New Delhi: The government of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday launched a mobile platform, e-Rythu (e-farmer in Telugu) which will enable small-scale farmers to market their produce at reasonable prices.
The platform has been developed by global payments and technology company Mastercard and aims to digitize agriculture marketplaces, payments, workflows, and provide farmers an easy and secure way to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural products via their feature phones.
e-Rythu was launched by chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday.
The platform has been developed by Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya, and has been customized for India use by the Labs team based at Pune, the payments company said in a statement.
The app will help farmers looking to sell their produce to connect with the right buyers more efficiently in local language and receive the best possible prices.
Due to the small scale, and long travel distance from the places where they sell, most small and medium farmers in Andhra Pradesh suffer income losses. Additionally, since these farmers do not have a formal credit history, it is difficult for them to access any formal financial services, the statement added.
“Andhra Pradesh has led the way for information technology implementation in the country. It is time that we leverage innovation technology to address the challenges present in state’s horticulture sector. Our partnership with Mastercard to introduce e-Rythu will make horticulture markets more transparent for sellers, buyers, and other stakeholders, and pave the way for financial inclusion of millions of small and medium farmers in the state," said Chiranjiv Choudhary, Commissioner of Horticulture, Andhra Pradesh.
The government has a goal of reaching 1 million horticulture and agriculture farmers and over 300 farmer producer organizations (FPOs). The project will kick off with one large buyer, Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Ltd (LEAF), and four FPOs, namely LEAF Lambasinghi Horticulture Farmers Producers Cooperative Society Limited, Visakhapatnam, Chicacole Coconut Farmers Producer Company, Srikakulam, Giri Chaitanya Farming and Marketing Mutually Aided Cooperative Society Ltd, Visakhapatnam and Andhra Kashmir Farmers Producer Organization (Grijana Vikas Foundation), Visakhapatnam.
“e-Rythu is a digital solution that will help farmers deal with the challenges of receiving optimum price for their produce and gaining access to the marketplace. At Mastercard, we are confident that the use of digital solutions can potentially transform the lives of millions of farmers in India by providing them financial access, transparency and inclusion," said Porush Singh, division president, South Asia, Mastercard.