As anticipated, organised retail has begun impacting lives of farmers, positively. According to a news report published in the Hindu Business Line, farm producers are getting better returns on vegetables, etc. produced by them. For example, ‘Rangers Farm’ — the farm produce procuring arm of ‘Reliance Retail’ is buying Bhindi (ladies fingers) at more than Rs. 10 per kilo against Rs. 7.50 (less 10% commission) per kg being offered by traditional vegetable wholesalers in Mandi. Most farmers are also able to save on time, effort and money as they are not required to transport their produce to the Mandis, which in some cases may even be located 40-50 kms away from their villages. Reliance, on the other hand, has set up its procurement centres nearby.
There is one catch, however. Vegetables before being accepted by the Reliance arm are required to be graded based on their quality and freshness. These graded vegetables are then sent to 17 ‘Reliance Fresh’ stores operating in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Although, Mandi wholesalers refuse to admit any impact of Reliance and other chains on arrivals of farm products in the Mandis, there is no denying of the fact that a quite revolution is taking place in the country-side as more and more farmers have started to see the benefits of selling their produce directly to the retail chains. Efficient supply chains, backed by superior logistics management, have the potential of saving 30-35% in costs, particularly of perishable items like flowers and vegetables.