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.