Producer companies (PCs), formed under the Tata Trusts' Sukhi Baliraja Initiative (SBI) organised a three-day Grain Festival in May 2013 in Amravati, Maharashtra, to allow direct interaction between farmers and customers. Flex banners publicised the event, which sold farm products from four districts of Maharashtra – Amravati, Akola, Yavatmal and Wardha, and opened a channel for direct marketing for agricultural products. 

The event, which saw 1,200 visitors, had customers who took keen interest in farming methods and the different varieties of products. The farmers sold 86.7 quintals of wheat and 12.4 quintals of tur dal, earning a profit of Rs36,740. By removing the middleman in the value chain, the PCs achieved a 10-20 percent price realisation, leading to savings of Rs200 per quintal on any product. The festival has not only helped increase farmers' income but also opened up new avenues of direct marketing.

The Grain Festival introduced PCs to the market and helped them create an awareness of the quality of agricultural produce. It also helped them understand customer needs, build up farmers' marketing skills and strengthen the relationship between the producer groups and PCs.

This was a great learning experience for the Board of Directors of the PCs, to get firsthand exposure to procurement, logistics and marketing products, which will help them plan their business operations better.