Article Siddhagiri Satvyk - Assists farmers to earn better and consumers to eat better

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  1. editorialteam

    editorialteam Active Member Staff Member

    Assists farmers to earn better and consumers to eat better

    Siddhagiri Satvyk is one-stop store to offer more than 160 products produced naturally using age-old traditional farming practices where there was no role of chemicals. The store not only gives access to healthy food to consumer but plays a vital role in increasing farmers’ earning by 60-75%. It is result of enormous hard work and commitment of two friends, Mr. Akshay Agarwal and Mr. Gajendra Choudhary, based at Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

    “These days, in the food more than 60% nutrients are replaced with harmful residues that are immensely injurious for the living body! The quantum of adulteration in the majority of food items has crossed all the danger lines! Seeing at this alarming situation, myself and Gajendra decided to help farmers grow and sell plus provide consumers the real healthy food. Thus Siddhagiri Satvyk was born,” shares Mr. Akshay Agarwal, Co-Founder, the drive behind leaving his job as CA and CFA.

    “Initially we attended many workshops on natural and organic farming as well as interacted with many experts to be well-informed on the food cultivation process. Next, began the search for the farmers who grew food naturally without using chemicals. I had good contacts in Rajasthan that helped a lot to locate these farmers. Also through Siddhagiri Gurukul Foundation we were able to connect with 4000 farmers from 10 states in the span of 3-4 months. They were mix of big individual farmers, farmers group and others. However we decided to keep our association with small and marginal farmers because inspite of doing good work they hardly get their deserved share of credibility,” states Mr. Gajendra Choudhary, Co-Founder, MBA graduate who moved out of 3-generation family run textile business. Farm produce was directly sourced from the identified farmers in bulk, processed and packed by women self-help groups and sold to the consumers at Siddhagiri Satvyk store. The first store was started in February 2016 and within a year eight more stores were launched in different cities. “There are no middlemen involved in our procurement model thus farmers are able to earn 60-75% more. Thus our operations are growing rapidly.”

    There are more than 3000 farmers across 10 Indian states in the network of Siddhagiri Satvyk. The products are identified and sourced based on the state specialty, “For instance tea is brought from Assam, virgin coconut oil from Kerala, cashews from Konkan belt, pulses from Vidarbha region in Maharashtra and so on,” highlights Mr. Agarwal.

    Many farmers are getting associated with Siddhagiri Satvy. There are no prerequisites as such accept that they must be growing food naturally. “The organic certification is not compulsory but preferable because we do understand the cost and tedious process involved. Many people are getting in touch with us through our facebook page. After the initial discussions farmers are associated after a thorough research, field visit and lab testing of their farm products. We are quite dependent on trust from both sides, farmers as well as consumers. Therefore it is essential to ensure the quality of food is superior as that is foundation of this venture.” Once the farmers are in the procurement system they are given a complete contract for buying their farm produce in bulk.

    Farmers are more than just sellers for Siddhagiri Satvyk. “It is the long term relationship with them. Thereby once in two month training camps are organized to enable them upgrade themselves in methods to improve the production, measures for crop protection, seed management etc. These sessions are taken by nationally acclaimed experts like Mr. Narayan Reddy. Besides, there is also an annual indigenous seed program organized where seeds are given free of cost to the farmers only on the condition that next year they must get back 2-3 times more quantity of the seeds they take in the first year ,” informs Mr. Choudhary.

    All the products offered to the consumers for sale are priced reasonably. It shall be a slightly higher when compared to the in-organic food products. The slight higher price is the investment for the good health. When asked about the statement, ‘organic products have poor shelf life’, Mr. Agarwal clarifies, “There is threat but there are traditional solutions as well. We have identified such solutions and implement the same meticulously. Our women self help groups are having good knowledge of these preventive measures. For example in red chili powder we add very little rock salt to improve the shelf life of the spice powder. It works fabulously.”

    In future, plans are to launch online stores in metro cities precisely Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Based on the response received the physical stores would be established. Also an app will be introduced enabling new farmers to connect for the bulk sales of their organically produce.

    Mr. Agarwal and Mr. Choudhary concludes, “Farmers want to switch to chemical free farming to save their farmland and grow poison free food provided they get better market and higher price. They want to overcome the guilt of producing harmful food. Besides they want higher price not because of greed but certainly the hard work involved in organic farming practices is much more than chemical based farming. They want to be paid well for their work. And for that assistance we are always ready to work together with them. Lastly we are getting good appreciation for the quality of our products. Our consumers are finding medicinal and nutritional value in the food supplied at our store. This is the biggest reward for our efforts!”

    Contact details:
    Siddhagiri Satvyk
    Phone:097665 59747 , 96655 73141

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