“I look at the market in two segments—Pre-Jallikattu and Post-Jallikattu,” reveals Vetrivel Palani, founder of UzhavarBumi. The founder was a part of the historic protest at Marina Beach in January 2017. “During the protest, several farmers’ issues came up,” he reveals. Vetrivel did not have a background in agriculture or farming. For someone like him, the protest was a revelation about the atrocities that the profession faced. 

The harsh reality moved Vetrivel. He brought his friends together and started an NGO to support farmer communities with food and education. “We travelled around Tamil Nadu to different villages during that time,” recalls Vetrivel. The face-to-face interactions with the farmers revealed the injustice towards the profession. The existing third-party vendors were not paying a fair price for the farmers’ services.

All of a sudden, like a revolution, new startups emerged. Some worked with farmers to market their produce—some innovated on agricultural processes. Organic farming processes and products came to light. However, the dairy farmers were still struggling. Unlike fruit, vegetables and grains, milk is highly perishable. The farmer needs to sell the milk within two hours of milking. Dairy industries purchase milk from these farmers based on demand. “When there is demand, the farmers get a good price. If there isn’t, they don’t,”…


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