“Invariably, the solutions to our problems lie right under our noses, yet we scramble to find them elsewhere,” says Chetan Raut, Founder of Cowism. The intriguingly named startup is less than two years old and aims to empower farmers to become self-reliant and financially independent by using traditional, farm-based agricultural solutions. It focuses on integrating commercially useful assets like native cattle into farming practices to improve soil fertility, lower input costs, and raise farmers’ profits.
An engineer by training, Raut hails from an agricultural family in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district, and is well acquainted with the agrarian crisis sweeping through the region. He remembers feeling a gnawing urge to do something practical and impactful to improve the lot of farmers. Following his heart, Raut, then 23, began a year-long exploration of the agricultural belt of Maharashtra, from the disconsolate cotton growers of Vidarbha to their more prolific cousins in the Konkan.