A traditional farmers’ market that sells organically grown vegetables is grabbing attention in the industrial city of Kochi! The market is organised by the Nattunanma organic farmers’ society at Kakkanad MAAM government LP School, every Sunday from 8 am to 11 am.
The farmers directly sell their products at this weekly market. So, the customers say that they are confident about the authenticity and quality of the products. Interestingly, ‘products with an address’ is Nattunanma community’s tagline.
The customers are welcome to visit the farm lands and fields to see how the products are farmed. The most amazing highlight of this weekly market is that the farmers are allowed to sell only organically grown products.
Initiative of youngsters
The Nattunanma registered farmers society is the initiative of a handful of youngsters whose families are into organic farming. They aim to ensure the public easy access to safe food products by avoiding middlemen. Organic farmer Sebastian Kottoor (president), Hari Ram (secretary) who works in the IT field and interior contractor Noufal Mubarak (treasurer) are the office holders of the society.
It was in 2017 that the farmers’ market began with just nine farmers and fifty customers. However, now, it has grown to thirty seven farmers and more than five hundred regular customers. Besides, there are around eight WhattsApp groups for communication.
Veggies, fruits, malsala powders and value-added products
The customers can buy locally grown veggies and fruits like tapioca, yams, Colocasia, potatoes, banana blossom, mushrooms and bananas. Besides, milk, eggs, fresh coconut oil and homemade masala like coriander powder, chilli powder and millet powder and value-added products like curd, ghee and plantain chips too are available.
Long beans, bitter gourd, snake gourd, egg plants, spinach and tomatoes are the main vegetables that are sold here. Moreover, both local and foreign fruits like passion fruit, rambutan and avocadoes too could be bought.
Farmers from outside of Ernakulam as well
Besides Ernakulam, farmers from neighbouring districts too reach here with their products. Baby George who is a retired engineer from Palakkad brings mung beans, chickpeas, coriander seeds, mangoes and sapota to sell here.
Meanwhile, Harikrishnan and Darsha, both IT employees, bring fresh vegetables, chutney powders, curry leaves and traditional snacks from Cherthala. Most of these items are produced by Hari’s parents at their home.
Meanwhile, Sanjeev sells micro greens, kale and water spinach at his stall. Journalist Joji Xavier sells fresh mint leaves and drumstick leaves that are grown on his terrace. Joji who has been selling products at the market for the last four years say that his products get good price and have regular customers too.
Babu Sebastian, Paul Kureekal and Radhakrishnan are the farmers who bring the most number of items to sell. Meanwhile, more than ten women too have stalls here. Thankam, Mini and Baby are regulars who bring fresh produce from their farmlands.
Guidelines for farmers
There are certain guidelines to be followed in order to acquire the permit for selling products at the farmers’ market. The farmer should visit the market and express his willingness. After that, the farmers’ society would visit his farm land.
The famer would be allowed to sell his products at the market only if they society is convinced that they are organically farmed.
Each farmer should pay Rs 500 as desk fund in the beginning. This would be later refunded. Besides, the farmers should give 5% of their total income for the expenses towards running the market (the school has to be paid a rent of Rs 750).
Phone (Hari Ram, Secretary) – 99614 40644