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  • A revolutionary technology-led future for horticulture farmers

    Published on January 8, 2022

    (By Saurabh Saxena, CEO & Co- Founder of Praman.ai)

    The lack of sufficient and relevant advancements within technology has for long made the farmers suffer the consequences of information asymmetry. Lack of technology to determine the communicable quality assessment of the produce, lack of technology to provide real-time and broader market linkages have led to post-harvest loss through deterioration of quality or a colossal supply-demand mismatch; all of which affects the price realization for the farmer.

    Traditionally, these markets have operated in places where sellers-buyers are physically present at one location. The underlying reason is that there is no way for the seller and buyer to objectively communicate the quality of the Agri-produce being traded. Physical presence is used to ascertain the quality of produce. Fundamentally, this necessity of physical presence has limited the ability of the markets to equate supply-demand based on quality and geography.

    The onset of COVID-19 forced all physical markets to close down leading to huge losses for farmers as they couldn’t find markets to sell their produce and resulted in consumers paying a hefty premium in retail. This shortcoming has acted as a catalyst in bringing sweeping changes within the sector with ground-breaking technology applications to empower farmers with the ability to ascertain the quality of their produce as well as access broader markets at the click of a button. These applications have also made the process of traceability, warehousing, logistics, and access to formal credit much easier, potentially opening up several export routes for the farmers as well.

    Constant technological advancements are crucial to creating an equitable and symmetric trading market between the buyers and the sellers. As per research reports, technology-aided innovations (Agri-tech) will drive the next green revolution in the country. According to a recent EY study (2020), the Indian Agri-tech market is still in its nascent stage with a paltry 1 percent penetration by value. EY estimates that it could grow to $24.1 billion at 90 percent + penetration in the next five years. These numbers make us certain about the hidden potential of this sector.

    Integrating the agricultural and technological sectors together has had a positive and lasting impact on all the beneficiaries but more so on the farmers. The different ways in which they benefit are;

    (i) Communicable Quality Assessment and Digital Market Linkage

    Communicable Quality Assessment technology will help create an inclusive food value network that helps in bringing buyers from all over the globe and sellers come together. The network helps eradicate the need for on-location auctions and trade which helps bring geographic expansion and market outreach. This fusion helps the farmers in discovering the right market for the quality of their produce and in the process get the most appropriate and fair price offer from the buyers.

    (ii) Traceability and Transparency

    Digital information recording gives farmers an easy way to manage their inventory, follow GAP and therefore be able to supply to export-oriented trades and larger corporates. Digitization helps bring trust and dependability.

    (iii) Eradicating Post Harvest Losses

    By shortening the time to market and ready access to logistics helps eradicate post harvest losses to a great extent.

    (iv) Reducing Rejections

    The rejection rate on the buyer side immediately goes down when there is access to a larger market where buyers actually wish to buy the product and through objective and fast quality assessment they are able to ascertain that they will get the same quality of produce delivered that they have bought.

    Technology has begun to scratch the surface of the agriculture industry. It is a matter of time now that it will revolutionize the way agriculture trade takes place. The trade will become as simple and as efficient as buying clothes from an e-commerce portal.

    (Mr. Saurabh Saxena is CEO & Co- Founder of Praman.ai – The largest global exchange for horticulture produce, that is powered by Intello Labs revolutionary Quality Assessment Technology)

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