An initiative by SEEDS FPO amidst COVID-19 lock-down
SEEDS Farmer Producer Company limited (SEEDS FPCL), is one of the FPOs in Virudhunagar district of Tamil NADU, supported by NABARD. The company has over 5000 shareholders, mostly small and marginal farmers, with paid-up share capital of Rs. 35.00 lakhs.
Virudhunagar, one of aspiration districts identified by the Central Government, is considered to be the hub for pulses and edible oil. During the COVID-19 lock-down, it was reported that many merchants had bitter experience of stoppage of vehicles carrying pulses from Virudhunagar. This had led to truck load of pulses getting stranded.
In such difficult circumstances, SEEDS FPCL had come up with an innovative idea of delivering essential grocery items at consumers’ door step based on orders accepted through phone calls. Most of these essential items were procured from the small and marginal farmers, doing rain-fed agriculture in Virudhunagar district. The produce were processed, sorted and packed at the company’s value addition unit, Mallankinaru. 22 essential items including spices, pulses, sugar, oil, condiments, salt, etc., weighing 10.425 kg, worth Rs. 1000/- were packed as a special kit for delivery to consumers
Necessary permissions were obtained from the district administration. DDM, NABARD, Virudhunagar facilitated in getting the passes/ permission for use of 10 two wheeler and 2 Tata ace vehicles from the district administration, for the said purpose. There was an overwhelming response on the very first day, wherein 100 packs worth Rs. 1,00,000/- were delivered and 150 more orders were placed for delivery.
The company has also come up with a novel idea of EMI for purchase of groceries worth Rs. 2000/- to the families of widow/ destitute women/ BPL shareholders at their Agri Business Center. The beneficiaries were given the option of settling the bill in three installments after 1st July 2020 with no interest charged
All necessary protective measures, viz, frequent washing of hands, social distancing, use of masks and gloves based on need, were followed by all workers involved.