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    A novel initiative brings farmers and consumers together

  • Date : 22 May, 2020

     In an effort to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers and to encourage local farming in the state, Thanal, an environmental organisation, has launched a first-of-its-kind initiative. The Food Scape initiative aims at converting fallow land in rural areas into farmland with financial aid from consumers who would in turn be compensated with farm-fresh local vegetables. As part of the initiative, Thanal is targeting to cultivate crops in 100 to 200 acres this year in Kerala. Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram are the four districts chosen by the NGO for the project. A minimum of 500 farmers are expected to benefit from the initiative.

    “The plan is to encourage consumers to invest or lend money to the farmers interest-free. We are not looking for large landholders but farmers who need financial assistance to kickstart cultivation. Many of them want to plough the fallow land for farming but they don’t have the capital. We will be acting as an intermediary between farmers in need and the consumers,” C Jayakumar, founder-trustee of Thanal. He said that the response they received has been immense following the announcement of the initiative. Fifteen consumers have already enrolled and some of them have expressed interest in investing more than `5,000. “We announced the initiative through social media like WhatsApp.

     

    Those who want to be part of the initiative can lend `5,000 to a farmer. According to our estimates, approximately `20,000 would be required to cultivate one acre of land and a farmer would be able to produce crops worth `30,000 to `60,000. The farmer would return `1,000 worth produce to the consumers for a period of five months. The crop would be ready within five months,” said Jayakumar. The NGO is planning to generate `30 lakh worth of produce from 100 acres of land.

    Jayakumar said mixed crops would be cultivated and 30 per cent of the crop with extended shelf life would be transported for distribution among the consumers. “This is our pilot project and we want to empower small-scale farmers. Also, the consumers would have the freedom to assemble their basket with the items they need,” he said. The NGO has already identified 26 acres in the four districts. “An additional 80 to 85 acres in the tribal areas of Palakkad and Pathanamthitta would be used. It’s going to be 
    a challenging project for us,” he added.

     

    Source: The Indian Express

 















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EDITOR'S NOTE

19 Jan 2016

Crop insurance scheme brings cheers

In view of the growing volatility in the agriculture sector caused by vagaries of nature as well as market fluctuations, it is heartening to see the new Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)