Valanadu: Empowering Farmers

Subhashini Sridhar,CEOSeveral effective steps have been taken to strengthen agriculture, consequentially annealing the backbone of the Indian economy. Sincere efforts are made for the welfare of the farmers. In the same nature, Sirkazhi Organic Farmers Association(SOFA) a federation of farmers club came forth to help the sons and daughters of the soil be conversant with all current development taking place in the agrarian arena and other disciplines. This cooperative approach adhering to such benevolent motive created Valanadu, Agriculture Producer Company that equips farmers and small holders with technical, credit, marketing support and knowledge pertaining to organic farming.

Valanadu is a tower of strength for farmers
The company offers an elaborated assistance in the form of products and services such as Farm products providing variety of farm and value added goods( organic inputs),Farming Inputs supplying fertilizers ( organic fertilizers and biopesticides), equipment, feed, seed and other resources used for farm production( organic ),and Need Based services to our shareholder farmers and others. In essence, it is a farmer producer company actively functioning to endorse the sustainability of farmers by structuring a platform that transposes the farmers towards organic farming and sustainable agriculture. "SOFA is an association involving 260members, out of which195 members are from 13 farmers club and 60 members from four women SHG. The association has dedicatedly conferring technical support, credit support and
marketing support for the members. Apart from this, it has also fostered marketing responsibilities of organic rice and rice based value added products since 2010,"Subhashini Sridhar, CEO

Valanadu's aim has been helping farmers adopt technologies that can boost up the produce through organic methods, reduce cost of cultivation, stimulate conservation, production & marketing of traditional crop varieties and other such advantages

The Beginning
Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems(CIKS), an organization earnestly working towards sustainable agriculture and organic farming, actively operating in six major districts of Tamilnadu. The associates of CIKS and SOFA along with technical support from Vrutti, Bengaluru discerned the need of starting up a venture that could cater every need of the farmers, empower them with low cost technologies and scopes to scale organic production and sales. This like minded attempt has led to the formation of Valanadu which has proved to be a tower of strength for farmers particularly the small and marginal farmers particularly. "In Valanadu, we live with the prospective to increase the productivity of paddy and pulses thereby increasing the income level of farmers, support climate smart agriculture practices and optimum use of natural resources. Our ultimate goal has been to reduce the total cost of cultivation, increase production and income through market support and introduce an environment friendly approach to livelihood," she says. Valanadu is backed by a team of experts whose calculated experience is more than 23 years. The functionality of the company relies on a distinct and systematic organizational structure. Having a turnover of INR 1.07 cr in 2019, the company is currently involved in the promotion of organic inputs viz. supply of neem seed powder, vermin compost, bio fertilizers, seeds, value added products organic rice , pulses in a major way in Nagapattinam district. The company operates in 6 blocks of the district and head office is at Sirkazhi, it has broadened its reach to 41 Revenue villages situated in six Blocks, four Taluks of Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu. Karikalan farmers Club under SOFA has been awarded with Best Farmers Club Award for its outstanding initiatives taken to or installing solar lights, construction of toilets & rejuvenation of irrigation channels. Mrs. Kanchana Muralidharan, Board of Directors is also accord with Best Progressive Woman Farmer Award. Due to her involvement in organic farming initiatives hence, in the time to come, Valanadu aspire to scale upits marketing activities, increase organic certification area, and create new platforms for PGS and institute marketing tieups for all the different types of organic produce grown by the smallholders.