The company, Western Ghats Agro Growers Limited (WGAGL), will function as an aggregator for member farmers and use futures exchanges to hedge their price risks in related commodities.
The company has set up two facilities for grading and sorting of spices in the Idukki district, and one more is in the pipeline, NSEL managing director and chief executive Anjani Sinha said.
Currently, NSEL has a majority stake in the new venture, he said, adding that its holding will come down with the increasing participation of farmers. Already 300 farmers have become members as well as shareholders of WGAGL, he said.
NSEL has pumped in R25 lakh so far to create infrastructure, while farmers have put in R5 lakh.
WGAGL will store farmers produce in NSEL warehouses in Kerala. This will enable the growers to avail bank loan by pledging warehouse receipts and enhance their holding power, and they will be able to fetch off-season premium.