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Kochi : A nascent Agri-tech firm under the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has come up with the country’s first system that enables the consumer to detect the origin of the branded vegetables in the market.
Kochi-based Farmers Fresh Zone has introduced a unit-level traceability feature called ‘Know Your Farmer’ as part of quality control, facilitating regular checks to ensure non-toxic and pesticide-free products.
“We run on a simple philosophy: connect rural farmers with urban customers by sourcing produce that is fresh as well as pure produce, delivering it at their doorsteps,” said Mr Pradeep P S, the CEO of the 2016-founded company (FarmersFZ).
The firm, which provides access to safe-to-eat fruits and vegetables that are directly sourced from the farmers, has been disrupting the highly unorganised agriculture sector with its unique features. “We are earning immense support and appreciation from the customers and farmers,” added Mr Pradeep, a young software engineering hailing from Kodakara in Thrissur district.
FarmersFZ, which operates from four Kerala cities, achieved a five-fold growth in the 2020-21 fiscal. “With focus only on fruits and vegetables, we are India’s first startup in the direct-to-consumer sector to cross one million dollars in revenue in a financial year,” the CEO revealed.
Currently, FarmersFZ offers more than 80 kinds of vegetables and 25 varieties of fruits. The startup also helps farmers in production planning and to follow good agriculture practice. It has improved the farmers’ income by 20 per cent. “We have a unique cluster approach that help us achieve fresh F&V direct from farm-gate to the customer’s doorstep in 15 hours from harvest,” added Mr Pradeep.
FarmersFZ is planning to expand to six cities this year. Targeting a revenue of Rs 300 crore in next three years, the startup is in talks with investors to raise a Series-A investment to expand to more cities in south India. The startup has already raised angel investment from IAN fund along with others.
KSUM, as a non-profit entity registered in 2014 under Society Act 1956, is an incubator approved by the Union government’s Department of Science and Technology’s National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board. The agency, which works for the promotion of entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, undertakes planning, establishment and management of technology business incubators and accelerators to promote technology-based ventures by creating the infrastructure and environment.
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