BASIX Social Enterprise Group has launched the BASIX Farmers’ Market (BFM), an agritech platform, in partnership with Mastercard. BFM will leverage Mastercard’s technology capabilities, and BASIX’s deep industry expertise in agriculture to improve the lives of small and marginal farmers. This will be done by addressing the fundamental challenges related to price discovery, market reach, payments, and credit access.
Over 26 years of serving farmers and promoting more than 600 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) across the country, BASIX has so far registered one lakh farmers across five districts of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra on the BFM platform. Through BFM, BASIX and Mastercard aim to improve the lives of over 10 lakh farmers, including the new cohort of 200 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) being promoted under SMART Project as part of their partnership with the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission.
BFM currently caters to farmers across the Nagpur, Akola, Buldana, Wardha, and Amravati districts in Maharashtra and plans to further scale up across India to create a commercially sustainable digital agriculture ecosystem. FPOs and farmer groups can easily register themselves on the BFM platform for free and sell their produce to end buyers in a hassle-free manner. The platform digitises data and workflows for FPOs with strong controls on data privacy and security. The platform is also equipped to work in environments with inconsistent connectivity, such as remote areas of the country, where several small farmers operate.
Highlighting the objectives of the partnership, Sattaiah Deverakonda, Group MD & CEO, BASIX said, “We are very excited to launch BFM in partnership with Mastercard. BASIX group has been at the forefront of the FPO revolution in India and pioneered various aspects of agri value chains, including design and delivery of agri-finance at scale. Sub-K, a BASIX-promoted fintech, is already leading the way on fintech innovations in the financial inclusion space, and I am proud that both BASIX and Sub-K are coming together in this endeavour. We firmly believe in the power of technology for building scale, and highly value this partnership with Mastercard, a global powerhouse in payments technology. We aim to impact at least one million farmers through this initiative in the next five years.”
Sub-K will facilitate credit and other financial linkages for working capital, trade finance and the investment needs of farmers and FPOs registered on BFM. Sub-K will rely on the data generated on BFM to analyse credit requirements and associated risks using proprietary rule engines, and then package financing options in partnership with financial institutions.
Briefing about the collaboration, Himanshu Bansal, Vice President, Digital and Financial Inclusion, Mastercard Community Pass, said, “Mastercard collaborates with partners like BASIX to develop products and solutions that uplift underserved communities, bringing them into the digital economy. Through BFM, multiple stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem will be connected, empowering farmers in a commercially sustainable way by helping them to find new buyers, access credit and improve their livelihoods.”
The launch of BASIX Farmers’ Market is an extension of Mastercard Farm Pass, a rural and agriculture digitisation solution that serves more than 3.5 lakh farmers across five states in India, and one million farmers globally. It is a digital ecosystem platform that works offline to connect buyers, FPOs and other agriculture ecosystem players with farmers, and enable them to get the best value for their produce.
The platform serves as an opportunity for banks, financial institutions, FPOs, and NGOs to create a white labelled commercially sustainable agri-ecosystem by digitising the value chains. In the process, they become lifetime partners with smallholder farmers, and leverage Mastercard technology to provide them financial solutions that were earlier not feasible.
(The story is based on an announcement made by BASIX Social Enterprise and Mastercard.)
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