A buyer-seller meet organised by Kalgudi, a free-to-use convergence platform for the entire ecosystem in agriculture and allied activities, here on Tuesday has opened up new avenues for farmers to sell their produce at a competitive price by tying them up with prospective buyers.
Acknowledging the utility of the platform, T. Raju, a farmer representing Kattangur Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) in Nalgonda district, said they were directly provided an opportunity to interact with about nine buyers of cotton with an assurance to visit their standing crop in 10 days.
“They have seen our cotton samples and may ask for some specifications such as less moisture content before negotiating the price. However, it would be a useful system since the buyers would procure the produce at the farmer’s doorstep and make payment immediately, doing away with the role of middlemen and also saving other overheads such as transport costs incurred in case the produce is taken to market yards. It would also do away with delays in getting payments,” the farmer explained.
Mr. Raju was one of the 120-odd farmers and buyers who attended the meet from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and other States besides another 500 farmers and buyers logged in online from across the country.
He stated that their FPO has 500 farmers as members producing cotton, paddy and citrus (lime) on about 3,000 acres.
30 lakh farmers
The Kalgudi platform has about 30 lakh farmers from across the country on board as on date, founder MD and CEO Raj Vallabhaneni said, explaining that the journey so far has been quite challenging as it took nearly six years to build the platform, including two years to link the farmers.
“We begin with taking the right information at the right time to farmers at every stage of cultivation of a crop – from sowing to harvesting to marketing – with the help of universities, research organisations such as ICRISAT and government departments. We disseminate the information through mobile phones and artificial intelligence,” Mr. Vallabhaneni stated. They also help the farmers in improving the market potential of their produce with documentation on inputs and traceability creating a proper value chain.
Stating that they were bringing together producers of only cotton and soyabean at present, Mr. Vallabhaneni said they would soon extend the buyer-seller interactions for other crops such as ginger, turmeric and chillies. On the financial model for sustainability of the platform, he said they would charge a reasonable amount ranging from 1% to 5% on completed transactions since they had to maintain escrow account and other logistics.