Agribazaar plans to scale up agriculture input business, to sell farm equipment from December

By: |
September 21, 2020 8:02 PM

Founded in 2016, Agribazaar, which delivers technology-enabled solutions to over 2 lakh farmers now by helping them get better prices, has since the past month has hired 200 of the 350 planned hiring this year, even amid the lockdowns and massive retrenchments in almost all sectors of the economy.

The agri micropreneurs pilot was carried out in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha Jharkhand and Bihar, he said and added that the new hirees will be from across the country. (Representational image)

As part of its service diversification, leading farm marketplace Agribazaar is planning to play a larger role in the inputs space, including selling farm implements like harvesters, from December, a top company official has said.

Founded in 2016, Agribazaar, which delivers technology-enabled solutions to over 2 lakh farmers now by helping them get better prices, has since the past month has hired 200 of the 350 planned hiring this year, even amid the lockdowns and massive retrenchments in almost all sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, the company’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Amith Agarwal has welcomed the parliamentary approval for three farm sector-related Bills over the weekend saying the legislation will fundamentally change the way how post-harvest farm produce management is done.

“We’ve been supplying agri inputs like seeds and pesticides to farmers since the past one year through our agri-micropreneurs on a pilot basis. Having found it successful, we plan to scale this up now,” Agarwal told PTI on Monday.

He added that by December, the company will also offer farm implements like harvesters through these micropreneurs, whose number will be increased to 10,000 in the next three years from the current 485.

On asking whether they will offer fertilisers as well, he answered in the negative saying that would need government licence.

Agribazaar will soon enlist farmers of cash crops such as coffee, cardamom and pepper, he said adding he wanted to trade in tea but the government body that controls it will not allow them in.

Explaining the concept of agri-micropreneurs, Agarwal said they will not be employees of the platform but will be small entruepreneurs who will get 70-75 per cent of the commission that Agribazaar nets from sales. For instance, if it gets Rs 10 in commission for a particular sale, Rs 7-7.50 will go to the micropreneur who did the business, he said adding that over the past one year, each of them has made at least Rs 7-8 lakh per head.

These micropreneurs are local Agribazar representatives, and each of them will be responsible for a batch of 150-250 farmers either in a single village or in a cluster of two-three nearby villages.
Each of them acts as a one-stop resource for all agricultural needs of small farmers, and once the produce is ready, will help them sell on the Agribazaar platform as well at higher prices as it keeps the middle-men away.

The agri micropreneurs pilot was carried out in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha Jharkhand and Bihar, he said and added that the new hirees will be from across the country.

Agarwal expects around Rs 125 crore revenue from the new vertical in the first one year of commercial operations.

Currently, Agribazaar is clocking a monthly gross merchandise value (GMV) of over Rs 1,000 crore, he said. Agarwal added that with the winter crops season beginning next week, he expects to close the December quarter with a GMV of over Rs 4,000 crore and the full year with GMV of Rs 20,000 crore.

The e-mandi aggregator connects around 10,000 traders and processors and over 100 farmer producer organisations with its network of over two lakh farmers across the country. Since its inception, over 15 lakh tonne of commodities have been successfully stored in over 700 warehouses.

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