n a program ‘farm to fork’ started by Punjab’s department of horticulture at least 854 farmers of five districts – Ludhiana, Amritsar, Mohali, Patiala, Sangrur and Mansa – have joined hands to supply seasonal vegetables and fruits in the cities and towns which falls in the approach area of their villages.
Navdeep Singh Boparai who helps in organising farmers groups said that he work with passion to help farmers and it is beneficial for consumers to buy directly from the growers.
He Explains difference in veggies sold by farmer groups:
- Look and feel of these vegetables will never be at par with the vegetables provided by the local vendors/ rehri /hawkers
- In an off chance, some vegetables might even have some worms in them the reason for these issues (or as some people might call “defect”) is very simple.
- Although people prefer “good looking” vegetables, our selected farmers emphasis on using minimal pesticide (and thereby having lower production) since it is better for consumption, as compared to profiting
- These vegetables are not pre washed /dipped in water before selling. Most commercial vendors would wash the veggies before delivering that not only makes it look clean, but also increases the weight
- Vegetables like cauliflower might have worms on it. The presence of such organisms means that if insects are able to survive on it, it is fit for human consumption as compared to the chemically treated veggies abundantly available
- Farmers using minimal pesticides are promoting even if it is affecting their produce while maintaining market rates.
For fresh veggies and fruits from farmers, consumers can contact on 96467-49467, 99886-67172
IN COVID-19 FARMERS START HOME DELIVER OF VEGETABLES; FARM TO FORK MODEL LAUNCHED
Gurpreet Singh Shergill, a farmer from Majhal village in Patiala, is a happy man, for having served the people who were locked down in the days of curfew imposed to check spread of novel corona virus. He has formed a farmers’ group ‘Dynamic Diversified Farmers, and told cropsfarming.com that the model has shown good results. An award winning farmers ion engaged in horticulture growing vegetables and in also into growing flowers.
“We have 13 farmers in our group who have 200 acre to grow vegetables on. They are growing seasonal vegetables since six years and during lockdown they made maximum profits,” said Shergill. He said he is flush with orders from Patiala and need not go beyond the city.
FARM TO FORK MODEL CATCHES WITH PUNJAB FARMERS
“The idea came in after March 22 when lockdown was imposed. We created informal self-help groups, who supplied fresh produce to resident welfare associations in cities and towns,” said Shailendra Kaur, director horticulture. According to her there are 48 interest groups and 1383 farmers are attached to these groups.
Most farmers who have reaped benefit of farm to fork scheme have set up poly-house and shade net house and are themselves engaged in plucking, grading, sorting, making packets and taking produce to consumers’ doorsteps. By May end, 16,500 tonne vegetables and fruits have been sold and some groups are getting bulk orders from outside Punjab.
“We are replicating the model across state and have started converting these informal groups to farmer producer organisations so that they can be self-reliant,” said Kaur.
According to Ravi Pal Singh a horticulture development officer in Punjab’s horticulture department who is coordinating with the vegetable and fruit growers and also the consumers in cities and towns said that working a pivot gives a gratifying experience. He said that soon the movement will catch up in entire Punjab and there are bulk orders from outside states such as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.