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Agritech Can Empower Farmers To Spur Yield And Profitability

Kundan Kumar, National Sales Head-Marketplace, BPC Banking Technologies unfolds how Safal Fasal, an #AgriTech ecosystem platform, has been empowering the entire food value chain by connecting farmers with the marketplace and enabling them to optimise their produce and leverage better profitability. Kundan has 18+ years of leadership experience in sales, product development, marketing, change management, channel management, and profit center management. He has completed B.Sc (Ag) from Banaras Hindu University – BHU and PDGABM from MANAGE. In a candid interview, Kundan touches upon various dimensions of AgriTech for modern farming community.

1. What are the contemporary challenges in Agricultural space that AgriTech is addressing?

Marginal farmers have low produce and hence have to sell their produces locally. With less produce, they are not in the position to bargain better price for their produce. With no access to credit from organised sector they are on the mercy of money lenders charging higher interest rates leading to reduced margins for the farmers. Global warming is leading to uncertain weather conditions affecting the agriculture cycle.

2. What kind of solution does Safal Fasal provide to the farmers community?

Safal Fasal is an AgriTech ecosystem platform to improve farmers’ income levels by collaborating and bringing all stakeholders under one umbrella. Our platform connects both buyers and sellers, improve farmers income through increased access to multiple buyers, inputs at competitive prices, offering competitive credit rates through partners and access to advisory for efficient and sustainable crop productivity. All our transactions are digital and hence providing opportunity for produce traceability and digital footprints would eventually lead access to credit from organised sectors.

3. How does Safal Fasal differentiate itself from other AgriTech companies?

Safal Fasal is one-stop solution for all the needs of farming community. Be it inputs, crop advisory, output aggregation to processing, at every step we add value.

4. How many farmers are being benefitted through Safal Fasal?

Currently, we have 300 + Farmer Producer Cooperatives (FPCs)/ Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) associated with us. Through these FPCs/FPOs, we reach to more than 3 lakh+ farmers.

5. What do you see in terms of innovation in AgriTech space a decade down the line?

On input front: Using technology to monitor health of the crop, larger adoption of technology leading to early detection of crop infections, farmers with the use of mobile phones able to get appropriate guidance on type of implemented and would yield result only by coming together under one roof. While offering tech or automation services, companies need to focus on getting smaller farmers together and forming FPOs/FPCs.

6. What’s your take on corporatisation of farming in India? Will it solve the farmers’ issues or aggravate it? As we were discussing, how the small farm holdings would be a barrier for increasing productivity and getting desired output prices, everything has its positives and negatives. Positive is with corporatisation, technology and automation can be effectively utilised to increase productivity, reduce unpredictable production to some extent and increase levels. Utilisation of the inputs can be monitored in a more professional way benefitting the environment as well as the consumers. The negative side would be fierce commodity price competitiveness, harming small unorganised small mandis.



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