The Maha Farmers Producer Company (MahaFPC) — the umbrella organisation of farmers, producers and companies (FPCs) in the state — has entered an agreement with the chicken retailer, Amir Chicken, to retail onions at the latter’s outlets.
Yogesh Thorat, managing director of MahaFPC, said in the first go, 10 outlets of Amir Chicken in Pune had started selling onion procured and packed by the FPCs.
At present in Maharashtra, the FPCs are working with four main commodities — pulses, soybean, maize and onion. At the farm gate-level, the FPCs procure the commodities and then sell it through various wholesale and organised channels. These farmer-led bodies have also participated in government-led procurement programmes.
Thorat said that this year, 21 FPCs have participated in procurement of onion under the Price Stabilzation Fund (PSF) scheme. The FPCs have effected procurement of 5,300 tonne of onions, which is stored at 50 different locations in the state, mainly in the districts of Pune, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Aurangabad. The average price of procurement from farmers was Rs 13-14 per kg. The FPCs then sorted and graded the onion, which has resulted in the value addition and subsequent increase in prices of the commodity.
As per the agreement with Amir Chicken, onions will be sold in three-kilo packs that will be displayed at the shops. Two separate revenue models are being worked out as Thorat said they would finalise or fine tune the same after getting sales feedback of the first week.
Other than Amir Chicken, MahaFPC is further exploring retail channels both inside and outside the state. Thorat said talks were on with organised retail players to sell onions to them. Also, the states, which do not grow onion, are potential customers of the MahaFPC. A delegation of Assam had visited the state last week and talks were on to finalise a mechanism, which would see the MahaFPC selling onions directly to the state government.
Similar to Assam, talks are also at advanced stages with the Delhi government, to finalise a deal, following which the MahaFPC will facilitate selling of onion, procured in Maharashtra, at the national capital. “Talks with ministers in the Delhi government have been fruitful. We are hopeful of a breakthrough there,” he said. The FPCs has also started selling onions to Mother Dairy, to be retailed through its Safaal outlets.
Thorat said they would also explore selling of onions through various other channels. The MahaFPC can retail onions through stalls, which sells eggs.