Agri-tech startup AgriBazaar delivers tech-enabled future-ready solutions to the farming community. Amith Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO, AgriBazaar, shares how the new-age digital platform is helping small farmers and merchants
Noida, India: 2nd May, 2020
What are the key features of your online agricultural marketplace? Any significant milestones since your inception in 2016?
• Connecting farmers to markets, Agribazaar is a new-age digital (electronic) e-mandi for small-farm owners (farmers) and merchants and buyers where they can buy and sell agri-produce directly at mutually transparent and best price mechanism without the involvement of middlemen.
• The idea behind AgriBazaar is to deliver tech-enabled future-ready solutions to the farming community in a frictionless manner and revolutionise the way post-harvest management services are processed across the country.
• It is this vision that empowered AgriBazaar to facilitate INR 9000 crore (GMV) worth of transactions since its inception, making it one of India’s largest online agri-trading marketplace.
• At present, the innovative platform connects around 10,000 traders and processors, over 100 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) with its network of over 2 lakh farmers across India.
How is your agri-tech platform helping or can help the farmers in the current scenario?
• In the current situation, our tech platform meets the Covid-19 safety procedures as it ensures no crowding in physical mandis and maintaining social distancing norms.
• As a full-stack agritech player, we have replicated the physical mandi to an (electronic) e-mandi aggregator model.
• In our platform, once a farmer registers and uploads his produce, buyers like merchants, traders and corporates can give orders for purchase. Once the deal is complete, we ensure the logistics of picking up the grain from the farmer’s doorstep and delivering it to the buyers’ godown or warehouse. Farmers get their payments online in their bank account within the stipulated time.
How effective can AgriBazaar be in solving supply chain issues looking at the crisis arising in the country due to Covid-19?
• The www.agribazaar.com app is helping our registered farmer members to find purchasers on our platform in a transparent yet safe manner.
• Our field staff and agronomists spread all over the country, provide the critical last-mile logistics support to pick up the produce from the farmers and deliver it to the buyer. This ensures the safety of the farmer, social distancing norms and less crowding at the mandis.
• Additionally, we provide value-added services like warehouse financing for the produce, quality checking facility, pre-sowing and post-harvesting solutions to increase yield.
What kind of support does your platform need from local authorities?
The Indian Government, under the guidance of our Hon’ble PM, has already taken note of this problem. Every effort is being made to mitigate the situation. As you are aware, farm and allied services have been exempted from the lockdown. Now, procurement from the agri-sector should happen smoothly.
I would appeal to the Indian and all state government to work closely with startups that can genuinely ensure the current lockdown doesn’t prevent the farmer from selling his produce. Our AgriBazaar app is available in OS stores, and by directly downloading and registering oneself, farmers can start finding buyers on an immediate basis. If the government agencies can promote such digital platforms and create mass awareness, it will not only solve the current agri-problem but lead to a long term behavioural change among farmers towards tech-driven transactions.
It is is a wonderful opportunity for India to leapfrog from the physical mandis scattered all over the country to single platform marketplaces as an e-mandi (electronic platforms). It will protect the Indian farmers’ interest in the best possible manner.
What are your plans for the future in terms of new technologies and strategic expansion ?
• We are continuously feeding and uploading farm data in our app. Through AI and ML, we want to ensure that every small farm owner’s data becomes a key decision-making tool for us. Be it his agricultural land history to credit history to his family history. We want to become the Google Maps of the Indian agri-sector where every farmland is identified, tagged and mapped.
• Through technology, we want to democratise and empower the Indian farmer. Till date, the small Indian farm owner/farmer has never got his due or credit and hence is always financially poor and have been stuck with primitive agri-practices.
• Through our technology app, we are enabling farmers to get the best price for their produce in a transparent and fair manner bypassing middlemen. We want to become the Alibaba of small Indian farm-owners providing them with an electronic platform to trade anywhere in the world in a cost-effective manner.