Forum to market Natural/Organic products without cost to the farmer

Dear Boarders,

Wanted to know if there is a body or a Non-profit organisation, that will help farmers who farm through natural/organic/zero budget methods to market their products or sell their products to the end user, thereby bypassing the middle-men and pass on this benefit directly to the farmer.

If there is none, can it be formed by collectively getting farmers from different states to be part of an organisation that will help market their products by creating a web -site, getting a list of produces of each farmer, etc, etc…

its a wild thought, any leads?

Nice thought, but let me tell you this is something we considered at FarmNest but did not venture into.

There is an organization or two that does it - I know CSA does it in Hyderabad - they physically work with the member farmers of a specific village and procure non-pesticide produce from there.

In terms of practicality and why FarmNest did not do it - creating a website to support this is not too difficult, what is difficult is ensuring the quality or definition of the produce.

If I am farming at my land, I know exactly what I would call it - organic, natural, chemical etc. etc. However it is hard to assure the standards of the produce of any member without continual physical inspections. Elsewhere in the world, there is concept of peer certification, but it is not going to be easy to implement in India.

To be honest, many organic sellers today have large doubts on the standards that the producers follow, certified or not.

More thoughts welcome.

mikelib62
Do take alook at sahajasamrudha.org/About%20us.htm

THey seem to have presence in most of South India.

I know a couple of farmers near Tumkur, Karnataka who bring their produce (organic/natural) to city in Omni during Sat/Sunday and market themselves.  Once could take this route also if feasible

I wish one day, we will have a farmnest website selling natural produce direct to consumers.  Hope it is not far off.

Hi

As chandra said, its not big thing to make a website but the thing is assurance of providing organic/natural products. Unless there is physical on field inspection we can’t trust the quality of the products.

There are chances that again hybrid stuff get mixed. There should be an entity who can inspect all these and then the products can be sold online.

I Inquired few organizations which issue organic certification. The one thing i understood is that the certification cost is the same for one acre to few hundred acres. From then on, i was thinking, why cant we make a group of all the farmers willing to farm the organic way and get a bulk certification.

Pros :-
Cropping can be distributed among the members so that various types of produce can be achieved.
The testing and certification process will be handled by the organization issuing the certificate.
Will have marketable value for the produce in domestic and international markets because of the certification.

Cons :-
Getting many farmers to agree to shift to organic methods is difficult.
If one guy tampers around with the produce, then the whole of the certification will be invalid.

Even if we are not willing to get the certification, we can atleast form an association and start producing the organic way and market it based on the association’s name. Even this model has its own drawbacks where we need a good and strong leader to lead the association and all the association members should be loyal enough to stick to the organic way.

Any more suggestions are welcome.

Regards,
AKS

Its indeed a very good idea to begin with (*AK Farms")

Risks of a farmer using chemical instead of natural methods, can happen, but this is something that can be checked when the produce arrives, by sampling, something that can be discussed, problems always have solutions, we of the natural farming fraternity, must find a zero cost tool to identify and remove chemically grown products, and of-course blacklist such farmers

Small farmers are not able to command a price as this is dictated by the bulk buyer, however, if there is a body, then the farmer can get his due.

A farmer takes a big risk to produce, that can take from 3 months to a few years, and the profit of which is reaped, in a single transaction, by middlemen, totally unfair

@ AKFarms

That is not my understanding. The cost is 15K for a piece less than 15 acres and then 1K for each additional acre, based on my enquiry. And any group of farms have to be at one location.

The point I have been mulling about is whether we can do a community / peer based certification as in other countries. There is also an organization called PGS (iirc) that does something similar in India. Basically this means some certified peer farmers visit and confirm that the other farm is following certain practices. The costs will be lower compared to regular certification, though a fee will still be payable in addition to travel changes. The downside is that this certificate will only be useful locally and not for exports or for buyers who insist on proper 3rd party certification.

If people believe it make sense to have a FarmNest community based certificate that differentiates Organic, Non-pesticidal produce etc., and we can organize ourselves by location, we may be able to evolve something like this. :slight_smile:

And at some point, online sales, but that is going to be even more involved.

@chandra,

    the organization that I talked to was Aditi organics in Rajaji nagar and it was the information provided by them. May be other certifiers do it differently. I wanted to apply for a certification, but postponed it for the time being as there were significant delays in starting the project and I surely want to take it up sometime in the coming months. I will reconfirm it with them once again about the fee structure.

Even by the rates that you specified of 15K for initial 15 acres and 1K for subsequent acres, it will work out to be a good deal if we are able to form a organic farmers association as their produce will be certified even for exports. (Considering we are able to group atleast a minimum of 50 acres which works out to be approx 1k/acre/year for certified export products)

I want to know if anybody in the forum has already tried this and the challenges associated with this procedure.

I have another guy doing organic farming hardly 2 kms from my site and he is encouraging others as well to go the organic way. I need to talk to him if he is interested in joining with me for the certification.

Regards,
AKS

GOOD IDEA AND INITIATIVE. I AM GAME.

@AKFarms

A full list of certification costs is here: apeda.gov.in/apedawebsite/organic/price.htm

I would be quite interested if you already do organic farming and if so, how and what have been the results? A separate thread would be useful too, thanks.

@Chandra,
        I have a farm that i leased out to a guy from the past 5 years. He has been using Urea and DAP for growing the crops. I want to take it back and convert it to a fully grown organic farm. I will keep the forum updated about the progress and results.

Thanks,
AKS