Barely earning 30-40% of the market price from the local trader community for their naturally grown quality mangoes, the small tribal village 'Sayalpada' from tehsil 'Surgana' of Nasik district made a history by exporting its Kesar mangoes to Houston, Texas in the USA and gaining almost 200% more than what they usually get. The farmers from ‘Sayalpada’ village mostly grow mangoes (Kesar), rice, millets and cereals. The area around the village is blessed with adequate natural resources but due to lack of direct market linkage, they usually end up selling produce at a very low price.
A collaborative group of farmers led by farmer Chabbu Dhum having their own agriculture land have been cultivating kesar mango along with some other crops. Lack of financial assistance makes it difficult for them to install the drip irrigation on their farm lands and they have to make do with manual methods of irrigation from water sources which are a few hundred meters away from them. They do not apply any chemical fertilizer to grow their crops and only use organic cow dung manure once in a year. They do not even spray any kind of chemicals over the crop. This means that their Mangoes are grown almost like the trees in the wild and as natural as nature would provide the fruits. In Spite of the fruit being so close to natural, it does not get any special price benefit of producing natural products because conventional traders purchase them as per market or below market rate and they sold off along with chemical treated Mangoes because of lack of organized facility available for marketing/selling the natural products. So to solve this issue in 2021 young farmer's son, Vishal Jadhav managing director ecokisan fpc with ashok pingle executive director ecokisan fpc took up the initiative to help them for fair trade and link to domestic as well as international markets .
In his search for export opportunities for these Kesar mangoes he was able to export the Kesar Mangoes through an AgriTech start-up Kheti-badi.com ( which promotes organic farming and direct market linkage) to the importer ‘DV Fresh Produce LLC’ in the USA in May 2022. All the groundwork and due diligence such as ripeness of the fruit, size, harvest time, post harvest methods, following the right processes to ensure stipulated product compliances, ensuring necessary documentation was totally handled by Ecokisan FPC. They also got excellent and timely support from nashi agricultural department -. While the harvest to export processes were guided by a proprietary firm ‘Horticon’ (Pune based business associate of Kheti-Badi.com), The entire order was facilitated by the startup Kheti-Badi.com by bringing all the stakeholders together and documenting it digitally for future reference. No one had previous experience in exports, especially exporting directly from the farmers was an uphill task, hence giving an opportunity to learn many things in the process. Due to the perishable nature of the mangoes, every stakeholder had to overcome the issues within a short span of time to export successfully to Texas, USA on 29 th may 2022.
People from all over the society appreciated this moment. Since the entire supply chain process was lean (managed by kheti-badi.com), the cost benefits were passed on to the tribal farmers fetching them upto 250% profit for this mango season. Ecokisan FPC will be onboarding more than 50 tribal farmers from this region for organic NPOP standard certification soon, so that the various products grown by them can be supplied to domestic and international markets resulting in more income and better livelihood.