I belong to a middle class family whose heart lies in farming. My father retired from the armed forces when I was in my fifth grade. Ever since his retirement, him and his brother started farming in our own land, where I used to be a regular helper.
Somewhere down the line, I fell in love with farming and realized that it was going to be a part of my life.
A couple of years back my uncle gave me the news that he was going to stop all farming which came as a shock to me.
When I enquired about the reason behind his decision, he told me that all his efforts were going in vain because he was not even reaching a break even,
let alone making a profit. A person whose heart lies in farming decides to quit, which made me research more about the situation.
My findings on meeting such farmers in person turned out to be a series of stories where all of them, like my uncle, had to quit farming because of the very same reason.
When they sold the fresh vegetables to the nearby shops, the owners paid them too less which wasn't even breaking even with their expenditure.
This gave me an insight to a deeper problem faced by the farmers too. They don't get what they deserve.
Same time I got job as software engineer/web developer in Ernakulam, working Monday to Friday. Being away from home, my friends and I stayed together and cooked our daily food.
The difference in taste and quality of the food we made from the vegetables we bought from the common market did not even come close to what
I got when I used the vegetables that were grown in my own farm. I also tested the bought vegetables in many way only to get shocked to see the type of chemicals
that are used on them, most of them toxic. On talking to many people including my colleagues, realized that every one of them are aware of the poison that they
are taking in. But they are forced to do that due to unavailability of quality, healthy vegetables from a reliable source. Everyone crave for non-toxic vegetables.
And the people who are willing to farm those are left with only losses which stop them from going any further. There is no point blaming them.
It is us, the younger generation who has to make a difference before it is too late.
When we make a simple census around us , We took 100 random people :-
Age group 50 and above, more than 60 are farmers/were farmers/loved farming.
Age group 30-50, around 20-30 are farmers/loved farming.
Age group 18-30, the healthy generation :- maximum of 4-8 are farmers/loved farming.
We are going to be a complete consumer state in the near future, and we are going to be fully unhealthy due to toxic vegetables. There is no point in blaming anyone, we have to do our own part.
The idea of non-toxic vegetables promises a better and healthier future. And the interest of people to buy these vegetables promises deserved income for our farmers.
While all these thoughts were still running fresh in my mind, I changed my job place to another IT company in InfoPark.
I was constantly thinking about the issue which gave me an idea to make use of the technology to support the cause. An online presence is what drives any cause in the current days, and I realized its potential.
Having the best vegetables at my disposal, but not a way to actually market it was the push that made me consider the digital way of doing it. And almost at the same time,
my father also gave me yet another shock when he announced that even he was giving up on farming.
But I stopped him from taking that hasty decision by telling him about my plan to start an online market place for all of the farmers out there.
I used my spare time to set up a website, and went home to help my father in the farm during the weekends.
When I discussed it with many of my friends, the ready-made response was "it's impossible", since there is no such concept or working model to review. Then each day I started to build concept for the same, did demo by myself as the customer and the supplier, changed the system around 5-6 times, and finally reached the existing system.
When I showed my interest to get into farming seriously to a friend of mine, the first question he had to ask was "Why did you do Engineering and MBA then?".
FamersFZ is an answer to every such individual who questioned my decision based on the degrees I possess.
The notion that a person cannot get his hands and feet dirty and sweaty just because he is qualified to be an engineer is a taboo that is prevailing everywhere.
I am willing to do it, and so are many others. It is also to the people who mocked at my decision saying that I did not have the necessary experience in farming nor marketing.
It took around 2.6 years to make my dream FarmersFZ in to reality.
Before the start of FarmersFZ, we ourselves delivered 2,000Kg of our Tapioca for around Rs.7-9/Kg in local market. Now I sell the same for around Rs.20-22/Kg through FarmersFZ. And FarmersFZ gives Rs.15/Kg to our farmers for the same. The same is the case for snake gouard, ladies finger, yam, long beans, bitter gouard etc. We wish to fix base prices for all the vegetables in the near future so that like any job, even farmers can calculate their income and move something towards savings.
When I carried vegetables to the market for selling, I wished someone came to my own place to collect them. Now FarmersFZ is doing it. The satisfaction and respect to the farmers have also increased.
It's a proud moment for me :-
Before 6 months my father decided to stop farming,
Now my father and his brother(Who gave up on farming 2 years back) contribute around 12-13 varities of vegetables of the total 36 items in the FarmersFZ cart. And so is the case for all our native farmers.
My optimism and will to launch it on the 19th of July with all the right ingredients paid well. Everything worked as planned, and it was an even more elegant opening as the person who inaugurated it was Prof.C Ravindernath MLA, who is the most apt person for it.
I am happy and proud that my hard work has paid off. FamersFZ is now a successful venture, thanks to everyone who supported us all along our journey so far. FarmerFZ also expect the same support in the days to come. FarmersFZ pledged to deliver the best vegetables to you, and without your support, FarmersFZ will tremble.
Our achievements at a glance :
- More than 120+ satisfied farmers, which include Karshaka Mitra(2015/2016) winner Sinoj K S and his team.
- Partnered with leading software firms in infopark including UST Global, Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) and Rapid Value.
- More than 4000+ satisfied customers
- Accomplished in excess of 12000 orders
- Packed more than 100,000 vegetable items
- Being an enterprise with high degree of social commitment,
we have partnered with Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action(CISSA)-a government initiative for social wellfare
- Two delivery centres in Carnival infopark and TCS associate Service Centre
- Regular delivery of Fresh Vegetables in more than 30 Flats/Villas/Apartments near by infopark
- FarmersFz consist of 36 fresh vegetables, which is the biggest fresh vegetable cart in the world
Now FarmersFZ is a team work : #Pradeep P S #Ambhu Jackshan #Shajan Babu #George Thomas #Ajay Sankar #Sinoj #Babu P S #Viji #Sini #Aji #Kalyani
Our Vegetables : #Ladies Finger #Tapioca #Green Chilly #Pumkin #AshGourd #Snake Gourd #Plantain Fruit #Plantain Stem #Bannana Flower #Ivy Gourd
#Long Beans #Salad Cucumber #Yam #Bottle Gourd #Bitter Gourd #Tomato #Cholam #Ridge Gourd #Cucumber #Giner #Colocasia #Chinese Potato #Coconut #Brinjaal
#Spinach #Jackfruit #Chembin Thaalu #Chena Thandu #Kolpuli #Kodapuli #Muringayila #Pappaya #Kaanthari Mulak #Kathali Kkaya #Kannan Kaaya
#Nendra Pazham #Cheru Kizhangu
Coming Soon : #Pepper Powder #Organic Rice #Coconut Oil #Naadan Egg #Carrot #Cabbage #cauliflower #Onion
Thank you once again,
**Let's do farming - farming for the better future**