Agriculture is still the primary occupation of majority of the population in India. Every year, we come across thousands of cases of farmer’s suicide due to the mountain of debts that they get themselves into in order to feed the stomachs of the rest of the population.
Farmily India, a Bengaluru based startup, focused on the farm sector, aims to change this above situation.
The startup founded in August last year, links and maps farmers and buyers through its online portal and farmily mobile application. It creates an online marketplace for farmers thus helping them get the right price for their produce.
The startup is a hundred percent subsidiary of the United States incorporated Farmily Inc. and is actively promoted by serial entrepreneur Karthik Natarajan and three others.
According to Natarajan, Farmily is a result of sense of worry expressed by farmers in Karnataka. “During my philanthropic work in the villages of Karnataka, farmers asked me as to what IT, which has brought fame to Bengaluru, had given to them? Perhaps Nothing! This prompted me to research on this topic and see how I could be of help to them. Thus, Farmily,” he said in a statement to a leading newspaper.
Farmily gives a digital presence to the farmers by providing them with a microsite, where they can showcase their farm and post about the quantity and price of their farm produce.It also allows buyers to bid for a farm produce they are interested in.
As soon as a buyer shows interest in buying a farmer’s produce, a mobile text message is delivered to the farmer informing him about the same.The farmers can then accept, reject or negotiate the deal all online on the platform.
“We are just asking farmers to produce to demand and avoid food wastage. This interface is also beneficial to buyers as they know where their food is coming from and will help farmers have a long-standing relation with the end customers,” said Natarajan in a statement.
The only problem in the concept is that the majority of the farmers don’t have access to Internet. That’s why, for now, Farmily plans to target only a little tech savvy farmers.
The startup’s immediate plans include arranging logistics on the lines of e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart and also tieing up with cold-storage centers.
“We are in the process of raising funds and will formalise a deal by June end. And once we have a strong database, in the long run, perhaps advertisement from farm insurance companies, agriculture department, fertiliser companies and exporters can be a source of revenue for us,” Natarajan added.
According to the startup, its mobile app has already crossed the 10,000 downloads mark and claims, out of these, about 80 percent are farmers.