At Organo, partnerships have been the best way to inculcate best practices and create Brand Ambassadors who in turn propagate and put the Organo way of life into practice. There are certain practices at Organo by the residents, also known as Naandians, as a community, which are hugely beneficial to the people around. How we make that profitable is another aspect of conducting business at Organo. Our approach is to make people as stakeholders in the venture. One such business model which has set a trend is the Farm Store. As a part of the Organo outreach program aimed at involving communities, we go into the villages and teach them organic practices.
Early into the program, we’ve motivated 93 people to become organic farmers with the involvement of one of our resident experts Bhiksham Gujja and his colleague Vinod Vemula Goud, both social agriculturists, to motivate people to convert their lands into organic farms. This endeavour has met with success and most farmers have now shifted to organic farming. We have a dedicated staff member on board, who goes into the villages and conducts regular workshops to sensitize people to turn their lands into organic farms.
Farm Store & FPOs
As of today, we have two FPOs (Farm produce organisations) which are formed and run by the villagers in Bakaram and Yenkapally. These farmers grow organic food, sell at our Farm Store and get paid on the spot without the hassles of marketing and middle men. We’ve successfully eliminated the marketing chain with this practice.
Within the Naandi community, there are home owners who use it as a weekend home. We engage them to spread the word. In the case of residents, we engage their network to promote the Farm Store through word-of-mouth.
Organo Residents – Ms. Kajal Maheswari ( left) and Ms. Anu Dhubey( right) initiated themselves to be the brand assambadors for Organo’s farm to table mission, organic farming endeavours and Rurban impact at their primary living community –NCC Urban
At another level, there are farmers who are interested in turning to organic methods. We conduct workshops for them to familiarize them with the best practices. Farmers have no idea where the food he’s producing is going; he doesn’t know the end user. If he did, he may probably approach the methods he employs in farming more responsibly. There is a huge disconnect between the farmer and the consumer. In order to establish that connection, we escort the farmers into the communities and introduce them to urban consumers.
Farmers of Organo were active part of Organo Farm Stores events at NCC Urban community
Community members of L&T Serene County interacts with Farmers of Organo at Meet the Farmer Drive by Organo Farm Stores
In the process of bridging the gap, we also make a reasonable profit by being the interface. At the same time, we invite the end-users to the farms. After all, seeing is believing. We enable the customers to see where their food is coming from and how safe it is. By connecting the farmer to the consumer, we’re building trust between the two and at the same time creating the farm to fork concept. This has a better overall impact because the farmers have the marketplace at their disposal with assured income and the consumers are assured of food safety. It’s a win-win situation.
Another important aspect is to effectively sensitizing the neighbouring farms. Organic living is possible only when we change the whole concept of farm the way it exists today. Regardless of our best practices, we will reach a plateau if the farmers in the surrounding villages use harmful pesticides and manures. The air and water contamination will have an adverse impact whether we like it or not. It is not possible to achieve any progress in isolation. Our approach has to be inclusive and holistic by changing the way people approach farming. This is the sole reason why we have expanded our horizons and pushed our boundaries constantly. Just by living in the community and following the organic way of life, Naandians have become catalysts in the process.
Naandians actively involved in Waste Management Drive in Yenkapally village
Organo Residents distributed bins for waste segregation. An easy-to-understand know how waste segregation literature has been installed across the village.
Now that we’ve converted the farmers to follow organic practices, how do we ensure they stay committed to the process? We had to give them some incentive, some value addition. So we came up with the idea of giving the. Indian native Gir cows on interest free loans. When half the investment is made by them, the ownership and the responsibility towards making the business profitable is bound to be higher. The farmers have the prerogative to choose the cow they wish to own after ascertaining the health and fitness of the cow. In order to make it lighter for them, we recover the loan through the sale of milk. The FPOs decide the price of the milk they want to sell it to Organo at. We buy back at half the price and adjust the other half towards the loan.
Our next step is Agritainment.