Farmers in India are still ignorant of the correct market price of their produce and the majority of margins still go to the middleman at mandis. On a vacation when Aditya was home, his father Sanjay Agarwalla who has spent close to 15 years helping big firms get access to rural markets, narrated this story and its compounding disadvantage to farmers in India. Aditya, who is studying Computer Engineering at Princeton, decided to research on the issue during his vacations. Eventually, he was able to identify grass-root problems and to build up the idea, within a few months he came back to India, taking a break from his university education. He says, “Initially it was for a year, but as the company is growing fast I haven’t had the time to go back yet.”
Aditya tells us, “We definitely provide better prices to farmers and procure from them directly, because once a farmer has transported his crops to the mandis, he cannot get it back to find better prices and so, ends up selling it there.” Kisan Network has partnered with local service providers regionally and takes care of the entire chain from procurement, packaging, transporting and selling it to B2B customers like restaurants, big retailers and FMCG giants.
This ensures that Kisan Network is able to provide better prices to its customers and the payment is also done electronically and in full, as against traditional methods, where the farmers are sometimes paid by middlemen in installments over a few years. Through the use of data, Kisan Network finds out the demand and suitable prices of agricultural produce and on their platform they attract prospective buyers who are looking for the best quality products.
(This article was first published in the May issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)