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Far from FDI cry, Hapur farmers adore Walmart


Sonal Joshi, CNN-IBN
Dec 07, 2011 at 01:42pm IST

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New Delhi: On a day when the Opposition has managed to get the government to holdback FDI in multi-brand retail, it is a different story on ground as farmers want FDI in the small town of Hapur.

The claim is being made by a Walmart funded centre in Hapur that pays farmers more than double for their produce.

CNN-IBN travelled to Hapur and found out that Walmart has come as a welcome relief for the farmers.

The 54-year-old Santosh Lata of Hapur starts her day by reading SMSes from Sunhara Walmart on the suburbs of Delhi.

The SMS from Sunhara Walmart is the gateway for modern retail and better prices for Santosh Lata and 150 other farmers in this village.

Santosh and many other women like her get on to harvesting vegetables from their farm, load them in the bullock-cart and bring to the collection centre. The project is funded by the Walmart Foundation.

Santosh is happy as she gets paid Rs 6 per kg for this cabbage. If she sells it in mandi, she would have got half the price after haggling with the middlemen. She dreads going to the mandi now.

Santosh Lata says, "We don't gain anything by selling our vegetables directly in the market. We are very happy with Bharti Walmart. We are getting good amount of money for our hard work from them."

In just a matter of six months, the project has brought 800 such women farmers from eight villages in Uttar Pradesh under this programme. These farmers wasted lot of their money and time before this project came to their village.

When MNC retail chains buy directly from farmers, something that Bharti Walmart is doing here in Hapur, then the need of middlemen or the commission agent gets eliminated which saves these farmers from lot of botheration and wastage of their product.

In a usual supply chain, the farmer who does the maximum investment and puts in all the hard work gets just about 20 per cent of the whole price and commission agent takes about 45 per cent of the share.

Santosh is getting paid Rs 3300 for 4 days supply. In mandi, she would have earned not even half of this amount, about Rs 1000.

End users also have an advantage as quality is strictly taken care of.

Neelam Tyagi, Secretary, Laxmi Jan Seva Sansthan, says, "After Walmart came here, quality of the product got better. They don't use harmful chemicals."

As the government puts FDI in retail on hold, there are some who are seeing value and freedom from middlemen in modern retail.

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