Farmers joins hands by `Abhinav` Way!


Revolutionized traditional agriculture through Abhinav way


Transforms lives by group farming

It’s not always your day if you are a farmer. No wonder, agriculture isn’t looked at as a lucrative option since rub of the green seldom goes in a farmer’s favour. However,an out-of-the-box thinking can help farmers reap rich harvests and this is what has happened to this group of farmers in Maan, Hinjawadi near Pune. Abhinav Farmers Club, dedicated to floriculture and exotic vegetables, Organic vegatables has revolutionized traditional agriculture through direct marketing by doing away with middlemen. About 305 members in Pune stand to gain in their productivity today thanks to their membership to Abhinav Farmers Club. This club seems to have transformed into a peer-to-peer knowledge sharing platform in which farmers brainstorm various aspects of farming. As a result, the sophistication of their farming methods and their productivity seems to have vastly improved.

Abhinav Farmers Club is a national award winning group farming initiative located in Mulshi Taluka, of Pune district of Maharashtra a state in India. The Club was started by Dnyaneshwar Bodke, who is its chief volunteer. The club started with 11 farmers in Maharashtra cultivating about 153 hectares of land & set up as on 15 August 2004. It was conceptualised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and ATMA (Agriculture Technology Management Agency). The club has national presence with more than 45000 farmers belonging to the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat , Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana It received a national award for its activities in 2008.

Traditional farming compelled the farmers to wait for the required weather conditions to start farming. But, since Abhinav Club does their business in Greenhouses and Polytunnels , all farmer members are able to control the conditions in which the crops grow. That’s the reason why these farmers are able to excel as they don’t have to depend on nature for the right time to begin.
To understand market logistics, Club decided to market agricultural products directly instead of reling on the middlemen. Many farmers had burnt their fingers in the traditional market set-up. Mr. Bodke decided to take the lead. A decade ago, many retail chains were coming up with departmental stores and he started meeting people in the business. They agreed to purchase Organic vegetables,Grocry,fruits and Milk directly from Abhinav Farmers Club and pay 30 per cent more than the production cost. However, there were limitations as their payments would come after three months. After that, we started supplying the stuff to hotels and understood the entire marketing chain. Now, eateries buy vegetables from the club in bulk.
Abhinav Farmers Club, which grows flowers and organic vegetables in Polyhouses and sells them to retail outlets in Delhi and Mumbai; it also exports the produce to Europe. Abhianv Farmers club direct supplies vegetables and fruits over 15000 households in the city of Pune Ahmednagar, Jalgoan Sangali, Kolhapur, Solapur and Satara. It has an annual turnover of Rs 40 to 50 crore, with a profit margin of 30%.

Proper packaging ensures that the products remain fresh and reach their destinations without any damage. The farmers have been trained in the appropriate methods of sowing, planting, and handling the produce.
Organized farming has helped farmers in not only clearing debts but also earning handsomely claims Mr. Bodke says that every farmer in the group earns around Rs 1,000 per day.”There are farmers who earn Rs 3,000 to 5,000 a day. Of course, we work by the sweat of our brows. It’s a tough day from 7 am to 10 pm and still we have no complaints. We are ready to work harder. All we seek is a fair deal.”

Dnyanoba Rakshe a farmer near Pune, finds it difficult to hide his glee. Not so long ago, he reared goats and earned Rs 15,000-20,000 per month. Some time back, he shifted to Geer Cow (Deshi cow) and Baffelo dairy farming and now makes Rs 40,000 per month — more than double of what he earned earlier.

According to some Abhinav members, farming is a lucrative option. It is an essential commodity and will never lose its importance. Educated youth should be towards farming. Technology should be more efficiently & effectively used. We expect better connectivity, transport, power supply and clean administration from the Government.
Small farmers, who dominate Indian agriculture, are more productive than their larger peers, but earn less because their pricing power is weak. The structure of a producer company has emerged as the most efficient and popular organizational form for groups of small farmers to get better prices.
The farmer, whose life has inspired a NABARD-funded book called Abhinavgatha, Now we have opted for 1 –2 acre of organic farming and direct marketing of produce. (from Farmers to Consumers) with assistance from women SHG. 1 acre project include :

  1. Polytunnel – Exhotic Vegetable (Organic)
  2. Open Cultivation (raise bed,drip and mulching) – Indian Vegetable (Organic)
  3. 1 Gir (deshi) Cow – for organic fertilizers and A2 milk

The daily assured income from this project ranges between 1000-2000 Rs. We are implementing such project spread across india with the farmers groups. So, the life of the farmers is elevated (both financially and health wise) as a result of this project all these farmers are leading happy and satisfied life.

Dnyaneshwar Bodke