The recent visit to Pune was a pleasant experience for Nitin Ingale and 40 other farmers from Purandar, as they sold their produce directly to consumers during an organic produce festival. The state government's Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), engaged in training farmers in adopting organic farming practices, had organised the festival between February 6 and 9.
As many as 42 farmers' groups from across the district participated in the event and sold around 75 tonnes of organic produce that fetched them Rs5 mln. This was the highest turnover the festival had seen in the last four years of its run.
"The response to the festival was overwhelming. We had kept organically-cultivated fruits, such as guava, chikoo, pomegranate and horse gram, produced in large quantity in our area;' Ingale said. He added that his group had also introduced processed food items, including pulp of mango and blueberry, at the exhibition. "All the products were processed without any preservatives. They could be tagged as 100% organic.”
ATMA officials said the festival was a unique experience for the farmers, as they could directly sell their produce to the buyers. The exhibition was initially planned for three days but had to be extended by a day following the consumers' demand.