This Indian agritech firm helps farmers predict yield and improve sales, thus saving them from bankruptcy and suicides

CropIn claims to have digitised over 1.8M acres of farmland, impacting 500,000-plus farmers while working with 120-plus clients

Ironic, it may seem. A couple of months ago, scores of farmers in Maharashtra took to the streets and dumped tonnes of their produce, including potatoes and tomatoes, on the road despite a bumper crop. The reason? The glut this year led to procurement prices plunging, causing massive financial loss pushing them deeper into the depths of despair.

Farmers, almost all of who are in the unorganised sector, are perhaps the most neglected community in India. Mostly uneducated, these farmers are often forced to sell their highly-perishable produce to middlemen for a song. This year, the situation was worse.

Their demand to the government for a proper procurement mechanism has fallen on deaf ears. They don’t have the technological know-how to better manage their farm/produce, nor predict the crop. The huge financial losses more often prompt them to take the extreme step of ending their lives.

But the winds of change are blowing, although at a snail’s pace, thanks to a handful of startups committed to the welfare of this vulnerable community. These tech companies offer a lending hand to farmers to get real-time updates on standing crops, predict the yield, and thus mitigate the risks.

Bangalore-based CropIn Technology is one such company whose agritech solutions could save thousands of farmers from the edge of bankruptcy and suicide. And the company is already helping thousands of farmers across various geographies.

“Farmers are the most vulnerable community in India,” Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO of CropIn Technology, tells me. “The recent instances of farmers throwing away their produce in protest against the huge price fall paints the dismal picture of this community. We at CropIn want to make a difference with our smart farm solutions.”

CropIn was started in 2010 by Kumar (CEO), Kunal Prasad (COO), and Chittaranjan Jena (CTO). Kumar has a strong technical background and has earlier worked at GE, whereas Prasad comes from technical and management background. The third co-founder, Jena, previously worked at UTI, Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young, and GE prior to joining CropIn.

The agritech firm’s SaaS-based services enable clients to analyse and interpret data and derive real-time actionable insights on standing crop and projects spanning geographies. It harnesses cutting-edge technologies, such as Big Data, Artificial intelligence, geo-tagging, and satellite monitoring to achieve this goal.

“We identified that the agribusinesses had minimal and outdated technological or digital intervention, and were not able to make informed data-driven decisions. Also, with consumers keen to know the origin of their food and how it was produced and processed, there is a need for transparency along the end-to-end agribusiness supply chain,” he said.

Indian farmers dumping tomatoes on the road in protest against the price fall (Image Credit: Asia News)

“Our gamut of products helps farmers at every stage, including communicating weather and pest advisory to farmers, scheduling the right package of practices and adoption of inputs, ensuring adherence to compliances and certifications, giving yield predictability and providing access to markets for fair value of produce,” Kumar explained.

The firm has developed five products catering to agricultural businesses at different levels of the agri-ecosystem, namely SmartFarm, SmartRisk, mWarehouse, SmartSales, and AcreSquare.

  • SmartFarm is a farm management solution that enables digitisation of farms, empowers data-driven decision-making, and provides visibility of people, processes and performance on the field. It ensures management of standard package of practices, adherence to compliance and certification, and pest and crop health management.
  • SmartRisk is an agri-business intelligence solution that leverages agri-alternate data and provides risk mitigation and forecasting for effective credit risk assessment and loan recovery assistance. A proprietary machine learning algorithm built on satellite and weather data is used to give insights at plot and region level.
  • mWarehouse is a solution for pack house, processing and export companies that enables farm to fork traceability and compliance, quality control and flexible inventory management.
  • SmartSales is a CRM and input channel management solution that helps predict and improve sales and ensures end-to end performance management of sales team
  • AcreSquare is a mobile app that helps companies interact directly with farmers, share content, educate them, and provide consultation, thus enabling companies to extend the power of technology for their farmers and build farmer loyalty.

Its audiences are the different stakeholders of the agri ecosystem, which work around farmers. This includes contract and organic farming companies, agro seed and chemical companies, banking and insurance enterprises, corporates who conduct CSR initiatives for agricultural development, and international developmental agencies.

A crisis and the aftermath

The idea of CropIn occurred to Kumar during an agrarian crisis in the state of Karnataka back in 2010. “Local farmers were facing a gamut of problems ranging from non-availability of finance, climatic vagaries, soil degradation, pest infestation and diseases, operational inefficiencies to non-predictability of the yield. I wanted to do my bit to avert this crisis and prevent farmer suicides. So I left my job at GE to set up CropIn,” Kumar narrates the story.

“Our system is not a one-time intervention but a sustainable solution. With our crop- and region-agnostic solutions, we have digitised over 1.8 million acres of farmland, enriching the lives of 500,000-plus farmers while working with 120-plus clients,” Kumar boasts. “Our target is to serve 20 million farmers (digital literacy) by 2022 and continue on our vision of making ‘every farm traceable” with technology.”

CropIn has dealt with agribusinesses in 12 countries across the globe — India, Japan, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nepal, Vietnam, Portugal, the Philippines, Myanmar, Uganda, Ethiopia. It now looks to further expand in Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.

The company’s global clientele includes McCain, Mahindra, Mars, IDH, Marico, Tata, Godfrey Phillips, McCain, IFB Agro, ITC, ICICI Lombard, BigBasket, Welspun, and World Bank.

A multi-billion dollar opportunity

As per a Markets and Markets report, the market for smart agriculture is expected to reach US$11.23 billion by 2022, globally. “With the global population expected to cross the 10-billion mark by the middle of this century,” Kumar goes on, “the growth combined with urbanisation will require the agricultural production to double. To succeed, the world needs smart solutions for fairly produced, sustainable food, and feed & fibre. This presents a huge opportunity for agritech firms.”

Kumar says that In India, the team have seen a huge impact in the past seven years and now with new government policies coming in, they are seeing a great impetus to the use of technology in the agri space. “We believe the potential is huge and we with our expansive experience and cutting-edge products we are in a vantage point to address these issues well.”

To date, CropIn has raised US$4 million in funding across multiple tranches, from investors including BEENEXTAnkur Capital, and BSP Fund LLC.

In India, agriculture and allied sectors are the largest livelihood provider in India, especially in rural areas. It is also a significant contributor to the country’s GDP. However, the sector often gets scant regard not just from the  government, but from the corporate and banking sector as well, which lead to farmer distress and suicides. New-age technologies could bring in a change, but it requires huge efforts  in terms of creating awareness and education. CropIn has all the potential to be at the forefront of this revolution.

Source:https://e27.co/cropin-solutions-digitise-farm-predict-yield-20170919/

Author: Sainul Abudheen K , 20 Sep, 2017

Bringing technology to the doorsteps of India’s smallholder farmers for climate resilience


“I walk through three farm plots of my fellow farmers every day to examine the crop growth and occurrences of pest attacks or crop failure. I send photo alerts via my smart phone to Cropin, which sends an advisory within a few minutes to remedy the problem, said Pratima Devi, a climate smart village resource professional in Manichak village in the Barachatti block of Gaya district in Bihar, India.

Cropin Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a private software and mobile apps company, has developed digital applications to advise farmers on ways to achieve optimal harvests, depending on weather conditions, soil and other indicators. In less than a month, Pratima Devi completes a visit to all the farm plots in her village that are registered to get agro-advisories. “Women farmers appreciate my efforts and have started trusting my advice because they see a positive difference on their farms,” she adds.

Ramchandra Prasad Verma has the status of a master trainer of climate-smart village resource professionals in the same Barachatti block. He succinctly explains how data on weather parameters, such as rainfall, temperature and humidity, provided by the Automatic Weather Station (AWS), which was installed by another private Indian company, Skymet, helps farmers make smarter decisions in the village. “When the AWS shows temperatures of 35-40 degree Centigrade, farmers will wait for cooler temperatures before transplanting paddy mat nurseries into the field. Otherwise, there is a fear of losing crops in high temperatures”, said Verma. Earlier farmers relied on traditional wisdom alone, but now digital information can help them make faster and better decisions on the times of sowing and harvesting.

When Verma was a village resource professional, he had raised the maximum number of alerts in Bihar and received many advisories from Cropin on sowing, soil health, seed treatment, and weather forecasts that benefitted farmers. Over time, he developed skills to interpret technical advisories, train farmers to apply information on their fields, and interact with Cropin and Skymet professionals, which earned him the status of a master trainer.

Developing resilience in agriculture to regular weather shocks in the short-term and to climate change in the medium- to long-term is one of the biggest challenges facing Indian farmers today. Large-scale pilots are being implemented in four districts of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh to test the effectiveness of digital apps to generate climate resilient solutions for farming needs. This was made possible through a public-private partnership between the State Rural Livelihood Missions in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh with  Cropin Technology and Skymet. These pioneering digital tools are being developed and utilized as part of the Sustainable Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change (SLACC) Project associated with  the Government of India’s National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP).


Both SLACC and NRLP are supported by the World Bank. Funded by the Special Climate Change Fund under the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the SLACC project aims to empower at least 10,000 farmers to adopt climate resilient practices. These include a range of technological solutions, such as community-based adaptive planning, conservation agriculture, farm mechanization, efficient irrigation, soil health cards and digital farming practices.

In the coming year, 90,000 farm plots in SLACC areas in both states will be audited and tracked across the kharif and rabi seasons for the major crops. Over 500 community professionals and other functionaries will be systematically trained by Cropin Technology and Skymet on farmer data digitization, crop advisories and timely activity updates, weather advisories, farm area auditing, geo-tagging and crop health monitoring. These community professionals will serve as change agents to scale up the digital interventions in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, and possibly to other states under the NRLP. Overall, NRLP is being implemented in 13 states of India and has reached 7 million households.

Cropin Technology has also developed a climate smart advisory module that develops season-wise crop configurations for all the major crops and provides a weather-based advisory to SLACC farmers in the local Hindi language on predictive and curative measures promoting sustainable agriculture practices. Web- and mobile-based advisory dashboards have been developed to enable the Village Resource Professionals get important insights around sowing, soil health, seed treatment, recommendation for harvesting fertilizer, and seven-day weather forecasts derived from the best available weather observations systems and forecast models. This data is then downscaled at the farm plot level to help smallholder farmers make effective decisions for their crops. The module also considers technical inputs in real time from agriculture experts in state research institutions and farm alerts from village resource professionals to develop these practical agro-advisories.

Pratima Devi and Verma represent the first-generation of climate smart farmers that are triggering the communitization of technology, spreading knowledge and revolutionizing the way agriculture should be practiced in India. Digital farming offers great scope for pushing the frontiers in agriculture through data and innovation.

Photos by Nitish Kumar Singh.

Source: http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/publicsphere/bringing-technology-doorsteps-india-s-smallholder-farmers-climate-resilience?cid=EXT_WBBlogSocialShare_D_EXT

Decoding Agritech – Current & Upcoming Trends

Krishna Kumar, CEO, CropIn Technology

By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 9.1 billion, which is 34 percent higher than today(FAO 2016). This translates into doubling of food production to meet the demands of the growing population. These alarming figures are indicative of a need for a change.

Agriculture, especially in India, has been essentially a ‘learn by doing’ industry; where one learns through informal sources like family or fellow growers. To be successful, a farm must increase the yield per acre as much as it can, reduce the risk of crop failure, maximize operational efficiency, reduce costs and sell at the highest possible rate. This requires, effective management of inputs like seed, fertilizer, water, nutrients and minimizing the impact of unpredictable variables(such as the weather, diseases and pests). However, achieving that objective is far from easy.

Conventional methods like physical crop inspection are time consuming and are seldom inaccurate. Technology like sensors and various other data sources can’t provide a real-time picture of what’s happening on the field. Farmers face further challenges in translating this data into operational insights that can help them understand which actions to take, when and where. This is where AgTech comes into picture.Startups and companies like Crop In not only collate the data from various sources but make sense of it and present it as actionable insights to agri businesses.

Farmers stand in the centre of a complex ecosystem of farming equipment manufacturers, food processors and agrichemical specialists. At the same time, consumer behaviour is changing radically. Consumers are the focus point of the food industry. They want to know the origin of their food and how it was produced and processed, driving the need for transparency along the end-to-end agribusiness supply chain. Digital transformation is a fertile ground for new business models,innovative business processes, and new ways to work in the agribusiness network for this planet.

Why now? Break through technology trends have matured and hit scale together: hyper connectivity, super computing, cloud computing, the Internet of Things and cyber security.

“While improving yield is good for a farm’s profitability, it’s also increasingly critical to address the growing demand for food among an ever-increasing global population” – Krishna Kumar, CEO, CropIn Technology.

The advent of AgTech has a unique set of proponents furthering its effective adoption and adaption throughout the agricultural ecosystem. The contemporary world is a world of hyper-connectivity where every one is connected through a bar rage of devices that are easily available even in the most remote areas. According to Gartner Inc, 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020.

The other propelling force is the data that is now available from the farm. An average farm in 2050 is estimated to generate a total of 4.1 million data points per day which is a whopping growth, up from 190,000 in 2014. The millions of sensors, drones, satellite, weather and soil data is just some of the data sources available around the farm. This quick adaption is also due to the fact that the Moore’s law has more than kept up, reducing the size of the devices, increasing the computing power.

These trends will fuel the emergence of new business models. The speed of innovation is enormous, and startups in the agriculture space have the mission to innovate fast and change every aspect of the industry as we know it today. As per Forbes article on AgriTech in 2015 – ‘Agriculture technology is no longer a niche that no one’s heard about. Agriculture has confirmed its place as an industry of interest for the venture capital community after investment in agritech broke record for the past three years in a row, reaching $4.6 billion in 2015.’According to the advanced estimates of MOSPI, agriculture and allied sector recorded a CAGR rise of 6.64 percent during FY07-16. Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58 percent of India’s population, contributing to almost 18.5 percent to India’s GDP. Looking ahead, the future of AgTech is promising as it is expected to add value to each stakeholder at various levels of the value chain in the whole agricultural ecosystem. As data driven farming takes effect, there is a democratization of data for all the stakeholders.

Improving yield is an age old challenge for farms and always will be. However, for the first time in a generation, digital technologies en¬able farmers to achieve a quantum leap forward in their performance. While improving yield is good for a farm’s profitability, it’s also increasingly critical to address the growing demand for food among an ever-increasing global population. Couple this with lower environmental im¬pact that technology usage brings in; reduced water wastage, correct and timely use of chemicals, reduced pre harvest and post harvest losses and one can see the critical role digital technologies play in fostering sustainable food, feed and fibre. This makes it imperative for all participants in the agriculture ecosystem to embrace new and emerging digital technologies to make their operations efficient, productive and sustainable.

Source: https://consultants.siliconindiamagazine.com/viewpoint/ceo-insights/decoding-agritech-current-upcoming-trends-nwid-9504.html#

 

 

 

From the COO’s Desk

 

Dear Partners,

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. This year we have grown from strength to strength and we believe that the onus of that lies with you- our partners.

Over the last seven years we, CropIn with you as our partner, have been able to make an impact in the Ag-Tech ecosystem not just in India but in the World. As a system and as a team, we have had the satisfaction of creating a world class product for agri-businesses.

In 2010, we started with a humble background but a big dream of making agriculture more efficient, we started by working with individual farmers trying to solve one farmer’s problem at a time. Soon we realized the scalability of our products, and started reaching out to global agri-businesses. Today, we have reached over 1 Million Acres, 500,000+ farmers and 120+ clients globally. By 2022, we envisage to impact 20 million farms through our technological solutions.

As we celebrate our success, we need to stay focused on our main aim, which remains to work towards helping our clients grow their business exponentially.  We remain committed to making CropIn the best company to work with, as we truly believe that “We grow when you grow”.

– Kunal Prasad, Chief Operating Officer, CropIn Technology

 

Challenges in Tobacco Industry

Tobacco, an important cash crop in the global agricultural economy, is grown in more than 60% of the world’s nations. The tobacco industry remains an essential contributor to the economies of many countries and the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe including farmers, retailers and those employed in the tobacco supply chain. The focus of tobacco giants across the world is on sustainable farming with minimum ecological footprint, better livelihood for farmers, eliminating child labor and commitment to Good agriculture Practices(GAP) and Agricultural Labour Practices(ALP). The Tobacco industry globally has been facing problems and issues such as exploitation of labor, prevalence of child labor in hazardous work, pest infestation in farms and poor management of farm activities.  Tobacco companies are working directly with farmers and suppliers to promote sustainable farming, GAP and ALP. Through GAP, the tobacco industry is striving to improve working conditions on the farm, address the impact of tobacco on the environment and make tobacco farming profitable and sustainable. Through ALP, the focus is to improve labor practices and eliminate all forms of child labor on tobacco farms.


We are CropIn Technologies, an agri-tech company with a reach of over 1 Million Acres, 500,000+ farmers and 120+ clients. Our SaaS-based services have enabled agribusinesses globally to analyze, interpret data and gain real-time corrective insights. Our solutions will help the tobacco industry deal with the following key challenges:

  • Combatting child labor: This has become one of the toughest challenges of the tobacco industry, with some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies pledging to progressively eliminate all forms of hazardous child labor within the industry. To help address this challenge, our solutions include digital farmer registration, complete socio-economic profiling of the farmer, field staff tracking and notification alerts to management in case of forced labor.
  • Effective Pest Management: Online Monitoring of the facility for pest activity via smartphones and timely advisory for protection against infestation
  • Adoption of package of practices: Scheduling package of practices notification and broadcasting it to farmers based on date of sowing/plantation; management of farm activities ensuring completion of best practices on time
  • Adaption to changing weather: Our solutions have also helped farms with weather forecasting, enabling the farmers to be prepared in advance for any emerging weather conditions.
  • Adherence to GAP & ALP to promote best agricultural practices in tobacco farming

On the technological level, we leverage remote sensing, satellite imagery, plot geo-tagging, AI and Big Data to arrive at actionable insights on crop health, weather risks and expected yield.

For more details on our products and solutions, please visit www.cropin.co.in

The Next Gen Farming

Agriculture in India is considered as a primary activity because a large chunk of the population in India depends on farming for their livelihood. According to a leading daily, Agriculture accounts for 16% of the GDP and more importantly, 60% of India is linked to Agriculture and despite of being a primary activity or an occupation, and if given a chance farmers are ready to quit farming because of various problems that they have to face. In the same context, the whole ecosystem connected to farming is getting affected. Harvest and post harvest loss of India’s major agricultural produce is estimated at Rs 92,651 crore, according to data published by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries recently. This is almost three times as high as the new budget for the agriculture sector, which has seen an increase of 44% from Rs 24,909 crore in 2015-’16 to Rs 35,984 crore in 2016-’17.Information and communication technology(ICT) in agriculture offers a wide range of solutions to many of the agricultural challenges faced by the industry. Real-time visibility, methodologies, policy support etc. are all key components of ICT.

How can CropIn help???

CropIn is an Agtech business solution provider who is not only focused on providing solutions to agricultural sectors such as Contract Farming, Organic Farming, NGOs, Agro Chemicals Companies etcetera but also has a clear vision of making agriculture digitally smart..

As a company we want to digitize each farm, making every farm traceable and our mission is to increase per acre value for growers.As all of us know that agriculture is the most undigitized sector of an economy and the increased use of smartphones and internet on mobile we design solutions for our clients so that they can manage their people, handle their process and increase the production.According to a study done by Boston Consulting Group by 2020
about 315 million Indians living in rural areas will have access to mobile internet. The kind of solutions we have are cutting edge in the field of agricultural technology which is easy to use and gives accurate information because gone are those days when pen and paper were used to assimilate data as that never yields required results.

Smart Farm is our buddy

The farming technology that the company has come up with, provides end to end ICT solutions. Smart Farm as a tool is an eye opener for the farmers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, stakeholders and other segments that tie up with agriculture. Smart Farm provides both web applications and mobile applications to manage the farms in an efficient way. Gone are those days when a field officer used to visit a farm and update its information days later. So our farming technology makes work easier for people at all level working in an organization without affecting the results.

Imagine a field officer just walking around a field and actually able to calculate the field size. This in return not only decreases the amount of work done but also gives the accurate information rather than just relying on statements. With the help of this tool, the company can manage the three Ps i.e. People, Process and Productivity which constitutes the overall growth of a company.

People: This farm application manages whether the activities given to the field officers are completed on time. Now the question comes how would this help in growth.?? Well, the answer is very simple actually. If these can be managed within the reach of our hands then the management has the clear visibility on what is happening in the fields even if they are sitting kilometres away from the farms. Visibility in return gives maximum profit as the percentage of incurring loss decreases.

Process: With the help of this tool the communication among the management, field officers and farmers becomes more easier. Management can convey the package of practices to farmers and can also track whether it is being followed or not. This intelligent application also lets the management know if a crop is affected by pest infestation or any disease. So in case the crop is affected the field officer during his visit can simply take a photograph or the farmer can even do so and upload the picture using the smartfarm mobile application. The moment it reflects in the dashboard of our smartfarm web application, concerned team can look into the disease and give the advisories accordingly, which would reflect in the mobile application. So this is not only saving a lot of time but also preventing the crop from getting damaged. Imagine those days when if a crop was infested, farmer would have to call the field officer or any concerned person and describe the infection. By the description, either the advising team would give the advisories or wait till the field officer visits the farm, take down the details, comes back and explains the problem. In this whole course there is a high chance of that crop getting damaged and incurring loss. So why not simply update the process and get things mended as soon as possible.One of our valuable client Mr. Bhaskar Mondal from Palishree Limited says “The Smartfarm and Smartsales have been a part of our endeavors for a while now, specially concerning our organic division. The applications thoroughly helps us in our inventory management and produce traceability . It also simplifies processes of our sales team and that’s a good thing. I will recommend CropIn Technology for their time minimization and value maximization approach.”

Productivity: Now the questions comes that how would an application increase productivity?? Well, the answer is really very simple. Imagine if a company is fully optimized as far as people and process are concerned will that organization not be getting maximum production? Well yes it will, because if the risks of the crops getting damaged decreases, visibility on activities of people increases that would directly affect the productivity. Another very respected client of Cropin, Mr. Sanjay Nandrajog from Field Fresh Foods(Del Monte) says, “Field Fresh being a part of Bharti Group, it was evident for us to look towards technology as a part of our endeavors where involving farmers, customers and others are important. Today sitting at my desk , I can manage my farms, my 3000 farmers, get our harvest prediction, plan my orders and basis these, predict future planning. Most importantly, traceability comes to my customers. CropIn is our partner, as we plan to scale from 3000 to 8000 farmers. Their solutions form our backbone of farm advisory and consulting. The benefit of CropIn to us is not only for us but our farmers, production team, extension and customers.”

CropIn improves farmer’s lives with data analytics and digital apps -By Ashwani Mishra, ETCIO.com

Ramesh, a farmer in the southern region of Punjab grows potatoes in his farm. Today, he gets accurate information on when to sow the crop, the temperature around his farm, the right mix of chemicals required, how to tackle crop infection, if any, and finally the time when the potatoes will be ready to harvest along with their quality, size and the overall quantity of yield.

The application that Ramesh uses is called SmartFarm, a data-driven farming solution created by Bengaluru-based CropIn Technology. For farmers like Ramesh, and other large companies like ITC, Mahindra & Mahindra, McCain etc., the solution is transforming a once cumbersome and unreliable process—into something intuitive and, crucially, effective.

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“There were great developments happening in ICT solutions in the last two decades. However, there was no company that offered solutions for agribusiness. That’s when we decided to bring cutting-edge technology for every acre of farm and provide access to every farmer possible,” says Krishna Kumar, Founder and Chief Executive, CropIn Technology Solutions.

Ripe for the picking

CropIn created a web and mobile application that includes enterprise resource planning and business intelligence for the agriculture sector. Using geo-tagging, analytics and data science tools, the solution provides insights like field management consultation and technical assistance on agricultural data to farmers, contract farming companies, NGOs and government bodies to help them improve their crop productivity.

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For contract based farming companies or NGOs, there are field managers who constantly assess the produce and the harvest and identify the problems. For example, if there are pests in the farm, the farmer takes picture of the damaged crops, records a voice message and shares it with the experts for diagnosis, who then respond without visiting the farm.

“Farmers are now getting better quality and more produce from their farms. Banks and insurers are ready to provide them with crop loans or insurance. For export companies they now have a tool to manage their operations, make crops traceable so that harvested crops meet global quality standards,” says Chittaranjan Jena, CTO, CropIn.

With their predictive data analysis to farmers, the company has been able to cut down farmer revenue losses by 18 percent.

“There is a benefit for every player in this ecosystem, be it the farmer, or a contract farming company, or an insurer,” says Kumar who envisages that around 20 million farmers in the next five years will use their technology from the current one million.

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CropIn is currently working in 18 states in India and plans to be in around 18 countries in the next 12 months.

“Our client retention rate is at 92 percent and is spread across geographies and around 100 varieties of crops. With current solutions of our applications, we are defining the norms of product traceability in India and globally. Our apps can be customized to help small farmers and large corporates intuitive to use,” says Siddhartha Choudhary, Chief Revenue Officer, CropIn Technology.

The company is also working on an artificial neural network model for farmers.

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“We will have enough data for a localized area, for example, last ten years of weather information, crop trends, satellite images etc. This data will get enriched over a period of time, and the model will be self-learning. It will provide value to farmers in and around that localized area, and also to others across India and the globe to reap farming benefits,” explains Kumar.

 

Source Link: http://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/dobig/news/detail/1072

Smart-Risk, an ICT Solution for Credit Risk Mitigation in Farm Loans & Crop-Insurance.

With SmartRisk, CropIn brings in the most important and valuable players of the agri-ecosystem, by making them more accessible to the farmer community. SmartRisk will benefit the Government in our sincere effort to contribute to the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana where the emphasis is on the one nation, one scheme type crop insurance – be it for floods or droughts. Not just the Government, but various

other allied Central & State Government bodies, private – public banks, MFC’s and NBFC’s now have a robust technology to rely on. Agriculture insurance risk handling, will now be simpler and smarter with SmartRisk,” said Chittaranjan Jena, Chief Technology Officer, CropIn Technology.

“We already are working with one of India’s leading private sector bank in the state of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in India and the results are paying off. While currently, only few hundred thousand farmers are now benefitting from transparent loans to buy seeds, fertilizers, farm machinery and allied. Also, there are many others cooperatives and Indian state governments which are on the cusp to benefit from crop insurance during this year’s sowing cycle. At the end, we keep a farmer at the forefront of everything we do, by helping him increase his yield per acre and ensuring banks and other Govt financial institutions, do not suffer losses due to unplanned bad loans and write-offs,” said Siddhartha Choudhary, Chief Business Officer, CropIn Technology.

With 3 existing cutting edge products such as SmartFarm which ensures holistic farm management, SmartSales which benefits agro-input companies and mWarehouse which defines norms of food traceability to the last mile, SmartRisk is now directly aiming to benefit over twenty-five million Indian farmers through banking and insurance partners under (Non-Lending Technical Assistance – NLTA) by working in sync with the Government (State and Central), National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and various business consulting forums such as assocham and FICCI.

Source: Outlook, The News Scroll, 3 Feb 2017

Link: http://bit.ly/2mL8srn

Technology, Big Data, IoT are the Buzzwords in Rural Today — Siddhartha Choudhary, Cropin by Shantanu Jain

Gone are the days when the reach of technology and the very idea of it being used or available in rural was considered far-fetched. Today a farmer in rural India is as evolved in their mindset as an urban customer and does not shy away from integrating learnings into his day to day life.

Cropin Technology is one such modern-day organization which is known to provide farm-businesses/growers with farm management software and mobile apps, which enables them to do connected, data-driven farming. It allows them to take advantage of real-time data and insights from farms (an accurate view of their operation throughout the entire growing season) and to improve financial, operational and agronomical aspects.

Siddhartha Choudhary, the Chief Revenue Officer of Cropin Technology is a rural marketing veteran who has incredible experience creating clutter-breaking successful brand campaigns in the rural hinterlands. In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, he talks about the recent trends in rural marketing and the way forward.

Siddhartha Choudhary is also a Jury Member of the RMAI Flame Awards Asia 2017.

Being a rural marketing veteran, share with us how marketing has evolved in rural India over the last decade.

The rural of today has access to the same cable TV channels and the same data (internet) as the urban population. So, an average Rural person is aware and aspires to the same things as an average Urban person – best education for their kid, latest tech devices, white goods, etc. The old channels of communicating with rural may not be valid anymore. So, Marketing must evolve along with the fast-changing consumer in rural.

This means that both the mediums to reach out to rural, the messaging and the look & feel of the advertisements should change. Also, just brand promotions would not hold good in rural. The value proposition should be clearly spelled out to be successful.

There have been multiple discussions on what a typical Rural Consumer is. What do you think are the few traits that define a rural consumer?

The urban looks different from the rural in terms of infrastructure, better workplaces, higher earning and spending capacity, etc. But then in terms of personality of a rural customer, it is fast becoming like that of an urban one. While it is difficult to define traits of a rural customer, I would say if 70% of people in a community depend on farm income, it is rural. So, an average rural person, while aspiring for better things in life, is still dependent on rainfall for his farming and his income. One needs to be sensitive to such nuances.

Most brands still feel that ATL is non-existent today in rural India. Is it true or do brands need to start focusing on ATL in rural too?

ATL works for a select few products even in urban. It is also a very costly medium. I used Radio very effectively 10 years back and even today it works beautifully not just in rural but urban too. TV is not effective if one is selling an Agri-product to the farmer but may be effective for a soap brand which is making inroads in rural.

In your opinion, what are a few pointers a brand or agency should keep in mind while they are targeting rural?

Apart from everything mentioned above, everything that works in urban now works in rural. Only the execution may follow different platforms.

Share with us some of the most successful campaigns that you have created at Cropin and previously when you led WaterHealth.

At CropIn we are running a few sustainability and livelihood initiatives at the farm level. Here technology takes the centre stage and everything that we do for every initiative whether it is woman empowerment, stopping child labour, increasing productivity, etc. is through it.

At WaterHealth, we ran Unnati campaign where we identified bright rural children who were awarded education scholarship. On the business side, the impact of the campaign was great, with an ROI of 170%.

How important do you feel are platforms like RMAI Flame Awards to honour the best work in rural marketing. What has been your experience so far?

It is an amazing platform for bright idea sharing and to felicitate deserving ones. Both WaterHealth and CropIn operate in a niche space within the Agricultural & Rural Industry and hence usually are not connected with the ecosystem. With RMAI and Flame, both the organizations have got the right exposure from stakeholders.

Any landmark changes you predict that are set to impact the rural marketing domain of the country?

Technology, Big Data, IoT, Precision Agri are the buzzwords around the world in Rural. These terms will change the face of Agriculture to be able to solve the global food challenge and with this, the rural economy will change too.

Source Linkhttp://www.eventfaqs.com/news/ef-13584/technology-big-data-iot-are-the-buzzwords-in-rural-today-%E2%80%94-siddhartha-choudhary-cropin

CropIn’s Mission: To increase, Per Acre Value

When we started CropIn Technology (previously called CropEx Technology), little did we know the value we will bring to the eco system of the agriculture. They were few baby steps, where we looked at ‘connecting farmers to technology’ and how organizations who worked directly with the farmer could use our system and do better, every crop cycle.

As we grew, our small yet significant and highly efficient team were one day discussing the big picture which CropIn Technology aimed to strive for, and this day we realized the why, what and how of everything we were doing and looking forward to scale things up.

Today, CropIn Technology is one among those very few startups which works with various stakeholders which are directly connected to the eco system of Agriculture to which over 45% of the work force in India is a part of.

Government – CropIn today is a partner to various aided initiatives by the Central and State Government of India across different states in India and Africa. ICT in agriculture and value add to the ground level farmers has been the prime concern for decades by the Government and today is the defining opportunity for us to be a driver to the change.

Funding & AID Organizations – On projects associated with the World Bank and Corporates across the globe, CropIn adds to the value, of improving rural livelihood beyond borders. Our approach has been in contrast towards building sustainable business models and creating impact which brings in value maximization with time minimization.

Agro Input Companies – CropIn ensures to bring effectiveness in the farm demos conducted by the field team of the input seeds, chemical & fertilizer companies. The solution helps the company in not just connecting with their dealers, get updates on stock movement and payment updates but also helps determine the field force effectiveness and connects farmers directly to the company, thus building relationships, with logical solutions for all.

Contractual Farming Companies – Organizations working directly with thousands of farmers and farmlands scattered across geographies, now have visibility on their seasonal yield prediction, control crop stress in near real time and get weather updates on any upcoming frost or blight. Along with these, the management also connects and communicates with their farmers via calls and shares advisory in case a situation arises on farms.

NGO’s and Cooperatives – CropIn encourages rural entrepreneurship in agriculture. Be it the cooperatives coming together or NGO’s investing financially on imparting knowledge of technical know how’s and adoption of technology. Going ahead, the day is not far, when over 80% of Indian farmers will geo tag their plots and get farm updates and advisory – uncluttered, optimized and in their regional language for simpler understanding.

Developmental Partners – Various Governmental bodies and Private Organizations having large scale R&D and those who are innovation driven are always on the lookout on how technology can help increase profit maximization through trial and errors of innovate agricultural practices, new variants of seeds which grow faster and are sturdier to vagaries of nature. CropIn also forms the backbone to few of these organizations from sowing to harvest and monitoring of everything in between via Satellite and Data Algorithms.

Banking & Insurance – Nature has been and will be unpredictable, but how we can gauge those depends on our advancement of technical knowledge and application. In case of crop losses due to natural calamities, the government – farmers and the distribution partners have always had tough times in determining exact losses. These hinder in proportionate distribution of insurance claims as neither the right farm data are available nor the loss estimates. Along with these, agricultural loans for purchase of seeds, fertilizers, operation during crop cycles needs to be determined based farmer eligibility, soil and farm topography. CropIn here, value adds in handling these risks through in house ICT solutions, helping banks, NBFC’s and the farmers – altogether.

Processing & Exporter Enterprises: Companies who process juices, drinks, canned food or organic exports while working in sync with the farmers get to benefit from CropIn. These organizations have a large supply chain base, based across continents and follow stringent regulatory requirements for certification compliances. Our offerings ensure to pre-determine these regulations in to our system and ensure farming based on those guidelines. Post-harvest, our solutions continue to provide produce traceability (Farm to Fork), to the end user giving him/her the confidence of their purchase, by tracing it back to the farmer and farmland produced on.

 

Therefore, CropIn’s Mission – “to increase, per acre value” benefits all in the value chain of agriculture, by keeping a farmer, his aspirations and prosperity of his family at the forefront of everything we do.

  • Krishna Kumar, CEO, CropIn Technology (Ph- 9886310910)