SAPCL means an Agri mall for the farmers, by the farmers and managed by the farmers. The first mall was established by this group of farmers in July 2009 at Amreli. Today the branches of this promising initiative have spread over several villages with 52 malls established across Gujarat. There are three major reasons to start these malls.
When a farmer goes to the market to purchase agriculture inputs like seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, agriculture tool, equipment or when he sells his produce; in both the cases he is cheated. Today, when the farmers purchases the above these inputs from the market he has to pay more than its actual price & its actual quality and when he sells his produce to traders or in APMC he gets lesser price for his produce due to complex dynamics, and the cartel of traders which only think about their profit. To prevent farmers from all these malpractices, agri-malls have been started in several villages of Gujarat in which, good quality agriculture inputs like pesticides, fertilizers, seeds and agriculture tools are available. The company purchases agri inputs directly from manufacturers saving on the commission paid to middleman. This benefit is passed on to the farmers. The company charges only administration cost on all input products from which 75 % profit is shared with the village mall. This model has proved successful in reducing the input cost of farmers by 15% to 60%. In future, it is planned that the produce of farmers will be purchased at the mall itself through a transparent mechanism and the farmers will be paid good prices for their produce.
Today agro distributors and merchants are misleading farmers by employing several communication methods like press, electronic media, advertisement, direct marketing, etc. Even the trader and politicians are wrongly using the farmers for their own benefit. Through this initiative the farmers associated with the malls will be educated and provided information on good agricultural practices, use of newer technologies in agriculture, scientific methods to increase productivity, etc.
Why do we need a strong association of farmers? In other sectors people associated with their sector have formed strong unions or associations. For example if the price of diesel increases, the transporters nationwide go on strike in protest. Similarly, if a businessman is killed in any town or city area all local businessmen linked with their union go on strike in protest. This is possible because they have a strong association.
How many people would join in a farmers strike if need arises? We do not have a definite answer to this question. Hence, only if we establish a strong network or association of farmer, will we be able to get good prices of our produce, or else we will continue to be exploited at the hands of traders, companies and politicians.
The good thing about this initiative is that the farmers are the customers, traders and also managers of the mall. Hence, the money is retained within the village. In any village or a tehsil place if a minimum of 100 farmers agree to become members of this mall an agri-mall could be established. A committee is formed within this group of farmers and they are authorized to start and manage the mall.
Since a long time, people associated with “SAPCL’ formerly know by Sahkar Agri Producer Co. Ltd were trying to find a solution to the issues faced by farmers and how to eliminate the exploitative practices affecting the growth of farmers. Ultimately they came up with a solution in the form of “SAPCL”. What is this “SAPCL”?
A unique concept of an “SAPCL” established to provide all type of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides/ insecticides and Agri-tools/imlements to producers (Registered Member/Farmers) with a minimal margin.
SAPCL is able to give price difference of 15 to 60 percentage to the farmers as compared to the market.
As per the World Bank report 1/3rd of the world poor live in India. Statistical data shows that more than 75% of our population directly depends on agriculture for their livelihood. This makes us believe that majority of the poor in India are small and marginal farmers. The other surprising fact is that the quality of life of these farmers is deteriorating day by day. Thousands of farmers committed suicides in every year because of poverty the tension of the farmers is increasing day by day. No one is ready to get his daughter married in a farmer’s family, why? The question that comes to our mind is in spite of high industrial growth, globalization, increasing population and growing demand for food, why is this happening?
There is a solution to all these questions. The first step is to form a strong organization/association of farmers. Later all these questions could be addressed through this organization.