The primary motivation behind this initiative is to help farmers improve their incomes by enabling direct market linkages with consumers. In the short-term, this means enabling vital market access to mitigate challenges caused by the Covid-19 lockdown and recovery period. In the long-term, we will continue to provide farmers direct market access, decreasing their reliance on intermediaries and enabling premium price realization.
In addition to helping farmers, our vision is to create a platform that provides consumers access to fresh, hygienic produce and creates livelihood and business recovery opportunities for those that are having difficulty earning during the Covid-19 crisis.
The Covid-19 crisis has been especially challenging for India’s smallholder farmers with agricultural supply chains disrupted end-to-end. There has been a precipitous drop in demand caused by a myriad of reasons related to the adverse environment caused by Covid-19 including logistics difficulties, labor shortages, and frequent marketplace interruption. All of these challenges have resulted in a reduction in income for smallholder farmers at best, and in worst case scenarios, the complete inability to sell their produce compounded by the perishable nature of many commodities results in a complete loss of livelihood. While easing of lockdown restrictions does provide hope for improvement, it is likely that farmers’ challenges will extend well beyond the lockdown period.
The Farm to Consumer Impact Model is designed to maximize farmer-ownership within fruit and vegetable value chains in Maharashtra. Our major activities comprise:
On the farmer side - working across farmer groups in Maharashtra to build their capacity to supply direct to consumers, assuring end-to-end quality control. This includes setting up and running local collection centers, training in post-harvest best practices, and coordinating daily procurement to match consumer demand. In the long-term, farmers become owners themselves.
On the consumer side, we are building distribution channels in major cities such as Mumbai and Pune through a network of local community coordinators and distribution hubs. These entities play the role of aggregating demand and last-mile distribution so that farmers can efficiently deliver their produce from "farm to table". In addition, the community coordinator and distribution hub roles are also a livelihood creation opportunity that aims to benefit both individuals and local businesses that may be having difficulty earning due to the Covid-19 Crisis.