AgriBazaar looks beyond the e-mandi to further its agritech push

The Economic Times

AgriBazaar, an agritech startup, is moving beyond a pureplay marketplace and heading into agri-advisory, crop identification and estimation, its cofounder has said.

“We’re a full stack platform for agri-businesses, and as far as new tech developments at AgriBazaar are concerned, every week we add features on our app to provide value and better customer convenience,” Amith Agarwal, who is also chief executive of the company, said. “We are providing advice to farmers and connecting them to the market.” 

The agritech startup is using satellite imagery for crop identification and estimation, and remote sensing to provide farmers information on climate-based cultivation patterns. “The rains are very late nowadays, so the sowing pattern has changed,” Agarwal said. 

Founded in 2016, AgriBazaar delivers tech-enabled, future-ready solutions to the farming community and revolutionises the way post-harvest management services are processed across the country. The full-stack, bootstrapped agritech startup has replicated the physical mandi as an e-mandi: a farmer registers and uploads his produce on the platform and buyers then place orders for the purchase. Once the deal is complete, AgriBazaar facilitates the logistics of picking up the grain from farmers and delivering it to the buyers’ warehouse. The company currently services seven lakh farmers and more than 35,000 users, buyers and processors on the platform. The goal is to reach at least 30 lakh farmers in the next 24 months through an aggressive customer acquisition strategy, Agarwal said. AgriBazaar also has a payments platform called AgriPay that takes care of farmers’ bills and ledgers.

“It’s a completely unorganised, untapped sector,” he said. “Today, so many people are involved in agriculture, but there is no technological intervention in the sector. The internet is now everywhere and that’s the biggest strength which is leading to innovation in agricultural sectors. So a number of players are coming and they’re providing better tech solutions to farmers to increase their profitability and productivity.” 

According to the company, it has facilitated Rs 14,000 crore worth of transactions since inception and connected around 10,000 traders and processors, over 100 farmer producer organisations (FPO). Over 15 lakh million tonnes of commodities have been stored in more than 700 warehouses, both owned and managed by the brand. 

AgriBazaar’s gross transaction value has risen by nearly 400% compared to a year ago, Agarwal said. To cater to this surge in demand, the company has stepped up hiring.

“Last year, we added about 100 people, and we will be hiring about 100-150 people more by the end of this financial year,” Agarwal said. “The biggest innovation is having a marketplace and getting farmers on board. Initially it was a challenge, but now it’s no more challenging. Winning their trust, and execution and trade on the platform through a digital mandi in itself is a big innovation at this moment.”

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