Bengaluru

Fresh from farm, directly to home during COVID-19 lockdown

A vendor selling vegetables and greens at Basavanagudi during the lockdown earlier this month.

A vendor selling vegetables and greens at Basavanagudi during the lockdown earlier this month.   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

With the dual aim of helping farmers in distress and getting fresh items at a fair price, many residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and citizens’ groups are now sourcing the produce directly from farms.

In most cases, orders are taken via Google Forms and payment is done through e-wallets. Residents are informed of the date and time of delivery. Once farmers or their representatives come of the apartment complex or neighbourhood, people can collect their orders within a short period of time while following social distancing norms.

Pai Layout Residents’ Welfare Association (PLRWA), on Old Madras Road, is facilitating over 60 apartments and individual houses in the vicinity to directly buy vegetables and fruits from a farmer from Chickballapur district. Recently, they received over 620 kg of grapes and 550 kg of vegetables, including capsicum and long green brinjal.

N.H. Subramanian of PLRWA said the lockdown forced them to think of out of the box. “We plan to continue to directly buy from farmers even after the lockdown,” he added.

Puneeth G., a farmer from Goramadogu village in Chickballapur, who was approached by PLRWA, is relieved that he could make some money during this period without having to pay a middleman. “Since it is group buying, I sold my produce in one go, at one stop without the fear of uncertainty of business,” he said.

Another such initiative is the ‘Ibbalur Farmer’s Market’, where a few apartments and independent houses are buying seasonal vegetables and fruits from farmers from different areas. The produce includes mangoes from Kanakapura, watermelons from Nelamangala, muskmelons from Channapatna, and grapes from Devanahalli.

K.G. Mohan, a volunteer at the market, said many households were buying extra produce to not only help farmers, but also provide food for those in need. “We donate fruits and vegetables to the Akshaya Patra Foundation even as the farmer benefits directly,” he said.

Growing popularity

Sarjapur Residents’ Welfare Association (SRWA) started ‘Vegetables on Wheels’ a few days after the lockdown began. As there are many who farm around Sarjapur, SRWA, with the help of the local police, started facilitating sale between local farmers and customers in the area. “The popularity of the initiative is growing by the day and there is an increase in demand also. I am now getting calls from other RWAs about the initiative,” said Joy V.R. of SRWA. A similar initiative is being carried out by the citizens’ group Voice of Sarjapur.

Given the freshness of the produce they are receiving, residents are hoping that these farmers’ markets continue even after the lockdown is lifted.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 2:25:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/fresh-from-farm-directly-to-home-during-covid-19-lockdown/article31456667.ece

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