In this yr’s Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced that the Union authorities will promote kisan drones, chemical-free pure farming, and public-private partnerships for well timed supply of digital and high-tech companies to farmers. (Image above Left to Right: Karan Chawla, Ashish Mishra, Pankaj Tripathi, Siddhant Bhomia)

One platform that may help on this regard is the Krishi Network, based by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Ashish Mishra and Siddhant Bhomia. This platform seeks to ease accessibility of essential data for farmers, which allows them to generate increased income.

Providing a mixture of on-line and offline help, the platform, which is run by their Delhi-based enterprise Cultino Agrotech Pvt Ltd, has additionally on-boarded agri-brands, agri-input retailers, and different stakeholders within the agricultural provide chain. Facilitating all this work on-line is the Krishi Network app, at present obtainable in Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, and English.

“We help farmers by reliably connecting them to experts and other agri-businesses beyond their local area, providing them information and accessibility to such technology. Since Krishi Network is a complete technology driven agri-supply chain, it’s also helping farmers connect with input brands, merchants, buyers of produce, and lenders,” Ashish Mishra tells The Better India.

The platform is at present related to 30 lakh farmers. With a presence in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, it gives technical advisory for “making critical farm decisions via experienced and trusted farmers”. The firm provides ‘15-minute answers’ for questions round any agricultural service, which is made doable by means of greater than 8,000 specialists registered on their platform.

Small city aspirations

Born in a small city referred to as Shikohabad close to Agra, Ashish grew up in a family the place his father was in authorities service whereas his mom took care of affairs at dwelling. Graduating from IIT-Kharagpur in pc science engineering in 2009, he would go on to achieve intensive expertise in software program improvement in corporations like Shiksha.com. After his stint there, he labored in varied advertising and marketing and product roles at MyGola and Healthians.

Meanwhile, Siddharth was born and raised in Gwalior and graduated from IIT-Kharagpur in 2010. Before launching Krishi Network in 2019, he spent 9 years working in a wide range of roles throughout ventures like Fractal Analytics, PwC India and Innovaccer. “In 2017 when rural internet penetration started taking off, we saw a major opportunity to inspire, educate, and enable farmers to adopt change of practices to increase income,” says Ashish.

The Krishi Network platform assists farmers with well timed details about what inputs to make use of. (Image courtesy Krishi Network/Facebook)

Why does Krishi Network stand out?

“Unlike other startups that fall into the category of input selling, output selling, or providing capital, we provide instant and accurate answers to all kinds of agri-related technical questions a farmer might have. Our expert farmers actively contribute on the platform and help fellow farmers. This expert-led advisory, and delivery of answers within 15 minutes, are what separates us from other agritech startups,” Ashish explains.

Experts are recognized from the app, progressive farmers’ listing in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), and different authorities websites. These are farmers who’ve carried out “exceptionally well” in some particular domains of agriculture, and at the moment are seeking to assist others.

“Expert farmers earn respect from the community by contributing on the platform. Krishi Network helps them build their brand and increase sales for their training or input businesses. These experts mostly interact with the farmers through the app. We are also planning to launch this platform in more languages soon,” he provides.

Kashi Prasad Vishwakarma, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh, says, “The Krishi Network mobile application is very useful. The information helps us reduce loss by controlling pests. Support with fertilisers, harvest, and other components of farming has given us productive results and higher yields.”

Once the farmer is on-boarded, they undergo a journey of accumulating factors and gathering badges by contributing to the group. Based on their contributions, specialists are recognized and put by means of a separate means of onboarding and activation.

“On the business side, we work with innovators and brands who want to showcase their products and services to the Krishi Network community. We are working with more than 30 brands who have been onboarded on the Android app. The advisory we deliver has directly helped farmers save their crop and increase their yield. Our interventions related to seed selection and plant protection help farmers improve their income by more than 15% in general. Our efforts have helped generate solid organic support from stakeholders due to the opportunity to connect with farmers. It also benefits the whole agri-ecosystem and leads to frictionless two-way communication access to farmers,” claims Ashish.

Questions from farmers typically centre across the form of pesticides for use, number of crops that may be sown, and so forth. Farmers may also entry questions which have already been answered. If it’s a brand new query, they’ll communicate to the specialists immediately on the platform.

Sharwan Kumar, a Haryana-based farmer, explains how Krishi Network assisted him. “Last year, there was a serious termite outbreak on the cotton crop I was cultivating. The fields were burning and I had no hope left. It was then that the experts at Krishi Network helped me with the right information. I was on the verge of losing my entire crop, but the information available on the platform guided me through the crisis, and I am grateful to them.”

While Krishi Network has acquired funding, they haven’t been prepared to reveal any figures up to now. “Few key angels that have invested in our company include Sanjiv Rangrass (ITC), Sunil Khairnar (Indigram labs), Venkat Tadanki (Anvaya ventures), Rushank Vora (ICICI ventures), Aneesh Reddy (Capillary), Abhishek Goyal (Tracxn), Suraj Saharan (Delhivery), Rohit Razdan (ClearTax), and Kanav Hasija (Innovaccer), amongst others,” he provides.

Also, earlier this yr, Krishi Network introduced on board Bollywood actor Pankaj Tripathi as its model ambassador. Reports on different publications additionally counsel that he has additionally backed the platform for an undisclosed quantity of capital.

“Coming from a farmer background, I have always believed in supporting initiatives that help farmers with access to information to grow their business. Back in my days as a farmer, genuine and correct information always used to be a concern,” Tripathi mentioned.

Additional Source:

‘Bollywood actor Pankaj Tripathi invests in agritech startup Krishi Network’ (VCCiRCLE, 22 February 2022)

(Edited by Divya Sethu)

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