Rural Innovation with Technology in the Agricultural Ecosystem
The company was conceptualised with the vision of changing farmer’s lives by making each farm profitable and creating an equity for everyone
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
CropIn Technology Solution
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
India- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajastan, Maharashtra, Karnataka
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Agriculture is one of the world’s largest and most important industries, but it is also one of the most under-served ones. It is due to the minimal technological disruption, unpredictability of weather, climate change, and pest infestation that the farming community has suffered severe losses leading to thousands of farmers committing suicide. CropIn, an AgTech solutions provider identified these issues and has formulated a range of products to enrich the farmers’ lives and for their sustenance.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
CropIn’s aim was to ensure the reach of technology to 500,000 farmers and enrich their lives along with their families. In doing so, CropIn lay emphasis on the following points:
• Creating sustainable farming & profitable avenues with technology
• Preventing child labour in agriculture through technological disruption
• Creating sustainable livelihood of the rural poor, depending on farming for their livelihood and are suffering from substantial losses largely due to climate change
• Creating a common platform for the agricultural stakeholders including the government, development agencies, and the corporate players, and engaging them in doing rural good
• Promoting organic farming with ICT and eliminating the use of chemicals & pesticides which are some of the factors responsible in creating debt & poverty in the farming community
CropIn helped Sahyadri farms become the biggest exporters of grapes in India managing more than 11,000 acres, reaching new heights of accomplishment
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Through well designed products & services CropIn has managed to touch the lives of 56,984+ farming households across the rural sphere with technology and the key areas of impact are plenty and ever growing.
There was a noticeable increase of 30% in farm productivity of fruits & vegetables through the use of technology in DFID program and 89.2% timely completion of activities with Sresta. As the processes were standardized and traceability executed, there was a noticeable increase in the business scalability for farmers, efficiency of process, farmer livelihood and a noticeable reduction in the long term costs.
For example in case of GPI, we contributed to their GAP intitate and ensured a fixed 8 hours shift for farmers to prevent labour exploitation and brought the ‘zero child labour’ policy into effect by stopping the farmers from sending their children to the farm in their lieu. Additionally 90% of the committed activities were brought to a timely completion.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
As Krishna Kumar founded CropIn, he wrote a call for funds and a brief concept note on CropIn, and e-mailed it to his well-wishers. He garnered Rs 6.8 lakh. Investments over Rs 1 lakh gave the individual a 1% stake in CropIn. Four people put in Rs 5 lakh between them for such stakes, and the others contributed the rest. It was enough to keep the tech team going until it was ready for clients in 2011. CropIn crossed Rs 10 lakh in revenue by April 2011, and in August, the venture capital firm in Kolkata - Seeders invested Rs 20 lakh. In Feb 2014, we received further 50 lakhs from Ankur Capital. It was in Aug 2016 that we received $2million from Sophia Investment and the latest funding we acquired was from Singapore based Beenext.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
CropIn has taken on the initiative to make digital technology accessible to the farmers even in the remotest areas. The unique features of their solutions include creation of a platform to bring together and engage various stakeholders including government agencies, corporate players, and farmers at one level to encourage two way interactions. Use of cloud & big data for AgTech solutions have by-far been utilized in the most effective manner by CropIn making them a pioneer in the field.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
The state of farmers and the rising number of suicides in the farming community due to the impact of natural calamities & the heavy losses they incurred affected Krishna Kumar strongly. He dreamt of building a mobile app for collection of data from the farms that led him to quit his job at GE India & work to bring about a viable technological solution. He realised that with 250 million acres of fragmented land available for cultivation, India was in the need of electronic information on the field. He also discovered that conglomerates & corporate players were looking for crops to export or process which needed solutions for traceability & monitoring on the field. At the time there were 10 million acres of professionally managed farms which estimated a probable opportunity of Rs 5000 crore in crop data. It is this idea that finally became CropIn Technology Solutions.
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