Unnati: Start-up that aims to turn farmers into entrepreneurs

Published: June 25, 2020 4:15 AM

A new-age agri-tech platform, Unnati reaches out to farmers and tracks all the elements of their farming and then fulfills them digitally

Amit Sinha, co-founder, UnnatiAmit Sinha, co-founder, Unnati

By Riya Sethi

Even though our country ranks second globally in terms of farm output, the problems faced by Indian farmers tend to be far-ranging, with no definitive solution in sight. Low yield, market volatility, increasing debt burden and poor policies hold back the Indian agriculture system. With a firm focus towards transforming the agriculture sector and supporting the farmers throughout the farming life cycle, Ashok Prasad and Amit Sinha started working on their entrepreneurial project and came up with Unnati, an agri-tech platform providing end-to-end solutions to all the farming problems.

“At Unnati, our prime objective is to turn farmers into entrepreneurs and help them become a farming enterprise. The platform ensures high productivity for farmers by assisting them across every stage of the farming cycle with services such as working capital, purchasing the right seeds and nutrients, and harvesting and selling of crops,” says Amit Sinha, co-founder, Unnati.

A new-age agri-tech platform, Unnati reaches out to farmers and tracks all the elements of their farming and then fulfils them digitally. From helping them acquire high quality branded inputs at minimal rates to procuring credit at a much lower rate or without any collateral, the startup is trying to redefine the traditional ways of farming. “We enable farmers with a digital QR code card in which they can load money either from their previous earnings or by availing credit services from our platform. Once a farmer is registered and funded, we start interacting with them on a regular basis and educate them on what inputs to use and at what time, post which they can order the relevant products,” informs Sinha.

Unnati also supports farmer producer organisations (FPOs) to get their raw materials directly from the listed producers, thus assuring the supply of authentic products. The firm has partnered with on-ground fulfilment partners and has tied up with over 1100 retailers. “Unnati fulfilment partners take care of the requirements of the farmers wherein the farmers can take the card to any fulfilment partner centre and do a cashless purchase of the inputs. Similarly, they can also register their farm output with us for sale to food processors using the card. The digital card gives them access to knowledge and branded high-quality inputs and also enables them to sell their output,” he adds.

An India-first technology, Unnati’s predictive farming model is another groundbreaking innovation that acts as a guide for farmers, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding key aspects such as plant protection, weed management, nutrient usage, maximising output, and predicting market conditions.

Currently operational in four states—Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, the platform deals in sugarcane, paddy, corn, soya and certain vegetables and has assisted over 2 lakh farmers. A bootstrapped startup, Unnati is now in the process of raising funds and is looking to on-board at least 1 million farmers by next year.

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