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Connecting small animal husbandry farmers to underserved communities, preventing post harvest losses & enhancing food security

Photo of Ambika Ghuge
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Meat Mart is a omni-channel marketplace concept that would connect small local chicken / fish / eggs / seafood and other meat producers with local consumers across small towns and villages in India. Indian consumers strongly prefer 'fresh' meat (live birds / freshly caught fish culled in their presence). Fresh meat retail dominates 95% of local consumption, but consists of highly unorganized small butcher shops and fishmongers across the country. There is a huge gap between the farmers and these retailers, with 5-9 intermediaries, who transport live birds / chilled fish across thousands of kilometers, with no proper storage facilities. Birds and fish are pumped with antibiotics, and dead fish is sprayed with formaldehyde, a dangerous preservative used to preserve bodies in morgues. This endangers consumer health, since consumers eat diseased, unhygienic, stale produce from distant places. Farmers receive a small fraction of the final sale price, and often undertake distress sales to traders due to lack of storage facilities and market connect. Meat Mart would solve these problems by creating a marketplace that displays pricing and inventory of local farmers to retailers, and create quality benchmarks on farm produce through a rating system, enabling local retailers to access top quality fresh produce and incentivising local farmers to ensure quality by receiving higher prices and assured markets for their produce. This marketplace would be backed by an in-house logistics system to ensure order fulfillment in the local zone, so that farmers get direct access to markets. This would completely eliminate intermediaries and prevent post harvest losses due to the state-of-the-art, tech-enabled logistics system.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Meat is a $2.6 billion industry in India, employing 40 million people. Every district has thousands of meat retailers and hundreds of meat producers, including independent farmers, contract farmers, farmer producer organizations, small-scale backyard producers etc. Activities like goatary and poultry also engage a large number of rural women and tribals. Since live produce is a highly perishable commodity requiring specialized logistics, these farmers are dependent on traders for market access. Small retailers are often local unemployed youth, and rural distribution is undertaken by women in low-income and tribal communities. Our primary beneficiaries shall be local farmers of meat products on the one hand, and on the other hand the retailers, wholesalers and distributors across small towns and rural areas

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Meat Mart by ZooFresh Foods Private Limited would be the only B2B tech-enabled platform to connect livestock farmers and buyers in India. While the fruits and vegetables space has seen startup activity in recent years with players like NinjaCart, Sabziwala etc across the value chain, there has not been any major disruption in the post harvest segment for meat industry. Within the meat sector, startups like Zappfresh and Licious are undertaking on-demand delivery of chilled meat to consumers in big cities, but the farm to retailer / processing plant is still unorganized. Similarly, while large players like Venky's and Suguna have established themselves in the production space, post production is still dominated by local, inefficient traders. Meat Mart would heavily deploy tech to build a marketplace that solves for the information asymmetry across prices, inventory and quality on the supply side (farmers) and demand forecast and price realizations on demand side (retailers/processors)

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

ZooFresh Foods is a post harvest logistics and marketing company focused on providing market access to local farmers, preventing food wastages and enhancing consumer health. Please see for more info.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The founders have operated small poultry farms, & have done meat marketing and retailing. Having explored the all the components of farm-to-retail value chain, we realized that the entire value chain is broken, subject to exploitation by intermediaries. There is no focus on product quality, traceability, wastage prevention & consumer health. Annually, 20-40% of the produce is wasted, which can feed millions of consumers in a poor country like India. This inspired us to deploy tech for disruption

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

In fragmented, unorganized supply chains, small local farmers, who are often resource-constrained, are the most vulnerable. Dwindling incomes & distress sales have disincentivised them from improving productivity and making investments in sustainable agricultural practices, leading to a vicious cycle of poverty. Large producers who undertake intensive production usin g antibiotics & growth hormones deplete resources, but are rewarded by the traders due to their economies of scale. Rudimentary post harvest processes lead to massive wastages of produce & precious resources that were used in production. Preventing wastages could feed millions of more poor consumers at affordable pricing. Promoting small local farmers & ensuring better prices for higher quality would encourage local, sustainable, less-intensive production practices, discouraging the use of antibiotics in the process. Thus, Meat Mart would increase farmer & community prosperity, prevent food wastage & ensure consumer health

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We work closely with municipalities, state and central govt. departments (agriculture, animal husbandry, food processing, etc). We are currently recognized by Startup India & Startup Odisha, are part of FSSAI's Food Innovators' Network, & have been shortlisted by the Ministry of Agriculture's Agriculture Grand Challenge. We work closely with rural communities, and are currently in talks with the Fishery Cooperative of India (FISHCOPFED) for collaborations. We also have a PPP with the Odisha Poultry Federation. We are incubated at leading social impact & technical incubators like KIIT-TBI, UnLtd India, CIFA, a-IDEA NAARM & Upaya Agribusiness Accelerators. We are planning to collaborate with non-profits to undertake capacity building of our farmer base, and with banks to extend credit to the farmers and retailers on our platforms. By engaging in such partnerships we intend to increase farm productivity, undertake innovations in post harvest management, and ensure smooth distribution

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Meat Mart will launch in East, central & South India. This area has a well developed base of chicken, fish, egg farmers, with the states having the largest production. These areas are also predominantly meat-eating, with over 90% of the population non-vegetarian, unlike in North India (which has a large vegetarian population). There is strong demand from the HORECA sector and processing plants, which require high quality produce directly from farmers, with full visibility on the supply chain.

Geographic Focus

Meat Mart will be launched in Eastern & Central India, & expand to South India in Phase 2

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

24 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


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