When Farmers’ Market — Bandra’s Sunday organic market that began in March — shut shop for the monsoon, Kavita Mukhi, its organiser, was inundated with calls asking about its reopening.
The wait is over. The market will begin on October 3 for the next 30 Sundays. The market is the first-of-its-kind initiative in Mumbai, which brought organic food directly from farms in Nashik to the streets of Bandra.
Food products grown organically do not use fertilizers. They require an organic certification. Products sold at the Bandra market have a certificate from an international body, Ecosert. The prices are 10 to 20 per cent more than non-organic products, but the city seems to be willing to pay.
“Last season’s success showed the demand for organic products in Mumbai,” said Mukhi who thought of the initiative after trying her hand at farming. “That is when I realised organic farming was very difficult and the farmers needed our support,” said Mukhi.
Around 50 farmers from around Nashik prepare three months in advance.
“There are no middlemen involved and the relationship we develop with our consumers is very encouraging,” said Sanjay Pawar, a 40-year old farmer who is bringing 30 varieties of vegetables and fruits for the market.
The market will have organic products such as ghee, cereals and pulses along with organic clothing and cosmetics.
Adding to the charm, there will be an organic café and musicians. Enthusiasts, who crowded the first season, are already gearing up for the second.
“It’s a call towards health and in spite of being nascent, it is a novel idea. I go there to understand the concept and benefits of organic food and contribute to it in a small way,” said Zarine Farooq Rai, a Bandra resident.