Why Ode to Earth?

Rural artisans across India are custodians of great art and heritage, and the astounding variety and exquisite quality of the hand made products puts them in the niche collectors' category globally. Ironically, despite the high levels of skills of these artisans and high national / international demand for these products, the artisans associated with many crafts have been teetering on the brink of subsistence and are often forced to abandon their traditional skills for unskilled labour markets. 

They are particularly handicapped by their inability to access resources, capital, information, markets, as also the entitlements from the government and society. This is further compounded by their lack of mobility and illiteracy.

Markets remain inaccessible to many craftpersons because they often do not understand the dynamics of mainstream markets and full value chains. Lacking interface with markets, they are often exploited at the hands of middlemen and aggregators. Mostly, their products are either sold at the local markets or to middlemen and the craftsmen are meagerly paid / compensated. Given the vulnerability of the poor, the terms of trade are exploitatively adverse when they interface with the markets and participate in the value chains.

About Ode to Earth

Ode to Earth is a national initiative by ACCESS Development Services that links primary producers to mainstream markets. Under the initiative, ACCESS is bringing together a national network of producer organisations, cooperatives and NGOs to plug the gaps, build their capacities and help them access markets through business development services and handholding.
By working directly with small producers and craftspeople, Ode to Earth brings you a range of natural, high-quality handcrafted products and fresh food that come straight from the producers.
Besides indulging yourself with some great naturally dyed garments, handcrafted home items, unique accessories and freshly ground coffee among others, you can also help promote a sustainable way of life by purchasing our eco and producer-friendly products.

The Ode to Earth Market Event will take place from 19 to 22 November 2010 at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
More information: www.odetoearth.org