Farmvalli Organics is a start-up that bridges the gap between organic farmers and customers in the city. Maruthu Pandi, one of the founders, says, “We are following a method called selective independent farming. Unlike other vegetable service providers, we let the customers choose the veggies by providing all means of transparency from seeding to harvesting. Since people wanted to know where their food is coming from, we have a unique subscription model called rent-a-farm. In this, they can rent a 550 sq ft farm in Chengalpattu or Guduvancherry and do farming sitting at the comfort of their homes. They can select up to 10 vegetables that need to be cultivated and can monitor their growth.
“We strictly follow organic farming methods. After lockdown, many preferred to cultivate different types of keerai like vendhaya keerai, palak keerai, siru keerai, sivappu keerai and more. Vegetables from the farm will be delivered once or twice a week, depending on the demand of the clients.”
Apart from the rent-a-farm concept, the team has also collaborated with other organics farmers from Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru. “These days, people are researching the benefits of organically produced vegetables and fruits. We get a lot of queries from people regarding the same. We also deliver country chicken and eggs through our app,” he adds.
Budgetables started by Vinay and team is another start-up that sells farm-fresh produce to Chennaiites. “We procure veggies and fruits from small-scale farmers in and around Chennai and sell to those in need. This is one of the best ways to bridge the gap between consumer needs and farmer’s welfare during the pandemic. While consumers are finding it hard to step out to get their daily needs, farmers around the state are unable to send out their harvests. Since we only supply freshly harvest vegetables, we take at least 1 or 2 days to deliver. This also helps us avoid spoilage and excessive storing. Our only challenge was to reach the customers on time because of the new rules,” says Sathya, who handles logistics and customer support.
With Budgetables, the team was hoping to serve people and in that process, they have managed to employ young boys and homemakers who were daily wage labours and didn’t have an earning during the lockdown. “The akkas help us with sorting vegetables and fruits before it is sent out to the customer and the boys do the delivery. We are also following all the sanitary protocols advised by the government,” he adds.