December 23, 2014 10:26:35 am
As rates of oranges tumble in the open market, social organisation Apulkee has decided to help farmers from Amravati division of the state to directly sell their wares from the various software companies of Pune. Abhijeet Falke, member of Apulkee, said the first such stall would come up in the Kalyani Nagar campus of the software company, Capita, on Tuesday.
Consisting of the districts of Amravati, Buldhana, Akola, Yavatmal and Washim, the Amravati division has some of the largest tracks of orange cultivations of the state. The state has more than 1,24,000 hectares of land under orange — highest in the country.
Known as Nagpur oranges, the fruit forms the bulk of India’s exports and sells at a high price in metro cities like Pune and Mumbai.
However, Falke said the farmers rarely got a good price for their produce with the middlemen cornering majority of the profits.
“This initiative is the brainchild of Ravindra Thackeray, Joint Commissioner, Revenue, Amravati Division, who wanted to help farmers gain confidence, bypass middlemen and sell directly to the end client,” he said.
Farmers from 700 villages in the region were linked to the process and were given the necessary technical know-how about the best practices in the trade. Thackeray had contacted Apulkee to help with direct marketing of the produce.
Falke said they had managed to sell 13 tonnes of Nagpur oranges in the Marketyard of Pune this year from a shop managed directly by the farmers.
Another initiative, which Apulkee has got into, is to get the CSR wings of software companies to allow direct sale by farmers from their premises. “Most of the members of Apulkee are employees of software companies. Through them we have tried to get in touch with the CSR personnel. We are trying to push for the sale of authentic Nagpur oranges from the companies’ premises at reduced rates,” he said.
As mentioned, Capita would be the first company where such a stall will be set up by farmers. Falke said they were expecting a similar response from other companies too.
“Around 60 farmers are in Pune at this moment who would be manning the stalls. Our team will help them with the back-end support but we want the farmers to directly undertake the sale of their produce. This will help them get confidence,” he said.
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