Increasing economic viability for small farm holdings and building community vitality whilst caring for the environment, Sahaja Samrudha, an organic farmers association of Karnataka, has built a peoples movement in conserving the rich biodiversity. It primarily started as a farmers’ initiative to exchange ideas, seeds and share knowledge on sustainable agriculture. The organization realized that the organic growers, especially farmers growing traditional food crops were unable to market their produce in a fair manner. Market acceptability and awareness on traditional food crops was very low, so where would the organic growers sell their produce.
With landholdings getting fragmented the smaller land holding farmers have a problem in reaching organic markets that are scattered and demanding a fair price for their much cared and grown produce is a faraway cry. Sahaja Samrudha set up a Farmer Producer Organisation that worked towards reducing the terrifying task of marketing by small and marginal producer by collectively planning for production that would not create a glut of same produce and facilitate continuous supply of produce, procurement soon after harvest and also help add value to the produce. Collective measures significantly increased the members’ power in the market place, reduced risks and helped them move up the value chain.
Providing market support to the organic growers was very important so as to enable cultivators to get higher price for their produce. Enhance the cultivation base of organic produce, breaking ‘ORGANIC’ out of the niche market into the mainstream massive market for access to all consumers.
In the long journey of discovering a marketing strategy the Directors of Sahaja Samrudha created a unique Producer Company, ‘Sahaja Samrudha Organic Producer Company’, a first of its kind in the State of Karnataka. Sahaja Organics is essentially the marketing arm of Sahaja Samrudha, representing the farmers’ interests from sowing to selling. The company is different from others as it markets mainly traditional food crops, especially the traditional rice, millet, pulses and fruits & vegetables – ‘Creating market for the crops that are not readily accepted in the market.