Going Back to the Roots: Erasing Middlemen and Securing Farmer Livelihoods
Keeping aside issues which make living hard for farmers like the unpredictable weather patterns that destroy crops, farmer loans and lack of basic literacy, the concept of middlemen takes the lead. He bites away a huge chunk of the farmers’ livelihood, leaving them to wither away in the heat of poverty. The middleman robs not just the farmer but the customer too.
Let that man-go.
But, how do we go about it?
Kolar, where Mango growers are faced with low income on their yield in spite of having quality mangoes, could take cues from 9 farmers supported by Holur Horticulture Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) who achieved selling of mangoes for Rs.1.87 Lacs and collectively earned profit of close to Rs.1.37 Lacs in the span of just 1 week. Farmers sold about 5.5 tonnes of different varieties of mangoes at various places and this was facilitated by United Way of Bengaluru (UWBe).
UWBe has been supporting Holur Horticulture Farmers Producer Company Ltd since three years now. Since the last year, Applied Materials pitched in with excellent support to strengthen the fight for the farmers’ cause.
The company’s partnership with UWBe tries to bridge the gap between the farmers and the consumers by erasing the middlemen through a structured ‘livelihood’ intervention program.
Listed under the Integrated Rural Development program, Holur FPO is the Karnataka government’s pilot initiative.
Machinery provided for mango-related processes (prepare sliced mangoes, mango pickles, dry mango powder) by UWBe, marketing training given to farmers through a Government agency called CFTRI at Mysore and FPO’s branding and marketing of the finished goods supported by Applied Materials are three crucial elements that work together in making this effort a success.
At the Mango Mela 2019, the farmers will be given a marketing platform at the Applied Materials’ company premise where they will sell their mangoes in box sizes of 1kg, 3kg and 5kg.
Farmers sold about 2.4 tonnes of mangoes in 2 days. After seeing such a big response, UWBe facilitated 2 more stalls: one at Collins Aerospace and another at Ramamurthynagar and there, farmers sold another 3 tonnes.
Finally, grass ripened mangoes shall change hands from the farmers to the consumers directly!