Sahyadri Farms Post Harvest Care Limited raised Rs. 310Crs (almost EUR 40 million) growth capital from a group of impact-focused investors. Incofin, Korys, FMO and Proparco see Sahyadri Farms well-placed to help farmers run their businesses in a more profitable and sustainable way.
India is a country with an aspirational, young population (74% of the population is younger than 45 years) focused on enriching their lives through hard work and entrepreneurship. At the same time, the country faces challenges like inequality (gender, education, family wealth), outdated technology, inefficient supply chains, and a lack of access to capital. The country is witnessing a strong movement towards entrepreneurship to help solve these multidimensional problems the country faces.
Sahyadri Farms is a good example of rural entrepreneurship providing end to end solutions to small and marginal farmers.
In 2010 a group of 10 farmers took the initiative to collectively produce and export fresh grapes to Europe. That initiative has grown into the leading fruits and vegetable export and processing company that Sahyadri Farms is today, servicing over 18,000 farmers, covering more than 31,000 acres and 9 crops. The company walks with its farmers from their choice of crops to the farming practices they employ, from the inputs they use to how they harvest and sell their agricultural products. The company for example offers a digital platform that informs farmers on high yield crop varieties, farm inputs, real time climate information and access to the market place.
The economic and social impact of Sahyadri for these farmers is significant. Namdeo Pawar is one of them: “In 2012, I was on the verge of selling my land. Sahyadri supported me, helped me get back up, and I pushed myself to return to work. Trough Sahyadri, my income increased. In 2014, I even repaid my bank loan.” Also for farmer Anil Dawre working with Sahyadri Farms brought about a turnaround: “I farm on less than one acre, because a part of my land is taken up by my home and an animal shed. Group farming turned out to be a success. My parents never imagined their son’s produce would travel abroad. Their joy knows no bounds.”
The capital coming from Korys, FMO, Proparco and Incofin is intended to further grow the farmers company. Sahyadri Farms wants to expand its processing capacity for fruits and vegetables-based products, set up a biomass plant to generate electricity from process waste and enhance its infrastructure, like warehouses. These investments will in turn support rural entrepreneurs working in the Sahyadri network to help overcome local challenges and make agricultural farming a viable and sustainable business.
“The idea of Sahyadri Farms is to unite farmers and make them think like professional entrepreneurs. We are building a sustainable, scalable, and profitable organization for all our stakeholders by making farming profitable and viable activity for each small and marginal farmer.” – Vilas Shinde, founding farmer and Managing Director of Sahyadri Farms.
Alpen Capital acted as exclusive strategic advisor to Sahyadri Farms for this transaction.
Rahul Rai, Partner at Incofin India: “Incofin feels privileged to lead this investor consortium and for its partnership with Sahyadri Farms to support their spread as a global role model of a partnership-based approach to farming that results in sustainable financial impact, climate change adaptation and inclusive growth in rural communities while creating a technology-driven, globally competitive business.”