This platform helps farmers buy, sell and receive payments for products via their feature phones.

Mastercard launches digital marketplace e-Rythu for Andhra farmersImage source: Twitter/AndhraPradeshCM
Atom AgriTech Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 10:50

Due to the small scale, and long travel distance from the places where they sell, most small and medium farmers in Andhra Pradesh suffer income losses. And since these farmers do not have a formal credit history, it is difficult for them to access any formal financial services.

To solve this issue, the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Mastercard have introduced e-Rythu, a mobile platform that digitizes agriculture marketplaces, payments and workflows.

According to a statement from Mastercard, this platform helps farmers buy, sell and receive payments for products via their feature phones. “It will help small-scale farmers looking to sell their produce to connect with the right buyers more efficiently in local language and receive the best possible prices,” the statement says.

 The platform has been developed by Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya and customized for India use by the Labs team based at Pune.

Mastercard claims that e-Rythu will bring a positive change to the lives of over one million small and medium farmers in Andhra Pradesh by allowing them direct access to markets on the platform, discover the best price of their crops and receive digital payments for what they sell.  

The platform also creates a digital transaction history, which allows farmers to receive formal credit from banks and other financial institutions.

“Andhra Pradesh has led the way for information technology implementation in the country. It is time that we leverage innovation in technology to address the challenges present in state’s horticulture sector. Our partnership with Mastercard to introduce e-Rythu will make horticulture markets more transparent for sellers, buyers, and other stakeholders, and pave the way for financial inclusion of millions of small and medium farmers in the state,” Chiranjiv Choudhary, I.F.S; Commissioner of Horticulture, Andhra Pradesh said.

The project will kick off with one large buyer, Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Ltd (LEAF) and four FPOs, namely LEAF Lambasinghi Horticulture Farmers Producers Co-operative Society Limited, Visakhapatnam, Chicacole Coconut Farmers Producer Company, Srikakulam, Giri Chaitanya Farming and Marketing Mutually Aided Cooperative Society Ltd, Visakhapatnam and Andhra Kashmir Farmers Producer Organization (Grijana Vikas Foundation), Visakhapatnam.

Porush Singh, division president, South Asia, Mastercard said, “Mastercard is glad to extend partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh to introduce e-Rythu, a digital solution that will help farmers deal with the challenges of receiving optimum price for their produce and gaining access to the marketplace. At Mastercard, we are confident that the use of digital solutions can potentially transform the lives of millions of farmers in India by providing them financial access, transparency and inclusion.”

Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya has successfully rolled out this solution earlier as 2Kuze (local name in Swahili) in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Through the financial institution partners, Mastercard labs is aiming to reach approximately one million smallholder farmer households in East Africa over the next 5 years.

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