It all began with a simple question. While Indian companies dealing with agriculture produces and byproducts book a great deal of profit year on year, why are the actual producers in India often choose a suicidal path? This million dollar question made us think. What did we find? Well, we didn’t find anything new that the governments and the public didn’t know. We got very simple answers to this great question. Key issues we think are the most important factors are,
- Awareness – Farmers are not actively involved in the overall market ecosystem, hence they have very little knowledge about what their share could be
- Knowledge – While any production involves learning, certificates, technology, mechanisation among many other, farming is always considered to be a field that requires no special knowledge. Large number of farmers have no idea about modern development, changing global environment, right agricultural practices including right fertilization, common deceases and infestations, potential yield etc
- Yield – Most farmers harvest extremely less yield compared to the potential yield of the seed they use
- Fertigation – Farmers are usually advised by the fertiliser shops in their neighbourhood. The advice is usually based on the availability of fertilisers and margins the shops get. They don’t often have relevance with the real time scenario
- Pest Control – Indiscriminate usage of pesticides is quite common. Lack of knowledge of when, what, why and how leads them to unscientific pest management
- Technology & Techniques – Usage of modern technology is very limited. Even when used, the right techniques are usually not applied; and hence, often, the new technologies are termed useless by the farmers. If the right techniques were known, the technologies would have supported for much better yield
- The biggest problem of all is the post harvest management. There is so much of wastage due to inappropriate post harvest management
With this understanding we initially started meeting various farmers groups essentially to create awareness. But our efforts were not really appreciated or accepted by the farmers as they totally rejected us. But we didn’t get dejected. Our repeated attempts finally gave us some headway. At this point we’ve graduated to a level where a lot of new groups are getting in touch with us to get our inputs and to become part of Farmagain Ecosystem.
Marketing – Though we were able to help farmers increase their yield, we still couldn’t help them get the right valuation for their produces. That’s when we decided to market their produces. This decision gave birth to our commercial model. We decided to directly supply to the retails. As there is no market or multi level middlemen involved, we were naturally able to get better pricing for their produces.
Own Wholesale Outlets – We are now working towards creating a wholesale outlets across the southern states of India to be able to market all the fresh produces that come every day from our farmers. Once we have our own premium wholesale chains, we are sure to have made a great impact towards our own objectives.