Internet of Things (IoT) has come handy these days and a lot of technological tools are invented across the globe which help companies to expand their farming operations to thousands of acres of lands. For example, Greentatwa Agri Tech LLP have partnered with a company called ‘Agribridge’ that adds a lot of value to its farming operations. “Agribridge geo tagged all our farmers’ lands just using a mobile app and all our farmers’ lands are now captured by satellite,” says the team of Greentatwa.
Agribridge has provided Greentatwa with the images of exact acreage of farming along with boundaries of each field and it also provides the health report of each field on a regular basis which helps the company to alert the farmers. Similarly, platforms like UDAAN give access to agri-market at large.
“Since, we have entered into retail market, now we are working with nutritionists in developing protein-based value-added products, super foods and ready-to-cook products from rice and millets which are palatable and digestible for the consumers,” explains Roopa Rammohan Maganti, the Cofounder of Greentatwa.
Leading Greentatwa Dynamically
The firm, Greentatwa Agri Tech LLP is promoted by Roopa Maganti and Dr. Rama Rao Peddi. Roopa Maganti has graduated from Anna University, Chennai and she is a certified trainer in Training and Capacity Building from International Labour Organization ILO Turin, Italy.
She was the Program Director for the prestigious national projects for rural development Prajashakti and Navashakti at Sri Lanka. She had two decades of varied work exposure in corporate, social, and developmental projects spread across Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and India.
Over the past two decades, Roopa worked in various capacities in a wide range of socially relevant initiatives that are transformational in nature. These initiatives were focused on the empowerment of women, youth, and children.
All these efforts were put in to bring them into socio-economic mainstream using ICT and associated technologies. She worked closely with former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, during 2017 to 2019 and played a critical role in various strategic initiatives.
During 2014 to 2019, she extensively travelled across Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, which is supposed to be the ‘rice bowl’ of the state. There she realised that agriculture has completely turned into a chemical-based activity and its adverse effects on health and environment are going to be adverse in the long run. It prompted her to start this organic agri-start up as a social enterprise.
What is Greentatwa?
Greentatwa is a company focused on farming, supplying, and distributing pesticide/residue-free grains and vegetables and in providing healthy and nutritious food to its consumers. The objective of the company is to ‘empower farmers, nature and people’. The firm has established its operations in August 2019 and in the very first year, Greentatwa has cultivated organic ponni rice in Pondicherry.
Ponni rice is a staple variety of rice consumed primarily in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Karnataka and this variety of rice is high in fibre, gluten free and low glycaemic index with many health benefits. The lands have been certified organic by Agriculture University of Tamil Nadu. The produce was harvested in February 2020 and the paddy is being milled/processed to rice, broken rice, and other value-added products.
Dynamics of Greentatwa
“Based on the success in the first year of our operations, we have extended our operations into 2000 acres of farming in Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana during the peak of COVID-19 in the month of June 2020,” shares Dr.Peddi, the cofounder of Greentatwa.
Apart from producing organic rice, the company has started cultivating millets at Anantapur region of Andhra Pradesh and grains at Telangana. The firm has also forayed into procurement of pesticide and residue-free millets which they process into one of the finest quality products. The company is achieving this with almost 99.8% whole grains and less than 0.2% of brokens and foreign material and the products meet international standards.
It has been established that processing of millets is one of the major challenges and Greentatwa’s products are processed/milled with a state-of-art unique technology which is being patented. Greentatwa currently has a warehousing facility to store 5000 tons of grains and a processing and packaging facility is underway for commissioning.
Talking about the impact of Covid-19, the team of Greentatwa declares that its effect on the agricultural sector was relatively low as most of the crops were harvested by the end of the March month. Pandemic was at its peak during the summer season which was off season for most of the crops. “The only difficulty that we have seen in the field was with transport and processing,” states Roopa. As far as the market for organic food products go, it has observed a hike globally during the pandemic and people have started to realise the importance of healthy food.
“We should talk more about oppertunities rather than any competition since the opportunities in agriculture sector are abundant and there is a lot of gap that has to be filled by several other farmer friendly companies like us,” informs the team of Greentatwa. Since the segment of ‘organic farming’ is still in its early stages, lot of procedures, traceability, testing, and fair pricing must be addressed in a scientific methodology.
Educating both the farmers and consumers must go hand in hand to increase the market size. The company’s farming methodologies like geo tagging of every farm and traceability make it very distinctive.
In the last one and half year, Greentatwa was successful in creating a ‘community of farmers’ who can produce chemical-free rice and grains following its systematic procedures of organic cultivation. Apart from focusing on B2B, the company has just started creating a ‘community of consumers’ who would be willing to buy its products on regular basis through Greentatwa’s e-commerce brand Sudhanya. “We are aiming to become a farmers’ collective and sharing 20% of the profits from ‘Sudhanya’ brand with all our farmers and that make us feel very proud,” opines Roopa.
Currently, it has a very small basket of products like rice, millets, cold pressed oil and a few grains and the team of Greentatwa is very confident that its basket is going to be big as large number of farmers are joining hands with Greentatwa in its crusade for chemical-free farming.