The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted our lives and businesses across the spectrum. But, most importantly, it pointed out the fallacies in our current system. For instance, the nationwide lockdown imposed at the height of the pandemic exposed the fragile and fragmented food supply chains in the country. For a country that is counted amongst the world’s largest food basket, the pandemic and lockdown drastically intensified the food insecurity in the country.
While the small farmers had to sell their produce at a loss; the urban population had to purchase it at a premium. Concurrently a plunge in catering services caused tons of agricultural produce to rot in storage containers across the country. However, although the food supply worsened at the height of the pandemic, it was not a one-off event.
The deep-rooted problem
Despite being counted amongst the world’s largest food producers, India is also home to the largest population of hungry people. It is estimated that there were 189 million undernourished people in the country before the pandemic began. In terms of the Global Hunger Index, the country ranks 102nd out of 117 countries. Part of the problem lies with the inefficient supply chains. As per estimates, inefficient food supply chains lead to the wastage of 40% of food produced in the country. Further, lack of storage and cooling facilities also leads to the wastage of 20% of food before the same can reach the marketplace.
The inefficient supply chains and the proliferation of all-pervading ‘middle man’ not only causes food wastage but also undue exploitation of the farmers. Concurrently, the people in urban areas have to pay sky-high prices for the product that is often sold by farmers at dirt cheap prices.
Sastaaza: the change-makers
However, where other people see challenges, we at Sastataaza saw an opportunity. We made it, our mission to address the system efficiencies through our Farm-to-Fork model. Since our foundation, we have sourced all our products directly from the farmers. Through our unique business model, we have been able to drastically reduce food waste, avoid the middle man and increase farmer income. Through our endeavour, we were not only able to improve the livelihood of the farmers but also offer farm-fresh produce to customers at unbelievable prices- thus spreading smiles all around.
For instance, consider the case of our farmer friend Mr. Gopal Das from Maheshpur village of Baruipur block. Mr. Gopal farms Guava, Brinjal and Ladies finger in his farmland. Before connecting with us, Mr. Gopal used to sell his produce to middlemen. He would get a meager sum for his produce and often the stock would be wasted before reaching the consumers. However, Sastataaza changed things drastically for Mr. Gopal. By bringing Mr. Gopal’s produce directly to the consumer, we could reduce waste; offer him the right price for his produce, and delight our customers through farm-fresh offerings.
Another success story like that of Mr. Gopal is Mrs. Ganga Das from Maheshpur village of Baruipur block. By procuring Snake gourd, Ridge gourd, ladies finger, and cucumber from Mrs. Ganga Das we could offer her higher income, reduce waste and secure for her a better livelihood.
Mr. Gopal and Mrs. Ganga are not isolated cases. Through our Farm-to-Fork business model, Sastataaza has been able to create a better livelihood for all our farmer friends and spread smiles across the entire value chain.
The road ahead
There is no doubt that we at Sastataaza have made great progress within the short span of our existence. However, there is still a long road ahead that we have to traverse towards the realization of its mission of giving back to society. Going ahead we aim to leverage advanced technology and data analytics to make real-time data more accessible across the entire farm-to-fork supply chain.
We also hope to channelize the information and data to help farmers produce more efficiently, improve food quality, reduce waste and improve pricing transparency. In short, we at Sastataaza are well on our course to bring a paradigm shift in the food supply industry while spreading smiles all around.
Do you also want to be a part of our endeavor and empower our farmers? The good news is you can. By purchasing your daily grocery essentials from Sastataaza, you too can become a part of this movement and help secure an improved livelihood for our farmers.
So are you ready to be a part of the change?