Sahyadri farmer producer company to launch first-ever ‘pvt market’ for grapes

SAHYADRI FARMERS Producer Company (FPC) will be launching the first-ever private market for grapes in the country. Vilas Shinde, CMD of the company, while speaking to The Indian Express, said this digital and physical market would help both traders and farmers in getting more transparency in the trade of commodities and allow for better price realisation.

Based in Mohadi village in Nashik’s Dindori taluka, Sahyadri is the largest exporter of grapes in the country. Other than grapes, the company, which prides itself as being managed wholly by farmers, is an important player in tomato and resins. Sahyadri’s facility is used by brands like Hindustan Lever to bottle ketchups. The company also supplies tomato puree to other brands of ketchup manufacturers. Annually, the company exports nearly 18,000 tonnes of fresh grapes mainly to the European and Middle-East markets.

The decision to venture into the field of private markets, Shinde said, was taken to plug the present lacunae in the marketing of grapes and tomato. Grapes. being a highly perishable commodity, are traded at the farm gate with traders dealing with the farmers directly. While for farmers this cuts out the logistic costs like transportation, the lack of any safety net leaves the risk of them being defrauded.

Grape growers of Nashik report nearly Rs 10-15 crore in losses after traders vanish without a trace post paying for the whole consignments. Shinde said lack of accountability on the part of the traders is mostly because of any system of tracking them by a third party. Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees issue license to the traders and take bank securities which are invoked in case the trader fails to pay the farmer on time. “Our digital and physical market will plug this gap–we will keep track of the traders to prevent defalcation,” he said. The hybrid platform would allow for ease of trade as traders can seal deals both online and offline.

Spread over six acres in Mohadi, Shinde said the market would be using the cold storage facility to help farmers store their produce in case they are not happy with the price being commanded.

“Open auction will help better realisation of prices,” he said. Sahyadri has invested Rs 15 crores for setting up of the private markets. The private market license would be handed over to Shinde later in the day.

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