Coronavirus: The whole nation is under lockdown due to a coronavirus outbreak. This lockdown has wrecked several businesses and disrupted economic activities.
To curb the pandemic, the government implemented lockdown in the entire country with strict guidelines.
Every business felt the impact of countrywide lockdown in their works and operations. COVID-19 disrupted various operations in agriculture and supply chains.
During the first phase of the lockdown, the most significant impact felt in the food supply chain. All because of the shutdown of APMC markets, disturbance of transport, logistics, and lack of contractual workers, etc.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) published the primary guidelines of lockdown for all the health, food, and agriculture businesses.
The issued guideline made no reliefs for farm workers and agricultural tender companies. It leaves a third of India’s informal sector in the jump.
But, PM Modi’s address on March 27 described the plans the government was planning for farmers.
They stated the steps to assist all farmers before the picking season, which can influence the country’s food supply for the rest of the year.
Although, even after the assurances from the governments, works are going too slow. The reason behind it is the absence of fleet & truck operators, and restriction of interstate and intrastate transfer of agricultural machinery. Other inputs that slow the works are fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, and barriers to buying fresh goods.
In this pandemic, AgriBazaar enters into the market and works with over two lakh farmers in India.
It is a Delhi-based agritech marketplace that supports farmers and traders to sell their products in an efficient and quick way. The selling and buying of produce happen through online mandis (e-mandis).
The AgriBazaar platform offers the best solution for farmers from their own houses. It reduces the farmer’s travel to physical mandis, and offers to sell fresh produce online from the safe limits of their homes.
The move of electronic buy ensures the farmer’s health and safety. It also follows social distancing activities, and helps to avoid overcrowding in the physical mandis.
The agritech startup works with over 120 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in India. Also, it unites farmers with state governments, procurement agencies, and food processing companies. Companies like Britannia, AgroPure, and others work with AgriBazar.
The CEO of AgriBazar says they are committed to the government’s efforts to buy the last available grain from farmers.
With support from local authorities, they will ensure that the agricultural produce doesn’t go waste.
The online or e-mandi model – Coronavirus
AgriBazaar has copied the physical mandi online and engaged it with trading features.
It is an essential platform for farmers in this pandemic which will support to a great extent.
Framer needs to register its self over the platform and will have to list theirs produces.
Once the farmer registers and lists his produce, buyers can place their orders.
The platform integrated with its own payment wallet which is AgriPay.
Farmers encouraged to top up their AgriPay wallets to show willingness for procurement.
Having a successful transaction, the startup provides several services to users. It includes the logistics of collecting the products from the farmers’ doorstep and transporting it to the buyers’ warehouse.
It sends its own workers and vehicles, and also partners with local transporters & big logistics traders for the delivery.
The founder of AgriTech mentions and elaborated on the process of using the platform. He says buyers will get access to more than 12,000 suppliers which includes farmers and village-level traders. Each supplier gets verified by them based on the KYC registrations.
Buyers can access supplier ratings and a large selection of produces during procurement. The process will help them to act in a proper manner.
AgriBazaar supports the buyers from MNCs to small-scale industries with better price exposure. Sellers also get the benefit of more targeted marketing of their produce.
Farmers can sell their produce at no extra cost while the buyer needs to pay the transaction fees.
Additionally, the agritech also provides tech-based traceability solutions. The solution works for companies buyers and international clients like Agrocorp.
The Agritech process is going beyond the transactions. People are requiring more data and analytics. Giant buyers demand the complete visibility of farms, farm owners, crop history, and several data.
So, Amith the founder of AgriBazaar elaborates that they have developed an algorithm. The algorithm allows farmers to geo-tag their whole farm on the platform.
Based on that, they can upload satellite images of the farm and share the entire production map with the buyer.
Large turnover Post Coronavirus
AgriBazaar has recorded a major jump in transactions and inquiries throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. As people are avoiding crowded places like food mandis to follow the guidelines.
The AgriBazaar founder says The dimensions have been high in the last few weeks after the closing of APMC markets.
The business has grown by 400% in one month. They are getting more than 500 farmer requests per day. Also, Farmers get various deals and can save on transportation costs through the e-mandi.
AgriBazaar includes bestselling food grains, dry items like pulses, oilseeds, wheat, mustard, soybean, sugar, and milk powder. It also lists fruits like mangoes, grapes, and litchis.
The main focus of the App is to provide the items that have a shelf life of three to five months.
The produce is purchased from farmers in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. The startup has also united with co-operative societies for sugar and pulses.
The founder also mentions that operations have started enhancing in the last 10 to 12 days after the renewal of MHA’s guidelines on essential services.
To fight with the logistics problem, AgriBazaar is onboarding local transporters to transport produce between short distances.
AgriBazaar is also in discussion with governments in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and other states to produce bulk orders.
The startup delivers products to 160+ locations in India and has a great reach in 75 cities. The Super reach means end-to-end market linkages for farmers, and factory and complete warehouse network for corporate buyers.
The persistent impact of COVID-19 on India’s agriculture is yet unknown. The founder believes that it will give a boost to online marketplaces like AgriBazaar.
Due to the pandemic, Physical mandis are not durable in this situation. Agritech is a great innovation and will boom and increase its consumption. This is the best step to control the current pandemic and provide the proper produce to all places.