1. Agriculture World

Atmanirbhar Bharat: Group of Farmers in Junagadh Start ‘Organic Mart’

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Organic Farming

In Junagadh, a group of over two dozen farmers has embraced the spirit of entrepreneurship by not only farming organic fruit but also adding value to it and selling it on their own. Furthermore, the farmers have opened their very own mart in Junagadh city, with an annual turnover of Rs 30 lakh. 

Five years ago, Hitesh Domaliya, a farmer in Vadal village, 12 kilometres from Junagadh, chose to transition to pesticide-free farming. He began by growing mixed veggies, but due to their high cost, he had difficulty finding consumers. Domaliya then hosted a 'bhajiya' party at his farm, where he demonstrated his agricultural approach to academicians and professionals from Junagadh. They were all blown away and agreed to buy veggies from him in the future. 

Domaliya then urged other farmers to follow in his footsteps and bought a ghani (cold press) to extract oil from groundnuts, believing that if farmers could add value to the commodity, they would be able to make more money. In Junagadh, he was successful in promoting pure oil and gained clients. 

"There are about 25 farmers who have joined hands with me," Domaliya added. Every season, we sell 100 tins of groundnut oil (each weighing 15 kg). Our annual sales has reached Rs 30 lakh, and we offer grains, oils, bread, milk, and other things." 

The profit split is straightforward. As soon as the things are sold from the mall, the farmers receive the worth of their produce after subtracting labour costs. 

The most significant benefit of this strategy is the elimination of middlemen who robbed them of a significant portion of their revenue. 

Farmers claim that the cost of their product is higher than the market price because it is organic, but that by selling it in a systematic manner, they may earn a decent price. More profit is generated as a result of the value addition. 

"We have to pay extra labour expenses since we grow organically and deal in modest volumes compared to major dealers." "However, our consumers do not hesitate to pay," a farmer explained. 

They've also started delivering things to customers' homes. 

Devji Thummar, a sugarcane farmer, now sells jaggery made from it as a value-added product at the mall. "For the past few years, I've been adding value to sugarcane, which has resulted in a solid profit." I now sell about two tonnes of jaggery every year." 

These farmers are now forming a farmers producer organization (FPO) to expand their consumer base. 

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