In 2011, Jigna Shah, 42, a housewife in Mulund, realised that a good way to beat the rising costs of veggies was to sign up for the Hari Bhari Tokri scheme introduced by Mumbai Organic Farmers and Consumers Association (MOFCA). As per this scheme, consumers become shareholders in farmlands. This ensures farmers a minimum amount of income every season and protects them from the middleman.
In return, the consumers get a share of the produce from these farms. Unfortunately, by the time Shah contacted MOFCA, they were fully booked and she was told to try again later. Her wait is now over as MOFCA is accepting new registrations for the monsoon and winter. Starting June 17, it is organising sessions to meet potential shareholders. “We are using the meetings as an opportunity to personally meet potential shareholders and explain how we function. Registrations will be accepted only from those who attend one of these meetings,” states the email sent by MOFCA.
Registrations for the new season have begun. A limited 250 farm shares are available for each season. The monsoon harvest is expected from the beginning of August while the winter harvest commences on November 21. Sowing for each season begins 45 to 60 days in advance, depending on the crop.
At the time of registering, you will be required to contribute R3,200 for the monsoon and R3,600 for winter. Each week, on a pre-determined day, your tokri of produce will be delivered to a pre-selected pick-up point. Delivery via dabbawalas is also available at an additional cost. Each tokri will contain a proportionate share (in quantity and variety) of the produce harvested that week. Occasionally, farmers will have fruits, cereals,
pulses and oils for sale, which will be available at an additional cost.
In the basket
Greens: Ambadi (Indian Roselle), Colocasia leaves, Shravani Maat (Amaranth leaves)
Cucurbits: Dudhi, Karela, Shirali, Padval, Ivy gourd, Cucumber, Pumpkin
Beans: Papdi (broad beans)
Others: Bhindi, Brinjal, Drumstick
Herbs and spices: Chilly peppers, lemon grass
Greens: Spinach, Methi, Safflower, Ambat chukka (Green Sorrel), Sarson
Cucurbits: Dudhi, Pumpkin, Karela, Padval, Ivy gourd
Beans: Papdi (broad beans), Chauli, Gawar, Peas
Others: Bhindi, Brinjal, Tomato, Capsicum, Drumstick
Roots and tubers: Suran (elephant yam), Sweet potato
Herbs and spices: Lemon, Coriander, Mirchi, Lemongrass