1. Agriculture World

These Tamil Nadu Farmers Prove “Value Addition is the key to Increase their Income”

After two years of facing a pandemic and all of the accompanying challenges, farms are discovering new methods to engage with customers directly by producing value-added farm products. Continue reading to learn more!

Binita Kumari
Marabu Suvai organic and vegan sweets and snacks store in Thiruvanmiyur, offers a wide range of sweets and snacks.
Marabu Suvai organic and vegan sweets and snacks store in Thiruvanmiyur, offers a wide range of sweets and snacks.

Srivatsav Duwari and his fiancé Shrreenithy S took to Instagram after harvesting a huge yield of mangoes in June 2020. The response was quick; the harvest from their six-acre farm in Madhuranthagam, Chengalpettu, was sold out to more than 500 people. The next task was to retain these consumers until the following mango season.

. "We then decided to offer condiments produced entirely of produce grown on our property: a mango chunk jam and an aunt's brinjal chili pickle," says Shrreenithy, a Food Science graduate, who adds that both were "immediate hits."

Srivatsav, who is also a professional badminton player, is based out of Tirunelveli and manages customer service and marketing. She lives in Chennai and oversees packaging and delivery.

The couple's newly launched 'Subasri Reddy Vilas' brand currently ships across Tamil Nadu, with a product line that includes farm-fresh vegetables as well as Tirunelveli sweets like Halwa and Paalgova.

They aren't the only ones: After two years of facing a pandemic and all of the accompanying challenges, farms are discovering new methods to engage with customers directly by producing value-added farm products that have a longer shelf life and are easier to store, transport, and sell throughout the year.

The process of manufacturing, cooking, packaging, and transporting also creates alternate jobs for farmhands.

Murugesan R's 45 native breed cows, such as Ramanathapuram Naatu Maadu, Gir, Sahiwal, and Sarbarkar, kept his team occupied in Ramanathapuram during the lockdown.

Murugesan began making fudgy palgova by heating milk in a pan and then adding country sugar over a slow fire.

"Every day, we have five to ten liters of extra milk: we add a kilo of sugar to every ten liters of milk and cook for an hour to reach the correct consistency," he explains.

People are trained to receive orders over the phone, pack orders, and work on the farm, which creates jobs in the villages.

In 2020, Murugesan launched Dharani Food Products with palgova. They gradually expanded their product line, and now the farm produces 80 value-added items, including dhodhol, a mellow halwa-like sweet prepared with coconut milk, nattu sakkarai (country sugar), cardamom, and rice flour.

"Dhodhol, one of our best-selling goods, has been prepared in Ramanathapuram for over 1,000 years," Murugesan adds, adding that the recipe most likely came from Sri Lanka, where it is a favorite delicacy.

Meanwhile, in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, a group of six women makes flax seed laddus, moong dal laddus, heritage rice laddus (containing karuppu kavuni, kattuyanam, and mappilai samba rice), black urad dal thattais, and millet ribbon pakodas with calm efficiency.

They are, however, most known for four types of kamarkat: "Hard, medium soft, baby-soft (for one to three-year-old children), and lollypop," explains R Srinivas, founder of Marabu Suvai.

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