Unnati is a marketplace for farmers needs. It uses data science to help farmers access quality inputs and sell output at optimal price
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.
Akshamaala Solutions Pvt Ltd
Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
India: Uttar Pradesh
4 districts currently and expanding to 14 districts in next 3 months
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Farmers face the following challenges related to their farming lifecycle needs:
1. Lack of knowledge and support especially in terms of using relevant inputs
2. Access to genuine inputs at right price
3. Ability to sell output at the best price and favorable terms and conditions
4. Access to finance
Farmers in India have seen one of the least productivity due to lack using modern techniques. This leads to application of wrong or spurious inputs, indebtedness and sale of farm output at low prices.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Unnati is a mobile app and physical center based marketplace for farmers to access inputs and sell their outputs to relevant purchasers. Tech enabled physical centers are run by agri-graduates on revenue share. Farmers are educated and provided recommendations through the app or SMS or on calls based on their sowing date and transaction history using a predictive algorithm. Farmers are issued a QR code based card to have complete trackability of all actions. Farmers capture farm activities directly in the app or assisted by their local centers.
Platform is evolving to orchestrate complete farming ecosystem. Complete lifecycle approach is important to ensure multiple types of transactions done across the lifecycle help build rich datasets, to be churned to improve farmers earnings.
It creates shared value among farmers, local agri-graduates, input providers and output purchasers driving transparency and efficiency across the value chain using technology and data.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Till now more than 40 thousand farmers have transacted on the platform for a total of more than 60 thousand times purchasing inputs worth more than INR 26 crore in the last 7 months of launch since January 2017 across Sugarcane, Wheat, Paddy, Peas, Mustard and Potato in 4 districts of western UP. Farmers see savings of anywhere from 5-20% on specific inputs. All the products are genuine and sourced through direct brand tieups ensuring no spurious products are used. Also farmers are educated to only use the correct amount of the input to protect against soil-degradation. Farmers are being educated to do inter-cropping especially with Sugarcane to improve their income. Services are being expanded to more than 14 districts over the next 3 months.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
Its a for-profit venture. Till now we have managed to run the operations of Unnati at a breakeven level. Unnati's revenue model includes the following:
1. Margin on inputs sold through platform
2. Margin on output sales facilitated through platform
3. Margin on implements purchased through platform
4. Margin on financing provided to enable the transactions
5. Enterprises funding marketing activities in the Krishi Kendra locations
Revenue is shared between Unnati and the Unnati Krishi Kendra operator.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Indian farming scenario is very unique in that the average landholding size is much smaller. there have been some attempts at solutions for individual use cases across farming lifecycle there is no ecosystem build up across complete lifecycle which is important to ensure that the solution becomes commercially sustainable and scalable on a pan India level. Use of a combination of technology and partnership with local youth also ensures that all the relevant stakeholders gain from the solution.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
While using our technology platform to offer services to agri-input and output purchase companies we realised that farmers are looking for independent information and recommendations to help improve their productivity. Spurious inputs and low quality products are challenges on input and on the output side selling at the right time, right price and right terms & conditions is missing totally. This was proven not only anecdotally but also through data. This was the time when we realised that the way forward for us is to reach out to farmers directly as independent advisor, helping them with extension services and bringing in the benefits of data science.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?