The story of Farm-to-Home Business
Started as farmer Producer Company (FPO) KisanKonnect is leading to the First Home Kitchen in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Kisan Konnect was started by a group of 11 farmers from Rahata village, from Shrirampur and Junnar areas of Maharashtra and ending by providing 2,000 farmers produce and official 400 farmer members.
KisanKonnect was started as a digital platform / ecommerce website to deliver fresh farm produce vegetables and fruits directly to customers whose homes in Mumbai and Pune cities in Maharashtra.
Following the national lockdown, farmers were begun to suffering huge losses because markets were closed, and the supply chains for fruits and vegetables were broken.
Soon after the national wide lockdown was announced in March by the government, Manish More from Pune district (a post graduate in agriculture) was feared in that his vegetables and fruit crop standing in his field would go unsold.
Although Manish more was in contact/ touch with other farmers and also be part of a Whatsapp group of farmers in other districts who were discussing ways to deliver their produce to other cities. And in the discussion their relative called up from Mumbai for the farm produce by telling scarcity of vegetables in the cities due to pandemic.
And this discussion recalls Manish More and he said that, “I agreed to send vegetables from our fields.” And after all the execution they send their first order of 60 boxes on the April 9, 2020. After the 1st successful execution they went to another order with the help of other farmers. A group of 11 farmers in the village pooled in their produce to execute the next orders which came in by word of mouth publicity in the cities over the last three months. After all this, a group of farmers from Rahata Village had registered as a farmer producer company.
The group of Farmers set up their own digital space and supply chain and made a ecommerce website. They starts took order from customers online and delivered fresh products directly to the doors of customers in the cities during the nationwide lockdown.
As the network widened, the group of 11 farmers expanded to 480 farmers over whatsapp group and they have developed a brand titled and named as KisanKonnect.
This is how Farm-to-Home Business stared.
Kisan Konnect Kitchen
The KisanKonnect was running smoothly and the farmer womens were already be the part of functional KisanKonnect. They slowly started using the digital platform, supply chains, call centre and use to tapped customers from Mumbai and Pune cities.
Then the group of farmer’s women started the kitchen around Diwali. They started in a small, 400-square-feet room at the MIDC area in Shrirampur, Pune district by a group of 20-25 women who were a part of the KisanKonnect already.
For around after three months, the Kisan Konnect kitchen has successfully retained all its old customers and had also gained new ones. Now the KisanKonnect Kitchen produces up to 100kg of snacks each day. And the best thing that the orders are packed and transported to customers within 48 hours after receiving the order online.
As in an interview, Gauri Raje, a founding member of KisanKonnect also said that they started cooking only Diwali snacks. But their customers insisted them and they continue selling snacks after Diwali as well. So after Diwali they have made category out to produce other food items such as chutney, aachar (Pickle), Maharashtrian and Gujarati sweets and finger foods after Diwali too.
Gauri Raje, a founding member of KisanKonnect also said that the Digital platform has not only helped us to earn a supplementary and stable income that our families earn, but it has also given the women employees a sense of empowerment and financial independence to earn self.
Before working with the KisanKonnect Kitchen, these farmer’s/ village women have been farmers working along with their other family members on their family’s farms.
With KisanKonnect, these women earns approximately up to Rs 10,000 a month by doing a seven to eight hour shift. And if a women wish to work over time, they are giving extra money per hour. All expenses of the kitchen, raw materials and salaries of the women are managed from the profit of KisanKonnect Kitchen which is earned from selling the snacks.
The Next generation of farmers who is their children who use to studying in cities had returned to the villages due to lockdown. With the help of their children’s the farmers started using social media. Today the group of youngsters has helped the farmers to set up a website where orders are taken and successfully executed by the farmers.
The farmers company is providing employment to nearly 80 locals, including village womens. After the pandemic lockdown there were a call centre shut down in the district and the employees were lose their jobs. But KisanKonnect connect the few boys and made them handle calls for taking orders on phone. For Deliveries, truck and vans were hired from villagers directly and initially to allay fears, the driver who would deliver their produce would be togged out in protection kits for their safety purpose.
Kisan Konnect Kitchen is soon planning to branch out into other nearby cities like Nashik and Aurangabad. Currently, KisanKonnect has over 400 farmer members, with over 2,000 farmers supplying their produce.
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