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The IIM Professor who is ushering Indian farmers towards an Agriculture Revolution and sets up “Farmveda”owned by the Farmers and helpsthem harvest bumper profits

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

The poorest of the poor farmers live in rural areas and have their larger part of income derived from agricultural activities. The poor farmers toil, and  when it comes to the returns, their hard work doesn’t get rewarded as the process of aggregating, processing, value adding, marketing and retailing consists of many steps where the farmers arent familiar with and they depend upon people who are involved with each step.

The IIM Professor Trilochan Sastry responding to the phenomenon of acute farmer distress around India, in 2016, founded India Farm Foods (IFF) with a vision to raise farmer incomes substantially - on a large scale. The only meaningful way to do this was to ensure that the control of the producer mained in the hands of the farmer - from the fields to the shelves in retail outlets and developing value added products so that larger profits could be accrued.

He earlier found out CCD in 2005, a ‘Not-for-Profit’ ‘Non-Governmental Organization’ to work with small and marginal farmers to improve their livelihoods by educating them in collective methods of pool & sell, processing, market links and sustainable agri practices. Currently CCD is operational in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana impacting 17000 farmer’s livelihoods. Recently, CCD has expanded its operations to the State of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and is in the process of entering the State of Maharashtra.

 CCD helps farmer groups to set up cooperatives all over India. CCD will help farmers aggregate, process and sell their produce in B2B.They will also help farmers set up processing units owned by them. Farmveda will buy the produce to create value-added products and sell directly to consumers.

The geographical focus of CCD is currently on regions where there is little rainfall or no irrigation as these are the regions of maximum distress. The produce grown by the majority of Indian farmers in such areas include rice, wheat, minor millets like ragi, jowar and, pulses like toor, moong, chana and urad aswell as oil seeds such as groundnut and soya.

Farmers Harvest Bumper Harvests

To maximise the returns, it was essential to convert the staples into value added, packaged and branded food products that would a find a market in affluent urban environments. Thus was born the brand “Farmveda”, a brand owned by the farmers of India. Farmveda has a range of over a dozen convenience food products made from rice, wheat, dals, millets and groundnut. These are retailed through multi-brand outlets as well as online channels and all profits of Farmveda go back to farmers.

Farmveda is supported by Farmer Producer Companies of CCD which brings together over 25,000 farmers and the number is growing each year. They focus on wholesale commodity marketing of farm produce like groundnut, soya, toor dal, cotton and mangoes. Some of this is now procured, processed and marketed by Farmveda.

To achieve better and consistent farm output there is a need to continuously upgrade farming practices and technology. This crucial input is provided to the farmers by the Centre for Collective Development, a non-profit initiative also started by Dr. Sastry. One of the key goals of CCD is to assist cooperatives in becoming sustainable entities with an emphasis on growth, both in terms of turnover and profitability.

Farmveda was borne out of this belief and intention. It has been created to be the marketing channel through which farmers cooperatives can reach out to the marketplace with value-added products which are able to command the incrementally higher retail price and in turn reap bigger profits.

Farmveda Products

Farmveda products are hygienically processed and packaged to conform to the highest industry standards. They respond to contemporary needs of the consumers and are either ready to cook or ready to eat.

The range currently includes:

Ready to make: Upma, Lemon poha and Lemon RasamDry dosa mixes: Regular, Ragi, Multi millet and AdaiDosa

Dry idli mixes: Regular, Ragi and RavaIdli

Ready to eat: Groundnut Podi, Chutney podi (chana dal based) and Andhra

Gunpowder (toor dal based).

Farmveda products are available online on Big Basket. When ordered from their website or

on The South Indian Store online portal, the deliveries are made all over India.

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