India is an agricultural country, and technology plays a vital role in the Indian agriculture sector. Mobile apps, GPS support, and intelligent machines are helping farmers get good crops. Agricultural traders are also getting help through digitization in the Indian agriculture mandi business. This sector is now on the verge of digital transformation. So, lets know more about the Digitization in Indian Mandis.
The digitization of agriculture sector
With the introduction of modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Climate-Smart Advisory, Geo-tagging, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the last few years, the agriculture sector has witnessed a substantial increase in the number of investors too. The agritech startups in India have been doing quite well. Amid COVID-19, there has been an increase in agricultural commodity trading and availing other allied services among the farmers. Consequently, agritech startups have been receiving a good response from the stakeholders in the agriculture sector. Below are some top benefits that agritech startups have bought to the Indian agriculture sector:
1. Increase in income
The situation for most farmers in India has been dismal, with low incomes, rising debt, and volatility in production prices due to single-cropping. Agritech startups have been empowering farmers in their existing operations. From planting seeds to where they should sell their produce after harvest, these startups are helping farmers increase their income and improve productivity along with profits.
2. Agriculture guidance
Many agritech startups have developed mobile apps that help Indian farmers buy the best seeds and fertilizers for their crops. These apps also help them with weather information, estimation of water requirements, fertilizer usage, pest control, etc.
The Indian agritech ecosystem has been proliferating recently due to the increasing penetration of smartphones and the internet in rural India. With the help of the internet, agritech startups are creating awareness among farming communities via apps, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. This helps them connect with a network of traders, retailers, and exporters to get the best prices for their produce.
4. Credit system improvement
The credit landscape of the country is changing with the rise of fintech and agritech startups. Many farmers and mandi traders can now avail loans from formal institutions at low interest rates. The farmers’ crops get insured with agricultural insurance, while agricultural finance provides working capital for farmers and agricultural mandi businesses.
The digitization of mandis
The Indian mandi system is largely unorganized. Due to a lack of accurate information, farmers often were not aware of the correct prices for their produce. Often, farmers had to sell their products at low rates or they used to sell produce only in selected mandis which they had prior dealings with. The buyers too often worked with existing suppliers or FPOs. This limited their access to a wide range of commodities from other regions. They also did not have the luxury of getting the best commodities for the right price. The way out of this was to introduce digitisation to the mandi system.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the electronic-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) portal in 2016. It is an Indian electronic trading portal that networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural products. It was launched to network the existing mandis on a common online market platform as ‘One Nation, One Market’ for agricultural products in the country.
Digital Mandi or Digitization in Indian Mandis means a digital market where farmers and agricultural mandi traders can easily buy or sell their produce. Digitization has started in the mandis in the last few years by agri startups to make agriculture mandi business easy & convenient. To further improve the facet of agritech in India, Nukul Upadhyay, Mahesh Jakhotia, Jitendra Bedwal, Daya Rai, and Nikhil Tripathi launched Bijak agri trading app in 2019. With the advent of Bijak in the mandi business, new possibilities have opened up for farmers and agricultural mandi traders.
Role of Bijak in the mandi system
Bijak is also one of those startups that are constantly trying to bring a transformation in the agricultural mandi business of India. The features mentioned below make Bijak India’s trusted agri trading app. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of trading online.
1. A strong network of traders
Digital mandis enable agriculture commodity traders to interact directly with each other. Due to this, India is becoming more robust in agricultural mandi trade. On the Bijak App, farmers or traders can access a strong network of 30,000+ verified buyers and suppliers across India. Many mandi traders are growing their businesses by connecting digitally.
2. Better price for mandi commodities
It is better to check the rates of commodities in different mandis of India than to trade at a fixed rate in a single mandi. This helps traders sell/buy their produce at the best prices. With the help of the Bijak app, traders can get the latest rates of mandi commodities from 2,000+ mandis of India in one click.
3. Trade beyond geographical boundaries
Earlier farmers and mandi traders used to trade their agricultural mandi commodities in their villages, nearby areas, or within the state itself. Now they can buy or sell their produce in any mandi in India where they get the best rates. Using features like call or chat on Bijak app, buyers/suppliers can connect with any mandi trader across India, increase their network and do business with them.
4. Ease of payment
In most mandis, farmers and mandi suppliers don’t get their payments on time. This creates enormous problems and forces them to sell their produce at low rates. Digitizing the payment process makes it easier to make or receive payments and has a beneficial effect on the income level of farmers. Bijak also provide a 100% secure payment facility to quickly make/receive payments from counterparties. Traders can also generate E-Bijak and keep a digital record of all their transactions.
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