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First European equity investment in Indian growers' organization

Sahyadri Farms Post Harvest Care Limited has raised nearly €40 million in growth capital from a group of European investors. Incofin, Korys, FMO, and Proparco consider Sahyadri Farms the right partner to help Indian growers become more profitable and sustainable.

Sahyadri Farms offer solutions for small-scale growers. In 2010, a group of ten growers took the initiative to grow grapes together and export them to Europe. That has grown into an export and processing company for fruit and vegetables, still run by Indian growers themselves. Sahyadri Farms provides services to more than 18,000 growers who cultivate nine types of crops on more than 12,545 hectares.

The company assists small-scale farmers in choosing crops, using cultivation methods and production materials, and how to harvest and sell. It offers services like a digital platform that gives growers information about high-yielding crops, agricultural inputs, real-time climate data, and market access. 

That has an enormous impact on Sahyadri Farms growers. "In 2012, I was about to sell my land," says Namdeo Pawar, one of Sahyadri's clients. "Sahyadri Farms supported me and helped me recover. I forced myself to start working again, and, thanks to Sahyadri Farms, my income increased. In 2014, I was even able to repay my bank loan."

Working with Sahyadri Farms also turned things around for grower Anil Dawre: "I cultivate a less than one-hectare plot because my house and animal shed take up part of my land. Group farming has proved successful. My parents never imagined that their son's produce would be exported abroad. They're extremely proud."

The Korys, FMO, Proparco, Incofin funds will go toward this agricultural company's continued growth. Sahyadri Farms plans to expand its processing capacity for fruit and vegetable-based products, build a biomass plant to generate electricity from process waste, and extend its infrastructure, such as warehouses.

"Sahyadri Farms wants to unite farmers and encourage them to think like professional businesspeople. We're building a sustainable, scalable, profitable organization for all our stakeholders by making farming profitable and viable for all small, marginal farmers," says Vilas Shinde, farmer, co-founder, and Managing Director of Sahyadri Farms.

Proud investors
Rahul Rai, a partner at Incofin India, says, "Incofin is privileged to lead this investment consortium. And thanks to its partnership with Sahyadri Farms, we can support its continued expansion as a global role model for a partnership-based approach to horticulture. This approach results in sustainable financial impact, climate change adaptation, and inclusive growth in rural communities while also creating a technology-driven, globally competitive business."

"Investing in Sahyadri Farms suits our investment strategy and philosophy perfectly," adds Katti Van Oosterwijck, Senior Investment Manager at Korys. "We believe strongly in the importance of a more sustainable, ethical food chain. We're, thus, very proud to invest in Sahyadri Farms."

"They encourage their network of more than 18,000 small-scale growers to become business-minded and also ensure that the farmers get paid fairly for their produce and labor. The company adheres to the strictest global standards for horticultural practices, too. And it offers the highest value to end consumers."

Michael Jongeneel, FMO's CEO: "We're delighted to have found a long-term partner in Sahyadri Farms with whom to support small-scale growers in India. Sahyadri Farms' ability to see what farmers need for their businesses to thrive and to provide them with exactly that assistance impresses us. We expect this first international investment in a farmer-led organization in India to help Sahyadri Farms reach even more farmers. It should also create a blueprint for further growth in the sector."

Françoise Lombard, CEO of Proparco, agrees. "Proparco, too, is proud to become a Sahyadri Farms shareholder alongside Incofin, Korys, and FMO. It's one of the biggest Indian fruit and vegetable sector players. This investment in such a leading agricultural company committed to being responsible will have many positive social and environmental effects. To begin with, nearly 15,000 farmers will be able to join a modern supply chain."

"They'll have access to regenerative farming practices and quality equipment which will enable them to increase their production yield and quality while reducing on-farm losses and pesticide and fertilizer use. This investment will allow Sahyadri Farms to take concrete measures not only to adapt to climate change but to mitigate it too. That will be achieved by increasing its renewable energy production share to more than 50%. And, last but not least, the organization can implement its zero waste policy."

For more information:
FMO
Tel: +31 (0) 703 149 696
Email: info@fmo.nl 
Website: www.fmo.nl 


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