Last week, Tadisina Laya and Dushyanth Reddy, a farmer couple from a village near Siddipet, about 100 km from here, have come across the idea of supplying vegetables at the doorstep of households during this time of lockdown.
They thought about this possibility while travelling in their car to their farm when they have learnt the prices of vegetables have plunged so sharply that the big retail chains like Reliance and Big Basket to which they were supplying their produce hitherto have offered a price of just ₹ 20 a kg for some vegetables for which the price was ruling at ₹ 50 a kg just a few days ago.
"At ₹ 20 a kg, we can’t even meet the production cost. So, we thought why can’t we collect vegetables from farmers of nearby villages and deliver them to households in Hyderabad. This way, both farmers and the consumers will be benefited". Ms Laya Reddy told The Hindu, explaining the reasons for their "Farm to Home" initiative which they commenced two days ago.
The couple, who are growing vegetables on an extent of 14 acres out of their 30-acre agricultural land, wasted no time in putting their idea into practice. They contacted some other farmers who are producing different types of vegetables and made Siddipet the collection point from where they could transport the produce to the city.
They have also come up with a combo pack that is estimated to be sufficient for a small family for one week. The pack contains 1 kg of onions, 500 gms potato, 1 kg tamato, 1 kg ladies finger, 500 gms ivy gourd, 250 gms broad beans, 500 gms ridge gourd, 500 gms carrot, 500 gms bitter gourd, 500 gms cucumber, 500 gms green chilli, six small bundles of spinach, two bundles of coriander, two bundles of mint leaves, one bottle gourd and two drumsticks.
Each combo pack is priced at ₹300. Minor alterations will be done in the combo depending on the availability of vegetables. However, the minimum order to be placed should be 40 packets. Order can be placed over phone, through SMS or WhatsApp.
After working out the combo pack, Ms Laya Reddy said messages in this regard were sent to three of their cousins over WhatsApp. "The same day we received 10,000 messages".
Two days ago, the first day of the vegetables delivery, “We have received orders for 800 packets but have been able to supply only 600 packs for want of sufficient vegetables,” she said. The couple had also faced initial hiccups. There had been a delay in supply. “We also could not supply all the items mentioned in the list as some vegetables are not sufficiently available,” Ms Laya Reddy said.
Now the couple is working on the negative and positive feedback it got and trying to remove the bottlenecks. They decided to supply vegetables again to the same customers free of cost. "They can pay only if they are satisfied with the vegetables supplied, if not, no,” she averred.
If the customers are happy, they want to continue the supply of vegetables even after the lockdown. Keeping this in mind, they are trying to rope in more farmers. At present, they have been working with 20-25 farmers. The vegetables are being delivered by two mini trucks, each having the capacity to carry 200-220 packets.