From a landless farmer to a successful entrepreneur, the story of VLE Bitthal Das, of Barthun village (Madhya Pradesh), is an inspiring tale of how agrarian community in rural India can take charge of their destiny through CSC Grameen eStore.
Forty one-year-old VLE Bitthal Das could be easily called the pioneer. This year he started to produce fruits and vegetables but was unable to sell it in the market due to corona pandemic. The vegetable producers are facing growing uncertainty as the COVID-19 crisis shuts down supply chains in the country. The euphoria over a rising trend in prices of seasonal fruits has started waning, with coronavirus dampening the prospects of growers on account of a subdued upcountry demand. The virus outbreak across the country has shattered farmers’ expectations of good returns.
Through CSC Grameen eStore, Bitthal Das is selling produce worth Rs 15,000 per day. The VLE started creating awareness among villagers how to download the app and taught how to order and also explained about e-store in nearby villages. While the spread of virus infections has alarmed customers, for VLE, this means taking additional precautions.
CSC Grameen eStore connects the farmers and the consumers without all the middlemen via mobile device. This encourages the farmers to produce more and quality produce as they have an increase in their incomes also these products are now available at more affordable prices for the consumer.
VLE Bitthal Das says, “Now, with the help of Grameen eStore, a large chunk of households in Neemuch district have had access to fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices—at rates much lower than what the local vegetable and fruits market or the handcart vendor would charge. This was made possible by standing the concept of CSC Grameen eStore. Instead of the farmer coming all the way to markets where the middleman would fleece him and where he had to pay steep taxes, the market went to his doorstep. As a result, customers could get the fresh products daily, making the farm-to-fork concept a reality long before retail chains began doing so in the metros.”