KOCHI: Micheal Vattakkanayil from Kudaythoor near Thodupuzha is a happy man now. This time, the 80- year-old farmer could sell the products from his remote farm much easier and swiftly than last year through a novel manner.
Almost half of the 1,500 kilograms of his dried tapioca, produced organically, was sold in less than a fortnight, thanks to entekrishi.com, the first website from the state which aims to provide platform for small and middle-level farmers.
“The farming was not profitable this year as the price of dried tapioca went almost half that of the last year. However we could sell it without much difficult as calls came from buyers after getting information from the site. Last year we had to take it to the shops,” he said.
It was his younger son, a scientific officer who introduced him to the site. Micheal adds that he could sell bananas too with the help of the website.
“We started the portal for the benefit of small farmers who are engaged in farming out of their passion and not as a profession. who would find it difficult to market paltry quantities of their agri products. Mainly for two reasons Most of them may be part timers and will have some apprehension about taking the small quantity to shop for selling, said Jaison J Elayidam, the non-working director of aXtec IT solutions who conceived the idea.
Jaison, who is a consultant with IBS at Infopark Kochi was inspired from the part-time farming of his parents, while employed. “My mother used to grow small amounts of vegetables while she was working with the Social Welfare Department. However at times, we found it difficult to consume the products beyond a limit. On many occasions it was beyond gifting to the neighbours,” he added.
The site which started nearly 50 days back has gained about 3,000 members and it took six months for Jaison and his team from Thodupuzha to develop it.
Now it has sections for nine sections such as seeds and plants, fruits, spices, flowers, animals and birds, diary products, organic fertilisers, herbs and cereals in addition to vegetables.
“We added certain sections when we found that the users were posting it in other sections,” Jaison said adding that a forum for buyers too will be launched.
However, some users have pointed out some minor difficulties and suggested the administrators should find some method to streamline the process of selling and buying.
“Now there are some issues like how the vegetables could be sold within a short notice and how we can reach the buyers, the mode of transport and the cost for the same,” said Jis, who is working with IT sector in Kochi and sells the products from his small farm products including tapioca, cow, milk and calf near his farm near Kottayam.