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Agri-tech: Harvesting advantages of tech on the mandi

Technology has give you options, which might mitigate farmers’ misery to a big extent.

Desraj, a farmer in Alwar, Rajasthan, sells mustard seeds, wheat and different grains on the Bansur Anaj Mandi in Alwar district yearly. But this yr, with the lockdown restrictions within the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Desraj began on the lookout for different choices. That’s when he heard about AgriBazaar’s e-mandi which allowed him to succeed in out to consumers by way of his cell phone bypassing any intermediaries, evaluate costs after which execute a deal, all nearly.
Within days, he had negotiated offers for 3 tonnes of mustard seeds on the AgriBazaar app, and was trying to shut extra offers within the coming weeks. Best of all, he didn’t must run round to get car clearances from native authorities.

AgriBazaar’s on-ground employees picked up his produce and transported it to the client’s warehouse, and the cash was credited to his account. “I plan to sell another 200 quintals of mustard seeds besides 500 quintals of wheat and 100 quintals of guar seeds on AgriBazaar,” says Desraj. “I also plan to buy seeds for the next sowing season on this app.”
Even although harvesting, sale of farm produce at mandis and different agricultural actions have been exempted from lockdown restrictions, farmers and consumers have been dealing with challenges in finishing up their operations.

It is right here that expertise has give you options, which might mitigate farmers’ misery to a big extent. From personal e-mandis to farm-to-fork startups that purchase recent produce in bulk from farmers to location monitoring and geo-fencing tech platforms that assist regulate the motion of vehicles into mandis, every of them are enjoying an essential position in making certain that famers get respectable remuneration for his or her year-long efforts.

“We have seen a 300% surge in the number of registrations from farmers and buyers since Covid-19 lockdown,” says Amith Agarwal, co-founder and CEO, AgriBazaar. “Our platform connects around 10,000 traders and processors, over 100 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) with its network of over 2 lakh farmers across India. The average deal size is 300 tonnes.”

AgriBazaar operates throughout 16 states, with most exercise in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, and many of the states in south India. “We never imagined social distancing and safety of the Indian farmer would get linked so closely with our business model of electronic buying and selling of farmer produce,” he provides. Till date, 32,437 auctions have been listed on the location, with `11,322 crore contract worth traded and transaction quantity of 26,29854 metric tonnes, claims the web site. It has additionally built-in Nafed milling public sale in its app.

Meanwhile, ride-hailing app Ola has collaborated with the Punjab authorities for efficient monitoring and managing 17 lakh-plus farmers’ produce and their car motion into mandis whereas following social distancing norms. It has shared its expertise capabilities to offer a direct channel to go genuine info to farmers together with distributing safety journey passes digitally. Its expertise platform, Ola CONNECTS, has a centralised dashboard which might observe the motion of farmers together with their automobiles in and round mandis enabling officers to handle the circulate of farmers when amassing their produce to forestall crowding. Says Pranay Jivrajka, co-founder, Ola, “All of Ola’s innovations across AI, tracking technologies, allocation and flow management are part of the CONNECTS platform.”

Varun Khurana, co-founder and CEO of Crofarm, a Gurgaon-based startup which provides greens and fruits to small and medium-sized retailers in Delhi-NCR instantly from farmers, says it’s getting extra queries from authorities horticulture businesses, FPOs in addition to particular person farmers because the lockdown. “Our buyers are also now relying on us more. Earlier, if a retailer made a Rs 3,000-4,000 order a day, now it is Rs 7,000,” he says . Fruits account for 40-45% of transactions in worth phrases on the Crofarm app, whereas 20% relate to onion, potato and tomato, and 30% is inexperienced produce.

According to Khurana, for recent produce there’s a very brief window on the market as it’s a perishable commodity. In the brief time period, the lockdown will pose an issue, he says. “At Azadpur mandi in Delhi which noticed round 25,000 tonnes of produce coming in each day earlier than the lockdown, the variety of consumers has gone down because the variety of incoming vehicles is proscribed. So numerous farmers are taking a look at options.

However, startups and trendy retail account for simply 5% of consumers. As of now, 90-95% of offers nonetheless occur on the mandis,” says Khurana. It is that this realisation maybe that led the agriculture ministry to launch the Kisan Rath cell app to assist farmers and merchants discover automobiles for motion of farm produce throughout the lockdown, making certain seamless provide linkages between farmers, FPOs, APMC mandis and intra-state and inter-state consumers. Developed by the National Informatics Centre, the app brings 5 lakh vehicles and 20,000 tractors on the platform.

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