By September 28, 2021

Pune, a modern city in Maharashtra is also known as the land of Peshwas and scholars. My trip started with a quick meeting with one of the Co-founders of ELAI – Mr. ManishNair. ELAI is a tech platform that uses artificial intelligence and remote sensing to improve transparency in the Agri supply chain. Their technology not only benefits the
farmers but also the Agri stakeholders.

Pomegranate (nascent stage)

After a brief meeting with ELAI, my next meeting was with the Regional Director of National Co-Operative Development Corporation – Mr. V. Narayan. He assured me that he would assist in onboarding some genuine FPOs so that both, the FPO and FarmUnboxed could benefit from this synergy.

I then met with Mr. Abhijeet Bhasale, the founder of a renowned exporting co, Rainbow International, which largely exports mangoes, grapes, pomegranate and other fresh produce from Pune. During our meeting at his office, I came across an appreciation letter that was signed by the Ex. president of USA – Mr. George W Bush, I was fascinated by this
remarkable gesture.

Glimpse of Purandar fort from a distance
Misal Pav

The next day we visited their packhouse in Baramati which is around 50 kms from Pune. We passed through the historic city of Purandar, and had breakfast (Misal – a local Maharashtrian cuisine) at his hometown – Saswad. Abhijeet has an ancestral house in Saswad (known as a Wada) which is more than 300 years old. We then visited some farms of bitter gourd and pomegranate followed by a visit to Rainbow International’s
packhouse. The packhouse is fully equipped with dedicated areas for grading, sorting, pre-cooling and cold storage.

Mulching : A process is used to retain moisture and good bacteria in the soil.
Bitter Gourd sapling
Red Capsicum ; raw and ripe

I visited more farms and playhouses in Baramati. These polyhouses were of green and red-yellow capsicum. The produce was export-grade and met the required specifications which FarmUnboxed was looking for. Overall, my trip to Pune was worthwhile where I got to meet top-grade exporters and farmers. Looking forward to having more fruitful visits.

Yellow capsicum; ripe and raw