MUKTSAR: A group of enterprising farmers in Muktsar have formed farming clubs to make agriculture more profitable by processing and marketing their produce. Now with the support from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), 40 local farmers have come together under the banner of Sanjh Farmer Producer Company and have opened Sanjh store at Muktsar.
The store sells agricultural produce processed by the farmers of these clubs. Farmer Jagmeet Singh of Bhalaiana and Kulwinder Singh of Bhangchari village had started the farmer club concept and later 38 more tillers joined hands.
Jagmeet said initially he started food processing with his farmer friends at the village level by registering the farmer club but marketing was a big problem. They used to put up stalls of their produce at the farmer fairs organized by Punjab Agriculture University or by the state agriculture department. Then, with the help of the vegetable growers association of India and Nabard, they have now coordinated with other Kisan clubs and progressive farmers of the district and have opened the store by getting their organization registered under the Companies Act.
Kulwinder said, “The farmer can produce everything but fails in marketing. To overcome this problem we have come to market our products. In this way we get the full value of our produce and the customer gets the quality produce at a lower price. Now there is no middleman between the farmer and the customer”.
Sanjh members Harjinder Singh of Rupana and Parminder Singh of Gurusar Yodha said, “Farmers and farmer clubs keep their products for sale here in the store and earning is provided back to them after sale of their product. This store provides food items such as pulses, corn flour, gram flour, jaggery, pickle, chilli, syrup, honey, certified organic products, milk, curd, cheese. They are now planning to start home delivery of vegetables in the city”.
Nabard district manager Baljeet Singh said the bank was ready to help entrepreneur farmers. “With processing, they can add value to the produce and with self-marketing, farmers can earn even more,” he said, adding this was a trend-setting initiative by young farmers and would show the path to many more in future.