Marketability

The last of the problems we decided to tackle, was the marketability.

Its one of the most serious problems farmers are facing these days. its not just about reaching out to the buyers but also about fetching the right price.

There are many agro ventures coming up in this area, who facilitate better transactions between farmers and customers/retailers. Thereby avoiding middlemen and costs.

With better logistics comes reduction in wastage, thereby further reducing the cost and increasing the sales.

These initiatives are great. But we need more. Much more. We need to create awareness about food prices. There has to be a conscious effort on our part to increase the cost of food items.

That brings us to our awareness drives…. how do we make people aware about food production and the effort that goes onto it?

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The Food Plate

Let’s discuss different types of crops here. How do you start studying about crops?

I found out the best and the easiest way – Have a look at your food plate!

Lets say for example you’re having a rice bowl (Pulav/Biryani/Fried Rice)

So now you know the main ingredient is rice. Then we make a list of all other ingredients that may have been used.

  1. Oil
  2. Vegetables
  3. Spices
  4. Herbs

So each day we study one of the above ingredient. Let us first start with Rice. While a generalistic search on google or YouTube asking “how is paddy/rice grown” helps, its always better to know certain parameters within which such activities take place.  The following is a suggestive list of questions that will help you study the crop.

  1. What category does the crop belong to – Cereals (Grains) or Pulses (Legumes) or Vegetables or Fruits or Herbs?
  2. In which season does the crop best grow?
  3. How much Rainfall or Irrigation is required by the crop?
  4. What is the best suitable region for growing this crop?
  5. What is the kind of soil required for growing this crop?
  6. What is the most suitable climate for growing this crop? (PS: Climate and Season are two different things; hence two different questions.)
  7. What kind of nutrients are required for growing this crop?
  8. What is best way to provide these nutrients to the crops?
  9. Does the crop require pollination?
  10. Is the crop prone to any disease or pest attack? If yes, what are the ways to fight them?
  11. How long is the crop cycle (period from sowing the seed to harvesting)?
  12. How is the crop harvested?
  13. What is the post-harvest processing technique?
  14. Lastly, how is it delivered to your place/super-market?

Its a great idea to google up the images or have a look at the video showing how the farming of actual crops is done. Perhaps it is also a great idea to visit a farm in the particular season if it is feasible.

The more crops you study on these lines, the more you realize that all the grains are, more or less, grown in a similar way. Also, you’ll know that all the legumes exhibit similar properties and growing methods. So is the case with Vegetables, fruits and herbs.

I hope the post helps!

Happy Gardening!

Happy Farming!