Written by Sahithi Divi @chintalanka, East Godavari
The East Godavari seems like the fruit garden of Andhra Pradesh region tremendously yields a variety of fruits standing a commendable market across the world. Producing large scale local fruits like mangoes, coconut, banana, palm, pineapple, coco, guava, water apple, custard apple, water melon, pomegranate, citrus varieties, papaya, grapes and also diversifying into premium crops like dragon fruits, strawberries to exotic varieties. Tropical vibe sown by sandy and clay soil from the other ends of Godavari provide livelihood to hamlets of tribal migrants who farm and paralelly look for work.
Although it projects a high volume economy there is a fragile supply chain vulnerable to numerous factors. Beauty laden by scraps of pained lives by farming conditions, wastage around logistic mismanagement, fruit vendors facing scarce shelf life affects, unsustainable packaging methods worsening the ecosystem for farming ultimately, washed away by extreme weather conditions and still finally leading to an unhappy consumer due to quality adulterations intervened by technology.
From the recent years government has been providing verified seeds and required information to the farmer regarding the weather , soil , yield storage , market price etc. Definitely progressing still unable to translate into financial gains primarily making it an irreversible loss. If one time’s produce becomes a victim of climate, inflation, lockdown or reduced selling platforms , farmers give away their produce for throw away prices after all the exploitation by markets lead by institutional change induced by demand on customer. Farmer is not aware of the scope of his product if value added.
A farmer who is below the poverty line can maximum work for a leased land and share promised profits depending on the land owner. The exploitation can occur from both the ends shadowed by a complete perspective of the middle men who face the market realities and competition amongst the wholesale dealers at the auction cluster. The produce is divided according to the shelf life , cost , distance to be travelled, packing cost, transportation logistics and human resources like traders. That is when the fruits reach the face of retail terrains for a consumer dominated universe of space deficiency, competitive pricing, storing facility, advertisement , marketing efficiency , sales, retail and individual sellers.
Consumer on the other hand can choose from the platter of online , onsite and home delivery options. The customer becomes the confused object seems like enjoying a variety of options unconsciously gets looped in loosing track of the farm to mouth supply chain transparency , real costs and quality manipulations.
Seed companies, Agri tech companies , Farmer benefit organisations, green start ups and crop influencers are working on rural innovations and ground issues. There is threat related with technologies that solve the problems on temporary basis without a collaborative effort of subject professionals.
The social paradise of the whole informal structure of rural fruit distribution mixed up with large pieces of corporate agriculture led farming where the farmer is over powered with information and course of direction but provided with welfare and betterment initiatives. It is very important to understand the foundational story behind all the products that we use or intake. Being aware helps us progress as a conscious buyer who is promoting a sustainable product where the money is equally distributed to beneficiaries.
Challenges And Opportunities
- Absence of platforms creating awareness about perishable food industry
- Small scale farming is struggling for market linkages
- Manipulation in organic farming – adulterated organics
- Absence of innovation due to retainment of talent at villages
- Our educational system is not promoting agriculture based courses that will create local jobs and solve local problems
- Scope in packaging
- Encourage kitchen gardens by homemakers and provide micro market linkages and empower
- Value addition is opening up new markets but it is a threat to farmers as the increase in number of middle men puts pressure on the farmer to sell the produce at a throw away cost.
- Transportation challenges , shelf life, processing based on demand.
- Inclusion of the uneducated segment or the educated but unemployed segment into execution on large scale
- Buy local promotion
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Written By Sahithi divi