“Health is wealth” and “Food is Medicine”. So “Healthy food is Healthy and Wealthy Life!”. Inspired by this, we a group of farmers from Erode, a district in Tamil Nadu, India decided to provide natural and healthy food to the community we live in. Taking up an innovative approach, in the year 2015, we decided to reward the farmer with a guaranteed income by giving a “Minimum Support Price” (MSP) for their products if they change their practice to Organic Farming.
Uyir Organic Farmers Association Erode
First, we registered “Uyir Organic Farmers Association Erode” and enrolled ourselves along with
around 12 farmers who were willing to adopt organic/natural farming. We started training the inorganic farmers every alternate Thursday by inviting them to our farms and educating them about the importance of organic practices. Initially, there were 5 or 6 farmers for training and it slowly increased to 50. Presently our conversion ratio is about 40%. Today, we have 9 district associations and together we have trained more than 6000 farmers in Tamilnadu. and there are Presently, around 2000 farmers have changed to organic farming methods after training with us. There are no training costs and the trained farmer is free to sell on their own or can register with us to sell their products.
Uyir Agriculture Private Limited
Initially, a few farmers would sell their produce every week to friends and families. When we tried to convert other farmers into organic farming, the first question raised was, “Where can I sell these? What will I benefit from shifting to Organic Farming?”. Thus came the need for us to start our stores and sell directly to consumers. ‘Uyir Agriculture Private Limited’ was formed and the shareholders were farmers themselves. The company set a goal to try to make all these organic farmers earn at least Rs.1000/ per day and to give minimum support price for their products irrespective of the market price; ensuring that the bigger objective of the society is achieved.
We started our first store in Erode and later in Coimbatore, selling our products. As a policy, we don’t encourage any traders to use our store to sell their products and we don’t sell other brands in our store. All the products are sold in our brand “UYIR”, including the value-added products of our farmers. We source products that we cannot produce locally from other organic farmers groups across India like wheat etc. Direct farm inspection is made to ensure no chemicals or pesticides are being used in these farms to ensure the quality of these products.
UYIR is the first and only company in India to give “a Minimum Support Price” (MSP) to all the agriculture products produced by its organic farmers.
Uyir Agriculture Development Trust
While training, we found farmers who were willing to take up organic farming but could not do so because of their economic conditions. Hence, we started ‘Uyir Agriculture Development Trust’ in the year 2017, where we help farmers by donating desi cows if economically they are unable to do so but are willing to take up Organic Farming. So far, we have identified and donated more than 30 such cows. The first calf has to be returned by this farmer to the trust which in turn will be donated to another farmer who is in need.
Our objective is to improve the health condition of the society and thus we follow strict rules to ensure quality products reach our consumers. We have seven internal committees – Production & Training, Purchase, Accounts, Human Resource, Audit & Inspection, Quality Control, Marketing, and Sales Committees which help in the smooth running of our company and coordinating with our associations. All these committees operate at different levels but the ultimate goal is to ensure that the vision of Uyir stays alight.
Uyir – Score Card
From 2015 till date :
- We have trained more than 5000 farmers as of today and converted more than 2000 farmers from Inorganic farming to Organic farming. Out of this, more than 400 farmers sell their products through us.
- Distributed more than 50 crores till date to Organic Farmers.
- The number of District associations today stands at 9.
- The area under conversion from Inorganic to Organic is more than 1000 Acres as of today.
- Around 30 farmers have donated desi cows for the predominant farming needs.
- We have 13 stores across Tamilnadu with an Online Store as well.
- Our sales turnover is more than 10 Crores in the last financial year.
- Today, we have more than 10000 happy consumers.
- There are more than 65 WhatsApp groups to assist and reach out to customers.