Farmers Fresh Zone, a Kochi-based agri startup, has expanded operations to Coimbatore.
With presence in four cities in Kerala and now venturing into Tamil Nadu, the four -year-old startup is looking at expanding to more tier-two cities in Tamil Nadu.
Farmers Fresh Zone has tied up with over 2,000 farmers, mostly from Tamil Nadu, according to Pradeep PS, founder and CEO of the startup. The company, which received ₹2.5 crore first round funding is now raising another ₹6.5 crore through Indian Angel Network, Native Angel Network and Malabar Angel Network. The funding will be used to strengthen its team and expand to more cities.
Farmers Fresh Zone has four collection centres, including one at Kotagiri, where farmers give the vegetables and fruits they produce. These are packed and marketed by the startup. The technology arm of the startup gives a forecast to the farmers three months in advance about demand through a data driven approach and they are able to plan production. The field staff visit the farmers, guide them, and conduct tests. The produce meets the “Safe to Eat” standards and customers can track from which farm and farmer they have got the vegetables and fruits.
The farmers not only get better prices but also get the payment in their bank account within three days of delivering the produce at the collection centre. “We are trying to bring about price stability too,” he added.
“We handle eight to 10 tonnes of vegetables and fruits a day. The produce is tested and the supply chain is hygienic. The farmers are connected to good agricultural practices,” he said.
With more people turning to online options during the pandemic, the startup saw more than 20 % growth in business. “Our plan is to enter more tier-two cities in Tamil Nadu. In the next two to three months, we will add another 1,200 farmers to our network,” Mr. Pradeep said.