Isita Sarkar on September 22, 2018 in Food & Shelter
“Are the fruits and vegetables we eat every day really healthy?” How many times have we asked ourselves this? If only we had a way of knowing where it comes from, how it’s processed and a little about how the farmer works...
That’s where FarmLink comes in. A new-age agri-tech venture in Mumbai, FarmLink aims to bridge the gap between the farmers with the consumer.
It is a technological tool, developed by FarmLink, to trace the produce, among other actions. “Traceability of produce is very much in need nowadays,” says Mr. Ramesh Kumar Maturi, Principal Rural Development of Pioneering Ventures. “Every customer wants to know where the produce has come from, who has produced it, what kind of practices he has followed... to make the product of the best quality.”
FarmTrace plays a key role in helping the general consumers trace the produce by using the bar code mentioned on the packaged product. It provides the customer with a detailed description of the geographical area where the product comes from, who the farmer is, how they cultivate the produce and what all practices and processes are involved in making it the best quality product in the market. The mobile application, currently in its testing stage, traces the entire journey of the produce from the farm to the shelf.
FarmLink was launched in 2014, by Pioneering Ventures, a leading Indian company that focuses primarily on promoting food and agri-business ventures within the agriculture and food supply chains. In the venture model, each different venture has its own unique structure. At present, Pioneering Ventures incubate various agri-tech start-ups such as Desai Fruits and Vegetables, MilkLane, Citrus Processing and FarmLink.
In FarmLink, the supply chain is restructured to make the farm to fork delivery more efficient and ensure minimum wastage of the produce, so that the farmer receives the right price for his labour. The transactions with intermediaries, between the farmer and the customer, are removed by the active involvement of FarmLink, so that the farmers receive their deserved share of profits.
“The money which is saved (in terms of transportation and labour) is nothing but the positive change in terms of improvement in their income,” comments Mr. Maturi.
FarmLink helps aggregate the farm produce and support the farmers in terms of farm extension to achieve the best quality product at a fair price. It began with a small project with a few farmers in the Nrayangaon area in Maharashtra.
FarmLink procures fruits and vegetables directly from farms through a network of nearby collection centres, across Karnataka and Maharashtra. The produce is then delivered to the company’s primary markets in Mumbai and Bangalore, where it has off-take agreements with industrial scale retail stores, HORECA (Hotel-Restaurant-Cafe) chains, industrial processors and emerging e-commerce food platforms.
Over 1,000 farmers, working with FarmLink, receive extensive training and education about new-age methods and technologies that replace tedious and lengthy traditional farming practices, in order to enhance the quality and quantity of the produce. The team of experts at FarmLink visits the farm, studies and analyses the data and requirements of every farmer and helps the farmers track their progress and realise their full potential in order to get the best quality yield. When the produce is transported to the nearby collection centres, it undergoes a quality check and the finest ones are handpicked and separated from the rest. After this sorting, farmers get a receipt and the payment is credited directly to their account. The sorted products undergo several processes such as RO washes, ozone washing and value addition, before getting packaged and labelled, ready for transportation to clients.
The FarmLink distribution centre at Vashi, ensures equal opportunities of employment for women, with a majority of the regular workers in the facilities for processing and grading of the produce, being women. These women are also provided the same knowledge and training as their male counterparts in other such facilities.
FarmLink aims at improving rural livelihood by empowering the farmers and making them economically independent. It also seeks to implement eco-friendly farming practices along the entire food supply chain, thus, creating an impact on the entire rural eco-system.
To learn more about their inspirational work, visit FarmLink today!