Farmers club, Pattikkad, Kerala working on multiple agri based value added products
Pananchery Farmers Club registered under Nabard in 2004 is focused to turn its farmer members into agri entrepreneur. The club, a constituent of Vikas Volunteer Vahini does not confine its activities only to help farmers sell their farm produce in the retail market instead has taken another step towards expansion with value addition process.
The members are now working collectively to manufacture 100% natural value added products in order to give better earning power in the hands of the farmer. “When we were giving our farm produce like fruits and vegetables to the local shops, they were paying us very less. Hence we decided to bring all the vegetables under one roof and formed the farmers club. In this way got the option to distribute and sell our produce ourselves,” shares Dr. P.C.Rajendran, CEO and adds, “After the retail sales huge quantity of vegetables would be still left out so to utilize the unsold products we thought of producing value added products like banana chips, jackfruit chips etc.”
Club was started with 48 members but presently the membership has been increased to 100. The membership at the moment is closed, “We are not expanding the membership because we are going to involve ourselves in value addition projects,” he informs.
The capital investment required for new projects comes from Nabard in form of grant. “Recently we got Rs. 6-7 lakhs of grant from Nabard. Grant being a produce fund shall be used for 4 – 5 projects,” shares Dr. Rajendran. When asked is it easy to get grants, he responds, “Our club has received many awards especially for the effective utilization of these government funds so we have long association with Nabard.”
Projects in-process are producing sugar syrup, mushroom, virgin coconut oil and natural soft drink from coconut water. 100% natural soft drink that is similar to world renowned coco cola is the one of the premium project of the club, “Two years back I have developed the technology accidently to make natural soft drink from coconut water. The drink will taste just like any cola drink available in the market but will be free of all chemicals,” he claims.
When asked about the technology transfer Dr. Rajendran prompts, “We need not borrow technical things from outside. We have technology and the retired professor from Kerala University as member of our club. In addition, being a training advisor from Agriculture University I shall be training people for these new projects and my colleague will also assist in giving training especially in mushrooms projects.”Members are also being trained under the supervision of NABARD. He adds, “We are even employing some people and imparting training to them. Mostly they are unemployed women group.”
Some of the manufacturing unit for value addition will be set-up at member’s farmland. Processing and packaging shall be taken care by the manufacturing machinery. Machinery purchase shall be done in association with District India Tool Center.
The value added products shall be sold in local markets and plans are to sell in some select super markets in Trichur, Palghat, Coimbatore and Ernakulam district. The projects are still in-process, “Right this time our priority is also to increase the coconut production by improving the planting material. Our main target is to double the yield,” he adds. Members at the club are using all modern communications at ease hence they are networking in more than one way.
The other activities of the club apart from value addition projects are fruit & vegetable market, fruit & vegetable retail outlet, farmers information center, farmers coconut nursery, farmers agro clinic, coconut farmers cluster and panachery farmers associates.
Dr. P.C.Rajendran holds doctorate in horticulture from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. In addition he also did post-doctorate under DBT National Associateship and Genetic Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He had been part of many novel researches all his life.
Pananchery Farmers Club
Reg. under NABARD No: Tcr 62/2004
Pattikkad, Thrisur (Dist.)
Kerala, India – 680 652
Mob. : +91 – 94472 38247
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com