Jyotsna Kaur Habibullah, Founder and CEO, Lucknow Farmers Market
Q: How did the concept of starting an online market place for farmers occur to you?
We had been organising a physical farmers market for 10 years since 2013. It was a natural progression to grow the market online. During the pandemic, when we were all under lockdown in our houses, customers were unable to source locally grown produce and more importantly farmers and local entrepreneurs lost their market. We all switched to online, no contact mode. Over the past 10 years we have built an ecosystem with hundreds of farmers and startups connected to Lucknow Farmers Market (LFM). The focus was taking the traditional techniques and method of living organically and in an ecofriendly way which has been deeply entrenched in our belief system. Also, as the livelihoods of farmers and small entrepreneurs was severely affected, we decided to make LFM an online platform to reduces the gap between the consumer and the seller.
Q: What were the major challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?
A major hurdle was convincing the farmers from outside UP to come on board with us. We had to explain the concept, process and the concept of LFM. Nevertheless, my team and I put in hours of work to help the farmers understand the concept and join hands with us. We had built a loyal customer base locally in Lucknow but it took us time to find a pan India client base. We undertook promotions through posters, videos, social media and several other means. After trying the product once, most people acknowledged the purity of the products and became permanent clients.
Q: How do you foresee the portal serving people in the long run?
Lucknow Farmers Market presents a simple unadulterated way of living your life organically. Being determined to make change, a change that not only allows us to breath healthy but, also adds relief to mother nature. With environmental degradation at the current rate, there is no future to look at. It is essential for each one of us to take a step. With those thoughts and the wish to sustain lives one generation after the other, it has been my pleasure to bring together a team of people from different spheres of life to revive the ideals of living sustainably. We wish to continue spreading the importance of living a sustainable, healthy and organic life in the years to come and keep expanding our partner base to incorporate as many start up entrepreneurs and grass root farmers onto our online platform.
Q: What are the formalities an entrepreneur needs to fulfil to collaborate with you?
All entrepreneurs are welcome on our platform if they provide a natural product or service. As long as a person wishes to make sustainability a priority, there is nothing that can stop them from being associated with LFM. The entrepreneur should be dedicated and well informed about their products. They must be able to provide suitable products for the website, products which are organic, natural and certainly unadulterated. The registration process takes merely 5 minutes. All one needs to do is go on the website and fill the form for ‘become a partner’.
Q: What is you advise to the youth who wish to pursue an environmentally sustainable career?
A sustainable career is bound to be a boon in the times to come. With the world rushing towards development of green economies, this is a career option which offers a lot of scope. We all have the ability to make the change, the potential to grow and create a greener environment. Several countries have promised the UN to reach the goal of net zero emissions by 2050, which makes it a suitable career choice for people from economic and technological backgrounds as well. If you wish to pursue an environmentally sustainable career, make it your passion and you will truly make an impact and ensure a greener future for us and the Earth.