FTB Stories

Farmers Cooperative in Uttarakhand: Growing, Manufacturing and Selling

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
woman farmer grinding the traditional way

Manoj Bhatt is a resident of Chiliyanaula , Ranikhet, Uttarakhand.  He has started a brand Arogya Uttarkhand Food Sansthan and their head office and main store is located near SBI Bank Chiliyanaula, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand.

There are 500 farmers associated with them through Swayam Sahayata Samuh. He has tried to tell us about the products that they produce through the video he has released on FTB.

He is a farmer by profession like his father and ancestors. He aims to provide healthy, pure and organic products. In order to do this he said the local farmers had to organize themselves by forming small self help groups (SHGs) . They started forming these groups in and after 2009. In Ranikhet, there is a Tarikhet Vikas Khand where the farmers are associated with our Swayam Sahayata Samuh.   

packaging the products for Arogya

We have small groups of farmers in a number of areas in Uttarakhand and are doing cooperative farming. The farmers forming the cooperative are from villages like  Sult, Vigyasen, Hola devi block, Dwarahat, Hawalbag,  Syal de, Masi, Langara, Chal kutia and others. Together they have created Uttarakhand Krishi Utpadan Vitaran Sahakarita, a cooperative, which guides and helps farmers to improve productivity, provides education and training, gives good  quality seeds among the many roles it plays.

Manoj says that they have conserved their traditional seeds and if we  have four farms, on two we grow with traditional seeds and on the other two we grow with high productivity seeds. As productivity picked up we had to look for markets to sell our produce. Earlier we used to do collection and send our produce to mandi. They grew madua (finger millet), cost of producing which was Rs 15 per kg and they sold it at Rs 16-17 at the mandi. Thus there was little or no profit. So we decided to create a Brand to promote and sell our products.

Kala Til Oil - an Uttarakhand Speciality

Hence in March 2019 Arogya Uttarakhand Food Sansthan brand was created. In 2020 work and reach of brand has increased multifold. The SHGs collect the products from the farmers located at remote locations, organic certification of the products is done, and in Chiliyanaula, Ranikhet the collected products are graded and packaged for the market. All our products are PGS Organic certified. PGS is a quality assurance initiative by Indian government.

Last year they planned a new initiative for Deepavali, where they created wrapped gifts. They sent 1400 such packages to Delhi and each package had 14 of our products. These packages contained madua flour, multi grain flour, red rice, jhingora rice, masalas including jakhiya, pahadi haldi,pahari dhaniya, chilli, soyaben atta , pulses including soyabean, gaith, lemon tea, nettle tea and kala bhatt.  This package was in basket format. In Patparganj Industrial area, in New Delhi  there is an outlet owned by Mr. Mahendra Singh Bisht and Mr. Mohan, started recently who requested for these packages. Both of them hail from Uttarakhand. They have been sending couriers to Bombay and Noida on request. They are planning to open an outlet in Noida soon for sale of their products. Some buyers from Haldwani have also shown interest in their products.

Then he talks about the products that they manufacture and sell. For instance the madua  flour that they sell can be  gharat grinded and chakki grinded madua aata, gharat grinded and chakki grinded mutigrain aata is also available and jau flour. Varieties of rice that they sell includes red rice of pindari, and jhingora rice. The cold pressed oils that they provide are mustard oil (cold pressed at Karnapryaga since they don't own their own machine),and kala til oil. Among dals they sell are rajma, gaith,lal gaith, bhatt, soyabeen, masoor, urad and panchtantra dal variety which they have invented. Among teas they  provide include nettle tea of bichchoo ghas (scorpion grass), lemon tea and tulsi tea. They also sell locally grown walnuts and chura (flattenned rice).

Their aim is that our local products are marketed nationally and internationally and the world is aware of our products. They aim to increase the income of the farmers. They distribute 20 percent of annual profit among their 500 member farmers.

In his video he showed us one liter mustard oil bottles available at Rs. 195 per bottle. Then he showed us the cold pressed kala til oil bottles, half liter bottle of this oil is sold at Rs. 315. He described the reason for the high price of this oil. He said the kala til are available in the higher reaches  of the Himalayas and the oil is prepared through the traditional kohlu technique. Then he showed us the haldi (250 gram available at RS. 56  and 100 gram is available at Rs. 25) and dhaniya packets (250 gram of which is available at Rs. 65).

Manoj invites you to his Arogya store to see all their products. They can also deliver their products directly to you through courier. He said write to us at Arogya Uttarakhand Food Sansthan, Chiliyanaula, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand or call us at  9997501147. 

Manoj Bhatt

Manoj Bhatt

Uttrakhand, Uttarakhand

Owner of Aarogya

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