Success Story: Dhimsa Coffee Farmer Producer Company helps Indian farmers make gains: Meet Manikyam & Pottangi

The Dhimsa Coffee Farmer Producer Company is a group of coffee farmers who live and farm in the Araku Valley of India. With support from the Walmart Foundation through the APFMRP II project, the 2,300 farmers that are working with the Dhimsa Coffee Farmer Producer Company have received training on Good Agricultural Practices to increase crop yields, including training on bush management and pest and insect control. The farmers of this Farmer Producer Company (FPC) have also benefited from training on collective marketing and the establishment of collection centers, which allow farmers to aggregate their crops to better negotiate with buyers. Tanager has also worked to connect the Dhisma FPC to larger, more organized buyers who pay higher prices for a quality product. The introduction of digital moisture meters and weighing machines have also helped farmers receive higher prices, eliminating unfair weighing and grading practices often employed by informal buyers.

Below, in their own words, the President of Dhimsa Coffee Farmer Producer Company and a farmer associated with the FPC talk about how working with Tanager has increased their income and crop yields.

Hello everyone,

My name is Manikyam and I am the president of Dhimsa Coffee Farmer Producer Company Limited (DCFPCL ) in the Araku valley. In 2019 we created the Dhimsa Coffee Farmer Producer Company with support from Tanager. Tanager has provided marketing training to our Board of Directors and some of our lead farmers, focusing on marketing skills and the process of Farmer Producer Company-led marketing. Through this assistance we are beginning to attract new buyers. We visited with buyers and negotiated the price of the produce and fixed  targets such as quantity, transportation facility, gunny bags, and quality indicators. Earlier in the FPCs development we were mostly dependent on local buyers and who did not give us the best prices possible. Now we are equipped with marketing skills and market-knowledge and have prepared marketing plans for 2021. This year we sold 55 metric tons of coffee parchment – selling 40 metric tons to TATA Coffee Limited and 15 tons to different traders. We have improved our coffee quality and now have better coordination in the FPC in terms of  aggregation and documentation. This year our FPC was able to earn an income of Rs.3,50,000/ through collective marketing activities.  We have newfound confidence in ourselves and are moving forward with belief that we can market every crop we grow and earn more revenue. Thanks to Tanager for supporting us and guiding in every growing Dhimsa Coffee FPC limited.

Greetings all!

I am Pottangi Punnamma, from Dukkaguda village, Sunkarametta panchayat in the Araku valley. We farm coffee on 2 acres and enjoy an average crop yield of 120 to 150 kgs annually for the past 6 years. We used to sell our produce at weekly local markets or to local buyers. They deducted 5 to 7 kgs for each bag and provided a lower price than the market price. But now we have joined the Dhimsa Coffee Farmer Producer Company as a member and attended GAP and PHM trainings provided by the Tanager team. We learned about the PHM practices and using these practices we improved the moisture level for our produce. It has helped in improving our product quality and now we are getting 5 to 10 rupees more per Kg. The Tanager marketing team helps to educate us on market price on daily basis and provided us moisture and electronic weighing machines for marketing. The Tanager extension team has taught us about the moisture maintenance. We can now provide good quality coffee parchment to any type of buyer.