Tinsukia: Now, you can order fresh farm products grown in Arunachal Pradesh at the click of the mouse and sitting right in the comforts of your home, anywhere in the world.
The state government recently launched www.arunchalfarmers.org, an e-commerce portal which offers fresh farm products at your doorsteps. The platform aims to connect farmers directly with consumers worldwide.
The start of this unique idea hasn’t been a mute one. An order of 10-metric tonne of ginger from Indore is already in its website’s ‘cart’, making the concept a win-win situation for both — the farmers and the traders or consumers.
The portal is a brainchild of Lohit deputy commissioner Prince Dhawan. Speaking with EastMojo, Dhawan said that whenever we need to purchase something, we generally Google it once — a trend that has spread like fire across the country. “There is a void when it comes to farm products online. The farmers in rural economy have a weak presence online.”
That’s when the idea clicked to start an online marketplace to connect the farmers with broader market, giving them direct access to buyers, and help them sell their farm products online, said Dhawan.
“It will also eliminate middlemen and increase farmers’ income,” Dhawan said, adding, a four-month-long teamwork ended in www.arunchalfarmers.org — an e-commerce website.
The website was formally launched by Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Saturday.
Khandu tweeted: “Going digital, going online is the best way to market products. Launched http://arunachalfarmers.org an online shopping platform initiated by @lohitadmn today, which will enable our farmers to showcase and sell their produces while returns will go direct into their bank accounts.”
Dhawan said the website offers local items produced in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. “Currently, there are 11 products including tea, oranges and spices, among others, listed for buyers. More items will make their way through the website soon.”
“We have formed four Farmer Producer Organisation (FPOs) — Horticulture, Agriculture, Fishery and Animal Husbandry, a group of farmers, to sell the farm products. FPOs are using make-shift warehouses to process orders for the time being. The government has sanctioned funds and soon there will be permanent warehouses and food processing units to support the initiative,” he added.
Each FPO has 150 farmers as members.
“A buyer can compare listing with what other farmers are selling and at what pricing and place order online. We have tied up with SBI e-pay for online payment that will go directly into the account of FPO,” said Dhawan, adding, “The proceeds against every order will go to farmers according to the share of their produce, and FPO will retain a minimum margin towards packaging, shipping and maintenance of the website,” said Dhawan.
“We have tied up with two shipping partners to ensure door delivery,” Dhawan said, adding: “We have established a quality control system to check every despatch for quality and quantity.”
Dhawan said that the website has been built by the department of information and technology of the government of Arunachal Pradesh and is 100% state-sponsored.
Lohit, one of the easternmost districts of the country, is known for its pristine scenic beauty and fertile land. The district is covered by an area of around 3,600 sq km with a population of around 50,000.
“In the coming days, more farmers from other districts of Arunachal Pradesh will also join the website to offer their farm produce, taking Arunachal farm products to every corner of the country,” Dhawan added.
Arunachal Pradesh is also giving a lot of stress on organic farming and the farm products of the region have been found to be of good quality.