NEW DELHI : Grocery delivery startup Milkbasket Tuesday said it will invest 10 crore to scale up its fresh fruits and vegetable category as it aims to set up to 10 more fresh scouring centres across the country.

"The company aims to set up to 10 more collection centres in villages to promote right farming practices for better quality yield, maintain the cold chain to mitigate the food wastage and preserve the nutritional value of produce," it said in a statement.

Also, direct farm sourcing coupled with direct sales to consumers results in cost effectiveness and no margin leakage to middlemen or other business to business players, the company added.

"Following the success of Bakhtawarpur centre in Delhi which receives fresh produce from over 20 villages around the city, Milkbasket has shortlisted villages in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Nasik, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for the next wave."

Milkbasket Co-founder and CEO Anant Goel said the company will continue to invest significantly to establish a robust processing and distribution network over the next year.

Additionally, the company has tied up with multiple farmers producers organisations (FPOs) across the country to source directly from states like Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Milkbasket said it also aims to get into the contract farming as the company believes contract farming done right can be very beneficial for both the stakeholders.

"The company is in talks with various agronomists and farming experts to help farmers develop sustainable agricultural systems by technical knowledge transfer.

"As a first step, Milkbasket has partnered with multiple hydroponic farms to ensure 100 per cent pesticide-free produce for its customers," the company added.

Currently, fresh fruits and vegetable category contributes over 25 per cent Milkbasket's sales and the company aims grow this category by at least 1.5 times over the next 12 months, Anant added.

Earlier this month, Milkbasket raised an additional USD 10.5 million in its latest round of funding led by Unilever Ventures, with participation from Mayfield India, Kalaari Capital, and Blume Ventures and few Indian family offices.

Launched in early 2015, Milkbasket has till date raised close to USD 26 million (approx 180 crore) in equity funding from Mayfield Advisors, Beenext, Kalaari Capital, Unilever Ventures, Lenovo Capital, Blume Ventures and few family offices.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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