How can technology assist farmers?
Many instances around the world have shown that technology like precision and predictive analytics, smart irrigation & farm management system has helped farmers improve their productivity and profitability. Penetration of the internet and mobiles has reached rural India but what we don’t always realize is how slow the pace of adoption is.
This is where our team comes in. We try and understand farmer’s behavior and develop applications that we know will appeal to them for their day-to-day use. Today, we are one of the very few companies to come out with apps for the farming community which is available both on android and iOS. We use open-source and cloud-native tools and technologies like VS Code, Postman, Swagger, Gitlab, Terraform, Python, React Native, Docker, MySQL for building our applications and we rely on AWS for our cloud infrastructure. In terms of futuristic technologies, we have started working on microservices architecture, data cleaning to apply AI/ML, exploring Amazon Alexa to integrate our services at the same time.
Comment: The role of modern agriculture in implementing smart agricultural Internet of Things solutions.
There have been developments in the agriculture industry, ranging from advanced tools to techniques that result in an efficient, sustainable environment and better food availability. Quite a several global trends are influencing the sustainability of the agricultural system and food as a whole. The world’s population is expected to exponentially continue to rise – increasing the demand for agricultural produce.
Internet over the years has made knowledge & best practices closer to the farmer and the growth of smartphones have made it easy to access all information. This is where the transformation starts as to what to do and then how to implement the same.
Faarms addresses a large gap in the market for farming-related services. Currently, the farmer faces several challenges in all the stages of the production cycle – limited market information and knowledge, limited access to quality seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals, low mechanization, insufficient labor, inadequate storage and transportation facilities, and layers of middlemen – all of which result in a subsidized return to the farmer. Faarms removes these hurdles by digitally empowering them so they can procure farming inputs in a timely manner (via the e-store), avail of farming-related advice, obtain farming equipment, services and sell their crop (via the marketplace and trading platform).
What unique services do you provide to the customers? Why should one prefer you?
Our USP lies in our village-level customer connect, the ease of doing business, and our offering of certified agri-input products with our last-mile delivery system. We have spent a quality, duration of two years to understand the pain points of the farmers and designed our services to address each of those challenges starting by providing knowledge on farming best practices & quality inputs at their doorstep.
The top reasons why a farmer will benefit from being a part of the FAARMS platform;
• Doorstep delivery of large size bags of fertilizer, fodder, seeds in the interior states of the Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan & Gujarat covering more than 30,000 villages.
• Access to cashless transactions through various online modes of UPI & card payment
• Offering certified top-quality inputs from globally recognized brands on a single platform
• Knowledge sharing on framing best practices by experienced & qualified industry experts
What factors affect crop production? What solutions do you have?
The quality of the seeds and fertilizers used is directly proportional to the quality of the produce by farmers.
With current changing climatic conditions and soil quality, there is a shift observed in the harvest season. Hence, having access to a platform where farmers can receive information using predictive analysis for the ongoing crop season in a year resulting in farmers preparing well in advance and taking corrective measures. This step could change the demographics of the farming community.
FAARMS brings farmers into contact with experts in agriculture who evaluate and predict yield based on climate and soil conditions. We also provide farmers with direct access to internationally recognized brands for crops, fertilizers and livestock feed, as well as access to cashless transactions that help them avoid debt.
Which kinds of farmers will benefit most from digital farming?
Simply put, digital is about how technology can help farmers meet their daily needs. This over the years has become crucial for a farmer to have more control over his crop, that’s what FAARMS is dedicated to delivering.
If a farmer gets his inputs delivered home without incurring extra costs, not only does it save transportation costs, but it also saves time and coordination efforts that sometimes end up taking days. Moreover, FAARMS helps farmers with fulfilling other needs such as cattle insurance, health insurance, etc at their fingertips.
How do you manage the promotion of your products through social media outreach and email campaigns?
Yes, we engage in social media, but on the ground, word of mouth is what we discovered to be the most powerful tool in these circles. If a farmer receives some service, the news travels fairly quickly. We use the knowledge channel FAARMS TV for providing best practices to farmers. We also have made first of its kind emojis (Faarmo-JIS) which farmers can use for communication among themselves.
What do you think about the expansion of Efaarms Solution Private Limited?
Currently, we are operating in 30,000 villages and aim to reach out to 70,000 villages by the end of this financial year. We are working not only to expand our presence in the new states but to add new products and services for farmers as well. For example, we recently introduced livestock insurance and health insurance for farmers, available at their fingertips while sitting at home.
At the same time, we are working for providing many features in APP such as Utility bill payments, advisory support, etc to help him get the right information and save time on day-to-day activities.
We are at an expansion stage and are growing 3X quarter on quarter by deepening our relationship with the Farming community. We have accessed the reach to 30000 villages by offering a quality product with farm door delivery. We were bootstrapped for initial 12 months by raising money from family and friends, however strong business traction has put us on the radar of the investment community at a very early stage and we just recently raised $2 mn seed funding which will be used for penetration across geographies.
Are family farms disappearing?
Our country has 700+ districts and 6, 50,000 villages, so it would be wrong to say that Family farms are disappearing. Yes, farms are getting smaller, but at the same time, farmers are gaining knowledge and using advanced techniques, and successfully growing new varieties of products.
Off late we have seen the young generation entering the space and bringing with them a lot of fresh ideas. This is not only resulting in increased yield but also introducing sustainable alternatives in agriculture production which are essential to reduce carbon emission impacting climate change.
What does the future of farming look like?
With a lot of startups working in this space and new-age entrepreneurs taking a strong interest in this area, we would say the future of farming is looking quite bright.
Agriculture was the backbone of India’s economy and with a little push from the government and the next generation, we are sure to get back to the glorious days when farming was a pride profession.
Please tell us if there is a useful solution to the current COVID19 scenario as it impacted a lot especially on farmers?
Faarms started operations at the peak of this pandemic last year and the entire team of Faarms is committed to delivering products at the doorstep of the farmers every day.
We regularly take feedback from the farmers and try our best to improvise our technology and supply chain to fulfill the needs of the farmers as fast as possible so that they don’t have to travel to the cities to buy products.
|Year of Founding:||Jan 2020|
|Funding Information:||$2mn Seed round|
|Founding Members:||Taranbir Singh (Co-founder & CEO), Alok Duggal (Co-founder & COO)|
|Website:||https://www.faarms.com/, FAARMS app on Android / iOS|