Shillong-based Zizira, which is engaged in the area of natural food products, is looking to open markets in a way that will benefit the farmers of north-eastern region.
“Agencies and the Government institutions help farmers with schemes, research and improved technological models, but they do not typically open markets. The farmers simply want to sell and make money. This is where Zizira comes in. Zizira is striving towards a successful business to sell products to the metro cities across India,” Ibansara Shullai, Coordinator of Zizira, told . She added, “Farmers sell the crops in the local markets or to middlemen at lower prices. We are working towards changing this concept.”
“Currently, we source from over 100 farmers around Meghalaya out of which we work closely with 30-40 farmers,” Shullai said. Zizira is using the online platforms such as Amazon and eBay as well as its own website to reach out to the customers for locally-sourced products.
“We have also created an online community to source agricultural products or share knowledge. Ushahidi is a powerful mapping tool where people can get critical and timely information. The tool is very easy to use. Anyone can access it from anywhere and post information world-wide. It is also used for providing assistance to anyone who wants to gather vital information on any topic. We hope to help people source agricultural products or share knowledge,” she said.
Shullai added, “Our focus is on the farmers of this region. Moreover, our intention is to promote locally-grown produce like the famous Bhut Jolokia.”
Asked about Zizira’s efforts to promote organic farming in Meghalaya, she said, “Most of the farmers in the North-east use traditionally organic mode of farming. Zizira is helping the farmers by opening markets through robust e-commerce facilitation. We are mostly promoting responsible farming. And, we are trying to release the under-utilized potential of family farmers. Because of the uniqueness of the region, farmers should be able to grow a variety of crops that can sell for a higher amount.”