Bangalore: India’s second largest software exporter, Infosys Technologies Ltd, is developing a supply chain management solution to connect fruit and vegetable growers with buyers, including large retailers and supermarket chains.
The $6.3 million (Rs25.14 crore) initiative is funded by US Agency for International Development and is currently being implemented by ACDI/VOCA, a non-profit international development organization under its growth-oriented micro-enterprise development (GMED) programme.
Donald Taylor, head of GMED in India, said farmers either individually or through cooperatives can access the application through hand-held devices such as general packer radio service (GPRS) or code division multiple access (CDMA) phones and through personal computers.
The solution is being piloted with about 1,700 farmers at Nandani Fruit and Vegetable Growers Cooperative Society in Maharashtra and would be taken to other parts as well in the coming years. “Over the next five-eight years, the usage is expected to increase to a million farmers,” Infosys said in a statement.
GMED programme officials say it is different compared with that of the ITC Ltd e-Choupal that basically caters to farmers growing field crops and aquaculturists.
Compared with agricrops, fruit and vegetables are victims of many more pests and diseases, and growers require extensive extension services, which GMED hopes to facilitate using the Infosys application, Taylor added.
The solution application helps in managing supply chain issues ranging from profiling of farmer clusters to crop planning, scheduling, tracking, forecasting, and also covers traceability aspects.
The pilot programme allows access to technical information, including database searches for information and images, weather updates and market information on the average prices and daily sales volumes.