Concept Note

Hari Bhari Tokri – Concept Note

Introduction

Mumbai Organic Farmers and Consumers Association (MOFCA) is a cooperative association of organic farmers (within a 200 km radius of Mumbai) working collectively with consumers from Mumbai towards the betterment of local, seasonal, and organic food grown and consumed within our region.

Our mission and vision

The promotion of sustainable farming methods in the Greater Mumbai area through;

  1. Demonstration and sharing of sustainable farming techniques.
  2. Creation of an alternative market model with shared risk and fair prices for farmers and consumers.
  3. Community building and consumer education in order to create and sustain the demand for Seasonal Local Organic food.

Hari Bhari Tokri

At the onset of our ? year, we would like these goals to remain primary and reiterate that we are NOT “just another vegetable vendor”.

Starting in the second season we proposed the concept of “Farm Sharing”.

50 farmers have pledged their lands and labour to the practice of sustainable farming methods of cultivation for the monsoon season. MOFCA supports them with sharing of technical know-how and other farming resources, creating an assured market and a fair, consistent price for their produce, and creating and managing the supply chain logistics.

MOFCA is looking for shareholders for the upcoming season. As shareholders you will be helping to promote sustainable farming throughout the community. In return you will have access to part of the produce grown by the farmers.

This season some of the paddy lands have also become available to us and so we have a total of 8 acres of farm land, cultivated by the farmers partnering with us for this season. We are estimating a yield of 100 kg/week from each acre, which will give us a total of approximately 800 kilos.

We have 250 farm shares available this season for public issue.

Being a Shareholder means:

1.You share both risks and rewards

Traditionally, farmers have borne the brunt of nature’s vagaries while consumers have become increasingly disconnected from the process of food production, and from the human and ecological communities that support this process. Shareholding is the first step towards restoring the balance and harmony in our local food web.

As a consumer-shareholder, each week during harvest time you will receive a share of the harvest. The cost of this is included in the share price for the season and is fixed for its duration so as to be fair to both farmer and consumer. Variety and bumper yields are our shared rewards and scarcity and losses, our shared risks. In all situations, an uncertain and variable harvest is the medium through which we learn to respect Nature and to live in community.

2.Consumers and farmers have the opportunity to know each other

The farmers will know who’s eating the food they are growing; and the consumer will have some peace of mind, knowing exactly how and who is growing the food that their family is eating.

3.You help partnered farmers to better plan their growing cycle.

Wastages that occur from excess produce not being sold will be minimized, which in turn will reduce losses to the farmer and keep costs to the consumer under control.

4. The liabilities of large projects are shared

The liability of larger projects which need to be undertaken for the long term running of such a project are shared amongst all the shareholders and not the responsibility of a few individuals.

5.You get weekly supplies of organic vegetables at a fair, pre-determined price

Your share as a partner entitles you to quality organic vegetables grown on the farms. Without intermediaries, you benefit from reasonable, predetermined prices that will be paid direct to the farmer; these are not subject to economic fluctuations or false scarcities. In order to make this possible we have factored the cost of vegetables and logistics for one season, into your share value.

Hari Bhari Tokri Shareholder Terms

Summer 2013

1. You, the consumer, will partner with MOFCA for one or more growing seasons. The summer harvest is expected from ? (? weeks). Sowing for each season begins about 60 – 45 days in advance depending on the vegetable.

2. At the time of registering, you will be required to give a contribution of Rs. 3800/- for the summer season.This amount represents a shared responsibility for the costs of vegetable production and logistics for the season as well as for the undertaking of certain projects to ensure the long term sustainability of the project.

3. A list of vegetables that will be grown during the season has been made available so consumers will know what to expect. Please see attatched list below.

4. Each week, on a pre-determined day, your tokri/share of the produce will be delivered to your pre-selected pick-up point. Members are requested to collect their tokris the same day during the hours specified by the respective pick-up point. As was done in the last season, delivery via dabbawalas will be made available at an additional cost (at actuals) for those interested.

5. Each tokri will contain a proportionate share (in quantity and variety) of the produce harvested that week. Each week, depending upon availability, we will try to vary the vegetables included in the tokri. The quantities supplied during the harvest will also vary during the season generally peaking at the middle of the season and tapering off at the beginning and end of the season.

6. In case you do not want a tokri for a week or more during the season you are requested to inform us in advance if you would like for us to donate it for you or if you are gifting it to someone and who will pick it up on your behalf.

7. In case of special, one-off requests where a larger quantity is required, the allocation will be made only after all the regular registered baskets are filled.

8. Occasionally, in addition to vegetables, farmers will have fruits and other provisions (e.g. cereals, pulses, oils, etc.) for sale. These will be available at additional costs; details of which will be provided as and when available. Occasionally there may be produce made available from farmers outside of the group that is supplying vegetables; however we extend our support to their cause and stand by their credibility. These will be organic farmers whose commitment to sustainable farming we are convinced of.

9. Resources (e.g. recipes) and activities (demonstrations, workshops, farm visits, etc.) will be offered to Consumer shareholders from time to time to further their learning about growing and eating seasonal, local, food.

10. Shareholders who would like to continue for the next season are requested to intimate to us by the end of the season. At that time we will update shareholders about any modifications in policy, costs, etc. for the next season.

11. It is and always will be our endeavour to provide you with the agreed quantity of vegetables to the best that we can. However, due to the nature of the product and various natural factors such as floods, droughts, seasonal changes, plant infestation or disease, etc. or any other factors that are beyond our control; MOFCA will not be held liable for any such shortfall in the quantity of vegetable provided and no claim for re-imbursement shall lie against MOFCA or any of our associates. We appreciate your support and understanding in these matters.

Local, seasonal vegetables.

The following veggies are those that grow well in our area in each season. Please note that the seasons flow into each other and that not all varieties are available at all times in the season. Occasionally, a few other varieties make a surprise appearance and are added to the mix!

Summer

Monsoon

Winter

Greens: Palak/ Spinach, Methi/ Fenugreek leaves, Maat/ Amaranth leaves, Chandan Bathua/ Goosefoot, Kardai/ Safflower, Beet leaves, Ambat chukka/ Green Sorrel, Sarson/ Mustard greens, Shepu/ Suwa/ Dill

Cucurbits: Dudhi/ Bottle gourd, Bhopla/ Kaddu/ Pumpkin, Kohla/ Petha/ Ash gourd, Karela/ Bitter gourd, Turia/ Shirali/ Ridge gourd, Galki/ Ghosali/ Silk squash, Padval/ Snake gourd, Tondli/ Tindora/ Ivy gourd, Kakdi/ Cucumber

Beans: Papdi/ Broad bean variety, Chauli bean/ Black eyed pea bean, Gawar/ Cluster beans, Matar/ Peas,

Others: Bhindi/ Lady finger/ Okra, Baingan/ Eggplant/ Brinjal, Tamatar/ Tomato, Shimla mirch/ Capsicum, Shevta singh/ Drumstick

Roots and tubers: Mooli (white)/ White raddish, Suran/ Elephant yam, Rath alu/ Sweet potato, Hirva kanda/ Hara Pyaaz/ Spring onions, Beet/ Beetroot, Gajar/ Carrot, Nawal kol/ Kohlrabi,

Herbs and spices: Nimbu/ Lemon, Dhaniya/ Coriander leaves, Mirchi/ Chilly peppers, Hirvi chai/ Lemon grass

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