Yes Bank Ltd said it has spent almost Rs11 crore in micro-lending to farmers who are engaged in contract-farming for FieldFresh Foods Pvt. Ltd, which, in turn, exports fruits and vegetable to Europe, West Asia and Southeast Asia.
“We are helping small farmers with... working capital requirement to buy seeds and fertilizer, which go for producing the agricultural crops,” said Anjan Mandal, a vice-president with the bank.
FieldFresh, a joint venture between India’s largest mobile service provider Bharti Enterprises and a financial arm of the UK’s Rothschild family, currently has contract-farming agreements for more than 4,000 acres across Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand, Mandal said. The produce grown by the farmers is bought by FieldFresh. It will supply the produce not only to retail outlets of the company Bharti plans to start early next year but also to other domestic, branded retailers.
“We have an understanding with Bharti that the company would buy produce from the farmers, provided it meets the quality specifications set by the company,” Mandal said.
In addition to providing capital, Yes Bank officials said they help farmers in meeting the quality specifications by constantly monitoring the produce. Yes Bank is also lining up other potential contract farmers for FeildFresh.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Mandal said. He says the farmers get a ready buyer and the company gets quality supply. “It’s very difficult to get even 20 tonnes of a particular vegetable of good quality on a particular day,” he said. “Here you have access to 20,000 tonnes on any given day