on an initiative to discover alternative livelihoods and potential green enterprises in rural Aurangabad district - a region ravaged by the effects of climate change.

This partnership is founded on a common intent to promote green economies and possible solutions to address the imminent threats of climate change. The envisaged interventions fit within the Accelerating Circular Rural Economy (ACRE) Programme of Lipok Social Foundation and the overarching goal of Rainmatter Foundation.

Most people in Aurangabad district are dependent on agriculture and allied activities including agriculture labour for their livelihoods. The region is often battered by unseasonal rainfall and incessant droughts. Incomes from farms are therefore erratic and paltry. Other sources of livelihood are limited and offers little supplemental incomes.

The partnered project assesses the “basket of needs” of 2000+ households in 5 gram panchayats of Aurangabad district and pinpoints those that are “imported” by the communities. It is a participatory process that brings about a community realization that these “imports” lead to outflow of funds from the communities while local production to meet local needs leads to a strong local economy. We expect that this realization will spur local enterprises initiated by aspirational youth in the project villages to meet their community needs. These will provide alternative livelihoods while meeting the local needs.

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Attached is our plan of action to bring about ACRE (Accelerating Circular Rural Economy) in Aurangabad district.
methodology - ACRE - English.pdf (239.0 KB)

We are now in “sensitization stage”. In this stage, the team at Lipok engages communities in interactive discussions that analyze their ways of consumption (and production). At the end of these discussions, the youth in particular agree that local consumption, local enterprises, and use of local skills and resources, is the way to go for a sustainable economy.

Here is the information material to facilitate the interactive discussions.
ACRE Poster - English.pdf (335.6 KB)
ACRE Poster - Marathi.pdf (318.4 KB)
As you can see, discussions are led through “scenario building”, observations, and questions around it. Sharda, our team member, is a prominent face in our target villages as she holds corner meetings to guide the youth to mantras for entrepreneurship.


The survey on the “basket of needs” is complete and the analysis too. The villagers were more than surprised by the findings.

For instance, in the village of Lohgaon, each household spends ₹36,543 per year on processed foods on an average - many of which can be produced in the village. They were amazed that most of ₹1,46,17,565 that the village spends in a year on processed foods goes outside the village.

In another case, in the village of Tondoli which has about 300 farmers, the total expenditure on fertilizers is ₹1,13,15,560 per year. The total production of organic fertilizers within the village is only worth ₹3,39,466 (less than 3%). There is huge potential for growth of organic fertilizers in the village.

Here are some photos of the village meetings to present the findings.

What is next? To identify budding entrepreneurs and groom them for local production to meet local needs.

Look forward to further collaborations, support, and well-wishes.


This is a huge opportunity for both economic as well as ecological improvements for the village. Delighted to see this!


Hi Joy,

This is great work, let’s have a call on this and discuss further in the findings and the path in which the Community wants to take.


Thanks @sameershisodia @Vikas . You are partners in this progress. Thank you for your support and contribution towards these efforts. Look forward to discussions on the way forward.

Attempting to create local entrpreneurs for local opportunities is close to my heart. :slight_smile: Thanks for the update.

When the opportunities throw up, do entrepreneurs emerge, or that also has to be like a sales pitch? Also, is there enough availability of capital for entrepreneurs to attempt these?


Circular local economy is the only way to keep rural youth engaged fruitfully while contributing to conservation of the ecosystem.

Yes, entrepreneurs emerge as they see opportunities arise. However, there is a dearth of resources and the related knowledge (business development and the technical skills) to bring their enterprise to fruition.

How are you looking to solve for this?

We plan to conduct a workshop with the aspiring entrepreneurs. We are now in the process of developing (or rather refining) the module for this workshop. In this workshop, we will map the required resources and the knowledge. As far as possible, local resources and skills/ knowledge will be utilized. Based on the outcome of this workshop, we plan to proceed with supplementary support for technical and financial linkages.


from a trade point of you this data is mind bending.

We just don’t talk about the environment. We walk or rather “cycle” the talk.

This is what our HR manual says -

To the extent possible, the organization will provide vehicle (motorcycle, scooter, car, pickup, or any other vehicle) for travels in connection with official work. Use of personal two-wheeler for official work will be reimbursed @ Rs.3.50 per km. The concerned staff is responsible to have the right licence to drive the allotted vehicle or the personal vehicle as the case may be, and will also follow the government rules. A copy of the licence should be available with an assigned representative in the organization.

Use of motorcycles/ scooters for a round trip of 20 kms in a day is discouraged. Staff are encouraged to use bicycles for any field trip of less than 20 kms round trip, and preferably upto 50 kms round trip if they are capable. As far as possible, bicycles will be allotted to staff by the organization. The concerned staff shall bear the responsibility to maintain the bicycles. The allotted bicycles will remain the property of the organization and shall be used by the staff until they serve with the organization or as directed by the Founder Directors or their designated representative. The bicycle users shall be paid -

  • @ ₹30 per day for use of bicycle for a trip > 15 kms and < 20 kms.
  • @ ₹50 per day for use of bicycle for a trip > 20 kms and < 30 kms
  • @ ₹80 per day for use of bicycle for a trip > 30 kms and < 50 kms
  • above 50 kms at the discretion of the Founder Director or their designated representatives. This amount is towards the requirement of additional nutrients and oral rehydration.

This is so amazing!! cc @NithinKamath

This is awesome.

But what do you think about time management if someone had to cycle 2 to 3 hours daily (50 km)? Also, isn’t cycling riskier with madmen driving lorries & trucks? I stopped cycling (not to commute, but more for fitness) when I had a near miss.

This is from my experience of promoting and using bicycles for almost 20 years as a means to commute -

Cycling brings about a more disciplined way of life. Smokers can’t cycle much! and neither can those who are deprived of sleep! The cyclists tend to sleep on time, eat balanced foods, and keep away from addictions.

Cyclists stay fit and healthy. Far less “sick leaves.”

Cycling helps release those positive hormones (“feel good” hormones). It may have to do with their actions for a better planet. As a result, more creativity and passion is induced. Sad guys cannot offer solutions for a happy planet!

My team and myself average 18-20 kms an hour on bicycle. If we were on a motorbike, it could be an average of 40 kms an hour. For the average 25 km round trips, the cyclists may spend about 35 minutes more than if he / she had been on a motorbike/ scooter. However, the benefits far outweigh the loss of time.

Yes, there are dangers lurking everywhere even if we walk. The team at Lipok wear helmets, reflector jackets, and proper shoes, while on cycle rides. Fortunately, the roads to the villages here have less traffic.


The 4 day workshop is on now. Today is the last day when they will come out with a business plan.

Business development canvas, gap analysis, markets, financial viability, … et al in the simplest of terms for identified enterprising youth.

They will start their own poultry, organic inputs production, goatery, etc.


The concept of ACRE (Accelerating Circular Rural Economy) goes global.

Thanks to Rainmatter Foundation for supporting us in our social endeavours to bring to fruition the “Basket of Needs” survey and local enterprises to meet local product/ service needs.

This ACRE concept is soon to cross the seven seas. Joy Daniel, the Founder Director of Lipok Social Foundation, will be presenting the concept of ACRE at the 6th Organic Asia Congress to be held in Kauswagan, Philippines from 5-9 June 2023. The theme of the congress is “Building World Peace through Organic Agriculture - Food Security Vital to Peace Building.” At least 500 participants from different countries of Asia and Europe are expected to be present at this congress. Joy Daniel will share the lessons from ACRE programme at this congress and also emphasize decentralized production and distribution for a better and sustainable rural economy.


The concept of ACRE was presented at the 6th IFOAM Asia Congress in the Philippines. It was an eye opener for many. Thanks @sameershisodia @Vikas @NithinKamath and the Rainmatter team.


Wow! It’s been so inspiring to read many updates by Lipok generally over the past few months :heart:

Now that we’ve started defining the problem, would be keen to understand how different solutions are being proposed to localise some of the production? Some of the broad questions that come to my mind -

  1. What parts of the basket of needs do we understand to be easily & quickly replaceable by local alternatives?

  2. What kind of ecosystem needs to be created for manufacture of these products? What would be require to do so?