ibnlive » India

Sep 16, 2012 at 11:25am IST

Farmers hail FDI in retail as politicians continue to fight

Hapur: The SMS from Sunhara Walmart is the gateway for modern retail and better prices for 54-year-old Santosh Lata and 150 other farmers of Hapur on the suburbs of Delhi. Santosh and many other women like her get on to harvesting vegetables from their farm, load them in bullock-cart and bring to a collection centre. The project is funded by the Walmart Foundation.

Santosh says, "Earlier we used to send the vegetables to mandi. It wasn't good. Sometimes we would get Rs 50, sometimes Rs 100. We would not earn any profit. Bharti Walmart has helped us earn profit and we are very happy with it."

In just a matter of six months, the project has brought 800 such women farmers from eight villages in Uttar Pradesh under this programme.

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 the 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

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

Laxmi Jan Seva Sansthan secretary Neelam Tyagi says, "Earlier the farmers were growing vegetables at their level. But ever since ASI, Bharti Walmart have come, the quality of the produce is being taken care of. Harmful chemicals are not used. The quality of the vegetables here is differnt."

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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