Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Khushali lati

Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar

Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar (HKB), one stop shop for all kinds of agri-inputs and farm advisories under one roof is the venture of DCM Shriram Consolidated (DSCL) to diversify its presence in retail formats of farm economy, other than its traditional leadership in the areas of sugar and fertilisers.

Opened as just five pilot stores in 2002, today it has made a leap to 275 stores in eight major agricultural states, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The Hariyali outlets has two kinds of formats, one is called a Centre which is based on a campus of two to four acres, with fuel station, banking facilities, farm demonstration area, parking spaces, water fountains and green recreation zones, as well as the retail store. The customer base of each outlet was within 30 km radius this included about 15,000- 20,000 household with a collective total of 60,000- 80,000 acres of land. The other format is called a Store and is in an area of 4000 to 5000 sq ft. From one outlet, farmers can obtain farm inputs, credit and agricultural advisory services.

Besides, the farm services, it caters to all the needs of a rural populace with the provision of grocery, daily consumable goods and varieties of FMCG branded products, suiting the local taste and requirements. These include,

  • Farming Products: Multi-brand agricultural inputs (such as fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, animal feeds, irrigation equipment and tractor parts),
  • Household Products: FMCG, consumer durables, apparel & footwear.
  • Insurance services: Life insurance, crop insurance, health insurance
  • Farm Fuels: Petrol, Diesel, LPG.

Over the time, there has been keen familiarity seen between outlet staff and their customers with respect and due care taken for each and every person visiting the store.

HKB is currently undertaking seed production across seven states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh at 25 locations covering around 45,000 acres of land under contract farming mode and handling over 40,000 MT of varietal seeds of different crops like, Wheat, Paddy, Soybean, Mustard, Sorghum Sudan Grass, Pea, Barseem etc.

Today the differentiator for Hariyali is the Agronomy services that it provides which helps in increasing the productivity and profitability of the farmers.

Pawan Kumar, a farmer of Ladwa village in Kurukshetra district of Haryana, owns 14 acres of farm land, taken up the intercropping of capsicum and onion in the main crop of sugarcane, as it takes enough time for sugarcane to sprout and come up. It appropriately utilises the time and space resource available in between lapse period. He is hopeful of getting an additional income of about Rs. 45,000 from these two vegetables this year.

Under the guidance of HKB agronomists, Suresh Pal, a farmer of Govindgarh of Kurukshetra distt. adopted the Dry seeding of Rice (DSR), where paddy seed sowing is directly taken unlike the conventional methods of raising nursery and going for transplanting operations. DSR technique not only saves lot of water but minimises the labour requirement and thus economises the whole seeding process.

Ved Prakash Saini of Karnal having a total of 8 acres of farm land sown 5 acres of paddy using DSR technique. He is much convinced with the newly introduced technology and expressed that there is too much stake of Hariyali in the upliftment of our daily lifestyles.

DSR technique is being popularised by DSCL under Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), promoted by agencies such as Bill & Milinda Gates Foundation and many other research organisations and corporates for diffusion of conservation agriculture at larger scale.

"Currently, more than 100 acres of paddy field in the Kurukshetra has been using the direct seeding technique leading to massive savings of water and labour cost for the farmers," Atul Jain, head agri-services, DSCL told.

Jain said “Hariyali outlet has become a focal point for the farmers to get vital inputs in increasing yield and fighting disease and pest menace in crops for many farmers in the area and establishing linkage with agricultural research institutes in the region”.

Jain felt elated while sharing that, this rabi season when yellow rust threatened wheat crop in parts of Haryana and Punjab, alerts were sent by Hariyali outlets and recommended use of pesticide ‘Propacanizol’ saved most of the crops.

The credit for the progressiveness of these farmers mainly goes to agronomists of Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar. In the words of the local farmers, Hariyali is “Not just shop but a solution centre”, where we assemble together, discuss variety of farm problems, discuss the same with the staffs here and get lot of queries answered and doubts cleared, but also get the quality goods of daily utilities at the local market price.

Although financially HKB is n yet to breakeven, turnover of HKB, went up to R 223 crore during third quarter of the last fiscal from Rs. 216 crore in the same period last year.

“We thought the outlets should be functional, but at the same time aspirational, we wanted farmers to want to go there, to associate with the outlet, so it had to be enticing, but not intimidating, as they were not used to anything like Hariyali” shared Mr. Rajesh Gupta, President of Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar.

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