Monday, May 12, 2008

Final Day of the Dinamalar Agri-Expo

After 4 days, the தினமலர் Agri-Expo in Trichy closed. It was a useful time spent by us at the Expo, with our staff being able to spread the message to many people in the farming community. It was heartening to repeatedly hear from participants things like 'I've been looking for someone like you', 'What a great idea', 'It's great that you're doing something to help the people' and the like. There were a few people who already had ideas floating around and who were keen on applying for incubation support right away - ideas from these people varied from internet marketplaces to groundnut clipping machines, and many things in between. It will be interesting to see how these leads are transformed into incubatees and also how the general publicity exercise continues spreading the message of/about L-RAMP.

Our two exhibiting incubatees were a great support to us. It was gratifying to see and hear first-hand how they appreciated the help we are able to provide and to use their example as an instant testimonial to our incubation programme (and the fact that we aren't going to steal people's ideas). Having the incubator and incubatee together is a great mutually reinforcing combination and one which we will most likely repeat in future exhibitions.

Nemate Gro (promoted by GloTech Organics, Trichy) and the Sugavari Sprinkler (promoted by Cosy Industries, Chennai) both ended the Expo with successful results, having each signed up many interested farmers for field trials and sold some of their products. It was interesting for me to see how quickly the farmers understood the value proposition of each product and how easy it was to sell a good product face-to-face. That being said, the ability of each promoter to quickly bring the benefits of the product to light was essential to drive interest and when both promoters were directly engaging the farmers, the clamour in front of the stall was often 2-3 farmers deep, rivalling that of the Coffee Board of India (2 stalls down from us, selling great coffee at a good price).

It was long, interesting, sometimes tiring, occasionally wet, often busy and full of learnings :: the Dinamalar Agri-Expo was a successful 4-day venture for L-RAMP.

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