Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company Ltd. (SFPCL) was established in 2011 and it is located in Nashik district of the state of Maharashtra State. It is considered to be one of the most agriculturally advanced districts in India. Within a decade, SFPCL became the largest farmer-owned company in the country. It brought together small farmers and gave them a fair price for their agricultural produce.
A ‘farmer-entrepreneurs’ company, led by Vilas Shinde was turned into a full-fledged cooperative or Farmers Producer Company (FPC), when there were economic and market-driven compulsions behind it. Sahyadri made these farmers a part of a profitable agricultural value chain and transformed a small-marginal farmer’s activity into a giant.
This is today a self- motivated farmer movement and has great moral standing behind it. Having well-established business relationships built on trust and commitment, Sahyadri Farms has exported over 1459 containers (around 22 thousand tonnes) of grapes to various world markets the last season of ‘18-19.’
With over 8000 growers registered with a total area of 15789 Acres, Sahyadri Farms is constantly leading and pioneering the holistic ‘Seed to Plate’ agri-industry in India. Sahyadri has a three-tier structure comprising the apex organization itself, crop-wise FPCs and farmers under them. The mandate of the crop-wise FPCs for grapes as well as tomatoes, pomegranates, bananas, guavas, and other fruits & vegetables is to provide technical support to farmers, apart from undertaking aggregation, grading, sorting and packaging of produce. The apex Sahyadri FPC handles post-harvest management, processing, distribution, and marketing, both for exports and the domestic market.
Sahyadri’s 65-acre campus has an infrastructure for packing, pre-cooling, ripening, cold storage and aseptic processing of the produce of its farmer-members. Equally significant is the backend integration system, wherein the plots of individual farmers are geo-tagged to allow the company to keep a real-time update of the crop’s growth and accordingly plan its harvest calendar. Besides remotely monitoring crop conditions on the service OUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO MAKE SMALL FARMERS’ AGRICULTURE PROFITABLE: SAHYADRI FARMS ground through an in-house IT platform, Sahyadri also claims to guarantee complete traceability of its farmers’ produce by embedding the related information in bar-coded packets. Sahyadri Farms is today, India’s largest Global Gap certified group with many international grade certifications in the food industry.
Sahyadri Farms rightly concentrated on the procurement, processing, pricing and marketing aspects of farm produce. The company not only purchased farm produce but also provided quality inputs, knowledge, and technical support which is of great benefit to the members. Sahyadri Farms began as a set of farmers who came together to serve a large purpose – to create an infrastructure to grow traceable, safe, healthy and affordable farm produce for consumers worldwide.
Sahyadri Farms has established Sahyadri Agro Retail Ltd (SARL) as a subsidiary of Sahyadri Farmers Producer Co. Ltd. Sahyadri Retail started introducing quality, fruit drinks, fruit jams, tomato ketchup products, aseptic- pulp & concentrates, condiments vegetable paste & purees, frozen puree, IQF fruits & vegetables, crush/syrup/ squash which are available in nearly 10,000 retail outlets in Maharashtra.
All of this going back to where it started – believing it’s the right of the Consumer to have control over what they buy and what they eat. Sahyadri Farms has been developing owned retail stores for Fresh & Quality Fruits & vegetables.
There are 13 stores in function at Mumbai and Nashik. In the next two years, more retail outlets will be set up by Sahyadri. The work done by Sahyadri Farms to empower small farmers is also being taken up globally. FMO, the Netherlands’ development finance company has loaned €7.50 million to Sahyadri Farmers Producer Co. Ltd. “This financing is expected to give a boost to the agriculture and food processing operations of Sahyadri and reduce wastages and spoilage,” FMO said in a disclosure. The decision by FMO to fund a Farmers Producer Company in India should be considered promising and a proud moment not only for Sahyadri but for the entire FPC movement in India. While concentrating on the market needs, it is also essential to provide required technology to farmers which will help them in agriculture produce. Sahyadri has entered into a collaboration with Kisanhub (UK). Sahyadri’s grape-producing members are availing benefits of this facility.
The availability of skilled manpower is a big problem. Realizing this, Sahyadri has launched a skill development facility at their Mohadi campus. This is an attempt to train youngsters from farmer’s families and provide them with employment opportunities. Tata Strive (an initiative of Tata group Companies) is the project partner of Sahyadri.
Through this training, more than 150 youngsters got employment within a year. Sahyadri Rural Foundation is also set up which focusses on Rural Development. Sahyadri believes in the Late Ex-President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision of `Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Area (PURA). To bring this vision into reality Sahyadri has associated with SATV Foundation, an organization led by retired IAS officer Mr. Chandrakant Dalvi. Sahyadri has been working with the SATV Foundation for the rural development of villages under their Mohadi Cluster development.