CCD, a local NGO is the liaison between GMCL and the local communities.
Structured questions aimed to collect quantitative data (income from the participation to commercial activities and total household budget) while semi-structured questions aimed to gain insights on the process of empowerment and capacity building of the GMCL members.
The benefits of being a member of the Sangha consist of pursuit of group enterprise activities: the Sanghas have the function of coordinating the activities of the farmers belonging to GMCL. These activities consist of collection, harvesting, cleaning, drying weighting of the raw herbs and include also the mobilisation of savings.
The herb gatherers and farmers involved with GMCL belong mainly to scheduled tribes such as Servar, Konar, Rettiyar and Naiyakkar.
This can sometimes clash with the interests of other members of the Sangha who also wish to increase their supply to GMCL.
When GMCL gets a firm order from a buyer, it offers to buy the specified medicinal herbs from the members of the group at 70% of the negotiated price value of the buyer industry and requests the Sanghas to send samples of material to be collected, in case the groups are willing to accept the offer.
In reference to the raw herbs, the gatherers interviewed stressed how the association with GMCL has allowed them to get better prices from those offered previously by local traders.
"Before becoming a member of GMCL, I had to trudge to the towns of Madurai to sell the herbs that I had colleted.
Nevertheless, their negotiation capacity is increased since when they have become associated with GMCL. A villager from Kurayur explains:
"We supply 5 herbs species to GMCL. After we have decided to be associated with GMCL, some traders still come to my village and ask us to sell them some herb species.
As the finished products are being sold through sales representatives who get a trade commission of 35% on their sales, GMCL has been able to provide the women with an additional form of income.
In order to examine the economic impact of GMCL, the income generated from taking part in GMCL activity was collated with the total monthly family income.