Global digital payment solutions leader BPC and its SME marketplace SafalFasal said they have supported more than 75,000 Covid-hit farmers across India by offering technological and financial solutions to help the farm sector keep food and supply chain rolling during and after the lockdown phase.
The company said it has successfully extended formal financing to the farming industry by creating an easy credit line via non-banking finance companies.
With the Covid-19 exposing new vulnerabilities in the agriculture sector, crops and livestock prices, vital advice and mentoring are being extended from multiple institutions backing SafalFasal including Tanager, Bayer, Coromondal, Greaves and other reputed domestic and international players.
These relationships have helped farmers match with buyers and ecosystem partners and create contingency plans. “In the last three weeks of the pilot, we had to act fast with the unexpected challenge of Covid-19,” said Debarshi Dutta, Executive Vice President and Global Head of SafalFasal.
“Reinforcing our mission, SafalFasal was able to provide farmers with invaluable guidance to overcome the new challenges facing them including a broken supply chain. Farmers know they are not alone when they are a part of the marketplace,” he said in a statement.
Dutta said the company’s model has proven to be a lifeline to help farmers digitalise their services at a time when online purchasing and payments have accelerated dramatically.
The ambition for SafalFasal is to geographically expand in India to two lakh farmers and achieve 33 million dollars (about Rs 250 crore) in transaction value in the current financial year 2020-2021.
Using BPC’s SME marketplace solutions, the wider mission is to positively impact the lives of one crore producers across the globe within the next five years.
“Farmers form the backbone of India’s economy yet many of them — including women farmers — are invisible to banks, credit organisations and buyers,” said Jane Loginova, Chief Operating Officer at BPC.
“The SafalFasal marketplace model puts farmers on a level playing field with the whole agricultural value chain, giving them a voice, negotiating power and financial access to the real economy.”