If rising vegetable prices are making your annual household budget go through the roof, here is a healthy and cheaper option you can avail of. The new season of Hari Bhari Tokri, a scheme introduced by Mumbai Organic Farmers and Consumers Association (MOFCA) that sees fresh produce sourced straight from organic farms within a 200 km radius of the city and delivered to your doorstep, is now on. This season, which will continue till November, will see 200 consumers receive fresh seasonal veggies at reasonable prices with no middlemen around to raise costs.
“As part of the scheme, consumers will receive 15-16 tokris over a three-month period with six veggies in each basket for Rs. 3000. The average weight of the tokri is two kilos. But the produce varies and the quantity is low at the farming season and peaks later,” says Ubai Hussein of MOFCA, adding that the veggies in the basket too change according to the season.
The new season will also see the start of farm sharing, with consumers turning shareholders to promote sustainable farming. In return, you will have access to part of the produce grown by the farmers. Twenty farmers have pledged their lands and labour for the monsoon season (2011). MOFCA will support them by sharing technical know-how and other farming resources, creating an assured market and a fair, consistent price for their produce. Hussein says, “We have available to us a total of four acres of farm land. We are estimating a yield of 100 kgs/week from each acre. This will give us a total produce of approximately 400 kilos.”
However, Hussein adds that membership for current season is full and those interested in signing up will be added to the waiting list. He says, “But the wait could be long. Registered members are given first preference to continue when the new season begins. Only when they opt out, members on the waiting list are given a chance.”