Equipping rural women with marketing skills

A mobile mart van recently launched for FPOs to meet their marketing needs.

A mobile mart van recently launched for FPOs to meet their marketing needs.


  • Rural women get trained in making millet-based items through workshops
  • Mobile rural mart vans are provided to procure and sell products of the FPOs
  • NABARD and NGOs help the FPO members in various endeavours

Visakhapatnam: Anarmy of women from Sirasapalli hamlet at Pedabayalu mandal of Alluri Sitharama Raju district look forward to heading to work each day as they have so much to coordinate with one another and share responsibilities as a team.

While some proceed into a processing unit to ensure snacks are made in right quantities and neatly-packed based on the orders they get, a few women board a mobile rural mart van to visit door-to-door either to sell assorted millet-based products they made or receive fresh orders.

After getting hands-on training through multiple livelihood enterprise development workshops facilitated by Sarada Valley Development Samithi (SVDS) and Sabala that empower FPOs (farmer producer organisations) through various endeavours, a number of women from several villages of ASR, Anakapalli, Vizianagaram and parts of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam, are now adept at making millet-based ready-to-eat products and also market them efficiently.

Associated with FPOs, including Giri Siri, Susag Millets Producers Ltd, Visakha Millets, Lambasingi Tribal, they not only market organically-grown millet products but also build awareness among locals about the importance of consuming indigenously grown millets and umpteen health benefits they offer.

“In addition to millet-based products, there is a great demand for organically-grown turmeric and pepper in Visakhapatnam, Odisha and Delhi. Also, millet-based savouries, cakes and cookies, millet upma mix and instant idli and dosa batter have become urban kitchen staples. Based on the orders we get, products will be made and delivered to respective destinations either through vehicles or courier service,” explains Tuburu Shanti Kumari, CEO of Susag FPO.

With the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) extending financial support to the FPOs for acquisition of mobile rural mart vans, the vehicles are used for procurement of grains along with other supplies and sale of products in various markets located in far-flung areas, including shandies and other places.

Along with NABARD, support to provide mobile rural mart vans was also extended by Rotary Club, AP Integrated Irrigation and Agriculture Transformation Project and NGOs. “So far, seven vehicles have been deployed to the FPOs who fall under the purview of North Coastal FPO’s Collective. From procuring grains to selling produce in markets and marketing in residential areas and apartments, the vehicles are used to meet assorted requirements of the millet sisters, including sale of millets, milk, organically grown vegetables, fruits and dry fruits,” shares K. Jogi Naidu, secretary of SVDS.

The deployment of the vehicles has brought significant benefits to the FPOs, ensuring sustainability of their business units. In the North Andhra region, the endeavours led by the NGOs aided in strengthening 19 FPOs by facilitating required infrastructure, marketing facilities and contributing to the rural economy.

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