Why Farmers in India Are Committing Suicide—and How a New App Is Poised to Change That

SourceTrace aims to help small farmers get paid quickly and connect directly to buyers.

(Photo: Prakash Singh/Getty Images)

December 29, 2014

Esha Chhabra is a journalist who covers social enterprise, technology for social impact, and development.

Small family-run farms are plagued with debt and financial problems brought on by insensitive and demanding money lenders—to the point where it’s driving them to sacrifice their lives, said Venkat Maroju. However, he says he has the solution: a new mobile-based application that can help small farmers get paid quickly, track their produce, and connect directly to clients.

Maroju is the CEO of Massachusetts-based agritech company SourceTrace. Originally from the suicide-plagued region of South India, he knew the distress of these farmers growing up. So Maroju quit his corporate job in the U.S. and in 2013 joined SourceTrace, a company with a mission he believed in: empowering farmers.

Read more here: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/12/29/Indian-farmers-suicide-mobile-app