FarmFolks Agro Pvt Ltd is founded by Lakshmipriyan who has worked with Safal Market and Bharti Walmart India and co-founded by Mahadevaprasad who has worked with Reliance Retail and Bharti Walmart India.
The Company started its operations in November 2015 and the turnover has exceeded Rs 50 lakhs in March with a monthly volume of 200 MT.
The major customers include Tesco Star Bazaar, Big Basket, Namdhari Fresh, Nature Basket, Groffers, More besides major IT & other institutions.
The company is set for achieving Rs 1 crore turnover by the end of July 16 with volume of 400 MT majorly from Banana and other Fruits & Vegetables.
The farmer clusters are in Mysore, Chamarajnagar & Kollegal districts of Karnataka. The FarmFolks has got a team of dedicated trained harvesting specialists who takes care of cutting, de-handing, washing the produce in the field itself before grading and packing in crate with cushioning materials and perforated poly liners for avoiding any possible post-harvest handling damages on the fruits. The team keeps innovating to achieve the best produce from the farms. Thus the farmers are relieved of their non-core areas of forward linkages thereby dedicating more time and energy on the field operations besides getting the best price realization for their produce.
By FarmFolks Intervention, Banana farmers in addition to getting the s the best price comparable with HOPCOM, avoids cost of labour for harvesting, logistics and cost of the conventional trade ie quantity reductions and the commission in the mandis. The payment is being done the very next day through online bank transfers into farmers account. It is a win-win association for both farmers and FarmFolks. viz Farmers gets the best price realisation for their produce and FarmFolks get assured supply of produce to cater the requirement of the institutions and retailers.
As of now the active farmer base is around 100 and these farmers are either small or marginal farmers. The average quantity sourced for the last month was 150 MT of banana from these farmer groups. The objective of the company is to link the farmers with the retailers with the direct procurement model which ensures the best practices in terms of post harvest perspective so that the retailers gets the best quality produce for their customers. The main customers are modern retails stores in Bangalore and the institutional customers in Bangalore.
Farm Level Interventions.
A. Pre Harvest interventions
The associated farmers are given the inputs like banana tissue culture plants, banana bunch covers, bio inputs and the package of practices to ensure right quality fruits are made available at the time of harvest. FarmFolks team also conducts frequent training sessions and workshops to create awareness on best practices and safe produce. The project is on to certify these farms for GlobalGap and this would be great differentiation in terms of quality, food safety and traceability.
B. Post Harvest interventions
The FarmFolks team has been trained post harvest operations to take care of the produce to reduce handing damages, bruises etc on the produce so that the farmers do not end up loosing money for his produce and customers get the right quality produce. The foams, liners which are used again protect the fruit from any stress during the post harvest handling either in transportation or in ripening operations.
C. Market prices at the Farm gate.
The FarmFolks field team goes to the farmers field with labour for harvesting the mature bunches. The team cuts the loom and make them into small bunches. The bunches are washed thoroughly and kept in crates with foam and poly liners. The rate is benchmarked on basis of the HOPCOM prices.
D. The value basis the quantity at the Farm gate
The produce is weighed in front of the Farmer and amount is informed to the farmer and paid the next day. Unlike Mandi,
- We do NOT reduce weight
- We do NOT deduct commission
- We do NOT deduct transport
FarmFolks are into tie-up with growers who have protected cultivation farms with hydroponic systems/precision farming techniques to deliver the best quality and safe Leafy vegetables to the retailers in Bangalore.
The Fresh greens are harvested, pre cooled, graded & packed in breathable bags to extend shelf life for the Produce. This helps in ensuring the freshness in stores as well as extended shelf life to the end customer if the pouch is closed and kept in home refrigerators.
Mangostein, Rambuttan & Other exotic Fruits
FarmFolks have also entered into a marketing arrangement with 200 acres exotic fruit farm which is into growing exotic fruits like Rambuttan, Mangostein, Durian, Avocodo etc. The Fruit plants are managed by the team in a most consumer friendly manner with no harmful chemicals used. The farm is in the process of getting certified for GLOBAL.G.A.P.
Other Fruits & Vegetables
FarmFolks have also established backward linkages for supply of best quality fruits & vegetables for its clients.