The non-profit Organic Farmers Market (OFM) turned five recently. To mark the occasion, consumers and the hands behind the OFM came together to honour farmers, the backbone of the organisation that has 15 branches in middle class neighbourhoods across the city and serves around 300 farmers.
As part of the celebrations, an organic market that sprang up at Venkatrathnam Nagar saw several farmers selling their produce. Vegetables, fruits, millets, plants, clothes, juices, honey and pottery were among other things sold at the venue.
Thiruvanmiyur resident T. Nithya said she had been buying organic products for over two years now. “I wanted to reduce the use of plastics, which is why I shifted to organics wherever I can. But I have not yet started buying organic rice, since some of the items, including chillies, are costlier,” she said.
A farmer from Ganapathipuram near Kancheepuram V. Sivakumar said that in many places there were middlemen. “People do not opt for organic vegetables since they are priced higher than non-organic ones. When I sell in local markets, I sell at a cheaper price and suffer a loss rather than let the vegetables whither,” he said.
A former IT employee P. Siddharth, who grows vegetables, rice and cereals at Zamin Endathur, said he quit his job to grow organic products.
OFM founder Ananthoo said the idea was to serve organic farmers and provide them a marketing arm without middlemen. “We wanted it to be a cooperative model and ensure farmers get a good price for their produce,” he said.