1. Success Story

Heard of Pani Puri or Jalebi from Sugarcane? This Man Helps Farmers to Use Crop in a More Diverse Way

Shivani Meena
Shivani Meena

Imagine delicious Indian street items such as Pani puri, jalebi, tea, or even popsicles made from sugarcane!!! 

Engineer Vipan Sarin of Ambala has developed a sugarcane business that allows Haryana farmers to become microentrepreneurs. "It began in 2018 when my brother and I wanted to give greater quality milk for the family," says Vipan.  

Vipan, an inventor by profession, says the shift helped the family and prompted him to take the next step and adapt to a healthy lifestyle by practicing organic farming methods. "I wanted to live a chemical-free life." "I also started delivering organic veggies to surrounding markets and Mumbai for free to encourage healthy food," he says. 

However, he saw that the organic market had its issues and that many producers, like him, were going through the same thing. 

The organic vegetable sector had Niche customers, and not all producers were successful. Organic vegetables are more expensive than those cultivated using artificial fertilizers and pesticides. He designed an 80-20 % [business] strategy to make organic farming profitable and marketable. "The organic vegetable sector had specialized customers, and not all farmers could enter into it."  

Vipan investigated and recommended that farmers grow sugarcane on 20% of their land and grow organic vegetables on the remainder. 

"Sugarcane is a profitable crop that generates a solid revenue." Farmers farming organic vegetables may then sell their products at a reduced price, with the sugarcane crop covering the cost difference," he adds. 

Vipan began collaborating with farmers to develop value-added foods to increase their revenue. "Making sweeteners like jaggery and sugar from sugarcane necessitates costly equipment, and producers are at the hands of cooperatives and the prices they provide," he says, adding, "but farmers may earn a profit if they can directly use their crops to make value-added products." 

To add value to sugarcane juice, he produced slushies, pops, tamarind sauce, jalebi, Pani puri, and other food items. 

In 2020, With three cofounders, he established Celebrating Farmers Edge International Pvt. Ltd. The co-founders identified 40 farmers in Pune and others around Maharashtra to make the various products. "We worked with startups to assist farmers with packing, marketing, and developing creative ways for cold storage and transportation of frozen products," he explains. 

And the farmers' efforts are now paying off. 

Rajendra Shinde of Nashik is one of the producers who has benefited from the use of sugarcane to make tamarind chutney.  It is typically made with jaggery, water, tamarind, and spices. "I switched the jaggery with sugarcane juice that I received directly from the farmers." "I lowered my manufacturing expenses in half by using the raw component rather than buying jaggery from the market," he adds. 

Vipan's objective is to train hundreds of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs throughout India. "In the next years, I hope to reach out to at least 10 lakh farmers and help them improve," he adds. 

"The farmer who feeds the residents of our country should be pleased and like their work," he continues. Only when everyone in the community is satisfied the country go forward." 

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