In this fast paced life, everyone seeks good and high quality products for which we even make huge toils. Economic and high quality vegetables are the demand of the time and this is what the company Sabziwala is ensuring. The company started its operation an year back and has already tightened its grip in Delhi. Where in one part of Delhi, people spend large to buy high quality vegetables, there is also a part where people also want high quality vegetables but in limited budget, and the company is dealing with the latter section of population. Company’s founder and managing director Pravesh Sharma had been in the Indian Administrative Service for 34 years and has an experience of 18 years in the field of agriculture. Being at the job, he has worked as an Agriculture Secretary in the Government of Madhya Pradesh, has represented India in the International Fund for Agriculture Development and has also served as the Managing Director of SFAC for five years where he conceptualized the idea of Farmer Producing Organization (FPO) to benefit the small holders. Krishi Jagran team discussed about the detailed information about the company and problems in the area of perishable agricultural commodities.
- How did the idea of Sabziwala came up?
I was always worried by thinking that when the farmer goes to sell his goods, he/she does not fix his/her own price, but the dealer decides the price of his/her products. That's utterly wrong. Most of the farmers in India have a very small land holding where the production is low and farmers has to be a part of forced selling of their produce, in this process they gain very little. So it was thought to be created by bringing the farmers together so that when farmer sells his merchandise, it could be organized and his/her produce can be sold at a good price. The company started with this thought.
- How does the company benefits both the farmer and the consumers ?
Most of the time, it is seen that neither the farmer gets the fair price nor does the customer gets fair quality product on economic prices. I felt the lacuna lies in the fact that the farmers and the market is not properly linked. Our company provides solution to this problem. We buy fresh vegetables and fruits from farmer at fair prices and provide high quality commodities to the middle class at reasonable prices. And hence it benefits both the farmer and the consumer equally.
- What kind of problems did the company face during its initial stage ?
There are many problems in this area in today's time. Even today, the farmer is not aware of any kind of agricultural scientific advancement, which makes the quality of production low. The farmer who comes to our collection center only has 30 percent of the high quality produce. We are also giving technical education to our FPO. Thereby, the high quality production of farmers will increase and gradually earnings will also increase. We buy vegetables at 10 to 12 % less than prices prevailed at Azadpur mandi. When the farmer brings his own produce to Azadpur Mandi, it costs a lot of taxes, aadhat, transportation costs, labor cost etc. The reason for which income decreases.
- Your company website has a video which shows that you buy back the left over vegetables. If yes, How?
As everyone knows that there are many types of markets in Delhi, we make available fruits and vegetables to all the shops in the morning just like milk. Those who are not able to sell vegetable-fruits etc. on that day, the next day we take them back from the shops and sell them in Delhi's B grade market area, Dhabas, Hotel, Slum etc.
- Many conferences etc are organized in Delhi and metropolitan cities regularly. We would like to know, what do you think of its use and benefits for the farmers?
I believe every conference has a purpose. Several types of positive aspects also comes up here. Many solutions has also been framed due to such conferences, and I believe that the farmers who have become somewhat aware today, it’s the result of such conferences.
- How many FPOs and stores are connected with the company?
About 25 FPOs are connected with the company. Those are from different corners of the country and have more than 300 outlets in Delhi. We started from Delhi's Dwarka outlet. The company now has 50 employees.
- What are the future plans of the company?
We would like to expand our business further. We will try to establish 1000 outlets in Delhi NCR by December this year. We are also planning to move towards cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad .