Innovation: Jagityal Couple Come Up With An App To Buy Rice Directly From Farmer
Category: Telangana

Hyderabad: The farm sector is besieged by inefficiencies, from output to storage to marketing. The income of farmers decreases even if one of these variables does not work optimally. A couple from Kodimial mandal of Jagtial's Poodur village have built a marketing network on Whatsapp and also on the internet, Farmer's Bridge Basket Retail, with the twin goals of helping farmers get better prices and also helping customers source unpolished rice, known for its health benefits. It will concentrate on rice this season. As per season, it has plans to add more farm products. Farmer's Bridge has orders of approximately 500 kg so far, but has set a target of 1,000 quintals in six months. This month, deliveries will begin and then it will employ around 15-20 people. Once the shipments begin, it will take 4 to 15 days to deliver them to customers by door.

The company works with approximately 200 farmers from Karimnagar, Jagtial, and Sircilla. The majority of the orders are from Hyderabad, said A Mounika, who, along with her husband A Ganesh, co-founded Farmer's Bridge. Mounika graduated from the Siva Sivani Institute of Management with a management diploma. After getting married about one and a half years ago, the couple lived in Hyderabad.

How is it working?

To local mills, the farmers take the paddy they make. They pack the rice in bags supplied by the start-up and store it in their homes. "We will go to the farmers once we get the orders, collect the stocks, and deliver them to customers. After including the overheads like travel and our fee, the price is set. This scale will be from Rs 45 to 50. We are cutting several intermediaries that are usually involved in trade in commodities," she said. Start-up orders are placed for one quintal (25 kg 4 bags) and above. There will be a delivery fee of around Rs 50 per bag (25 kg). It will take orders in units of 25 kg bags later on the basis of demand. Less than one quintal is not available as of now.

"As I grew up as a farmer, I am well versed in farming practises," the 25-year old said. There will be varieties such as Jai Shreeram, Telangana Sona, BPT, HMT and others available. Unpolished white rice is not very prevalent in the industry. When she had to buy rice in Hyderabad after the stocks she got depleted from her parents' sector, the idea to set up a farmer-customer platform came. We were used to eating rice that was unpolished. The rice sold on the market was polished and the taste was not to our liking. That sparked the idea of offering customers unpolished rice, she said. Her partner, who encouraged her to obtain a management diploma, lends a helping hand to Covid as he works from home.

Around Rs 10 lakh for furniture, registration, website, marketing and packaging were invested by the couple. On the topic being discussed, she said there are several supply chain intermediaries. Their participation raised customer prices with little added benefit to farmers. "We want to have a chain break. Farmers get a higher price than the MSP, and consumers get the commodity at a lower price than on the market," Mounika said. Orders can be put on 9441558550 via Whatsapp. Rice Bank 'has been designed by the start-up for those who cannot store rice. The prices are charged upfront here, but the rice is later shipped. Here, the charges for storage are also included.

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