By Anca Voinea
The platform offers farmers in remote areas access to better deals on inputs, equipment and services
A new mobile app from IFFCO (the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative) gives farmer members an e-commerce platform where they can buy the things they need.
Launched in April, iMandi was created to offer farmers working in remote rural areas better deals over a five-year period.
Around 58% of households in India depend on agriculture for their livelihood while 70% of people live in rural areas. Research by Accenture involving 2,800 rural consumers revealed that 50% of rural consumers were willing to use digital channels.
Of those surveyed, 38% said they needed lessons on how to use these channels. In recent years, IFFCO has also led training and awareness-building campaigns to teach farmers to use online and digital payment tools.
Through the platform, they can shop for agricultural inputs and produce, rent tractors and other equipment, access consumer goods, loans, insurance services, education and vocational training, healthcare services or simply listen to music. The app includes entertainment features and enables users to make calls and share best practices.
iMandi is now available to IFFCO’s 55 million members, making it the country’s largest e-commerce and social app.
It is a joint venture with IFFCO eBazar Ltd, a subsidiary of IFFCO, which runs 220 stores across 17 Indian states, as well as the omni-channel eBazar platform, where farmers can buy seeds, fertilisers, bio-fertilisers, pesticide, bio-stimulants and cattle feed.
The centres can also be used to ask for soil testing, health check-ups or micro loans. IFFCO used cloud technology to develop the platforms.
IFFCO is the biggest co-op in the world ranked by turnover on GDP per capita. The society has 36,000 co-operative societies members and has pledged to double the income of the farmer members from USD $720 to USD $1,440 by 2022.
In January this year it started offering door-to-door delivery services of its agricultural inputs across India through its digital platform, Indian Cooperative Digital Platform (ICDP). The products are available to farmers in packages of up to 5kg and are delivered at no additional cost. So far, IFFCO has spent USD $15 on platform development.
Anca focuses on international news – and with French, Spanish and Romanian languages under her belt, this is an important area of growth for the news. In addition to writing general news, Anca’s specialisms include politics and sport.
Source: Co-operative News