Zizira is spearheaded by a single mantra: "to make a difference to farmers and Northeast India by pioneering new ideas, opening markets and proving the potential of the people and the land of the region." We achieve this by understanding farmers’ life, their pain points, making discoveries, exploring and hunting for market opportunities.
Why Agriculture in the Northeast?
The unique bio-diversity of the Northeast produces exclusive fruits, grains and medicinal herbs that are yet to be projected to the rest of the world.
The farmers of the region follow traditional farming techniques, thus our products are clean and free from chemical-based pesticides and toxins.
Most if not all the farmers fail to realize the potential right under their feet, they need a platform to showcase their produce.
We work closely with the farmers, so all that we source is known to us. We follow our belief and know that we owe it to our customers and to the farmers. We work authentically by demonstrating traits outlining our responsibility to the farmers of the region. But how do we select the farmers to work with? We use a simple check list.
Does the farmer need help with marketing?
In a recent post on top 5 challenges faced by Northeast India farmers we highlighted the adversities and challenges faced by the farmers. To help tackle such issues, Zizira explorers are on the lookout for farmers who need marketing solution for their produce.
Collecting details from the farmers
I have seen huge amounts of bhut jolokia thrown away or sold at a ridiculously low rate in the local market. The main reason being that there were too much of produce available in the market and the buyers were little - Badshai, Zizira team member.
This has to stop! Farmers need marketing outlets and Zizira is working hard by discovering and exploring viable marketing solutions so that at the end of the day no farmer has to throw away their produce.
Will Zizira’s work in that village/region help farmers generate better returns and at the same time be economically viable for Zizira?
Let’s give you a tour of Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya and the high curcumin Lakadong turmeric. Team Zizira were exploring the possibility of finding farmers willing to work with Zizira and in the process grow our family of farmers. The challenges of being a traditional turmeric farmer are numerous and we understand the need for immediate market solution to the farmers of Jaintia Hills.
The turmeric farmers of Jaintia Hills are under constant pressure with regards to turmeric price. The main issue being that the turmeric market is controlled by a handful of middlemen and local traders. Zizira can help eliminate the dependence of such farmers on these middlemen and in return provide them with a fair share for their hard work.
Could what we do impact the local community in a positive way?
As said by one of the farmers, My family doesn’t seem to be interested in agriculture! My family members prefer to work as daily wage workers rather than tend to the farm.
It is important for the next generation of farmers to see the benefits of and to take up agriculture as a livelihood and pass on the learning. With Meghalaya being an agrarian state, it is only these future food providers of the region that need to understand and harness the benefits of farming. Zizira can come up with a solution to their outlook and we may hold the key to support and educate the future agricultural entrepreneurs. From the above checklist, If the answer to the first two is yes, then we go ahead. If the third one is a yes too, then it is an additional bonus.
We believe in a culture where the farmers do not worry about their produce getting sold or any sudden change in the market price. We wish to join hands with the food providers of the nation and use our expertise of a ten-year-old organization and provide the best long term promise so as to have a win-win situation all round. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date on our new stories and initiatives and healthy products.
This series of posts – called the ‘Story of Zizira’ are extracted from my 2016 year-end notes covering the journey so far about Zizira, our one-year-old venture. What we have covered so far: Background Why Chillibreeze diversified and that too into agricultural products? Why we need to open markets for Meghalaya farmer