There are approximately 160 million farmers in India, with a majority of them lacking training and education in scientific farming methods. The top 3% of farmers, who cultivate high-value export-oriented crops on more than 10 acres of land, have access to agronomists and consultants to obtain necessary inputs. The middle 47% of farmers, who cultivate vegetables and other basic crops for their livelihood, do not have access to reliable advice and inputs. The bottom 50% of farmers mainly practice sustenance farming and are not focused on generating substantial income from their agricultural activities.
The middle layer of farmers are eager to increase their income and land productivity and are willing to spend to obtain the necessary guidance and inputs to achieve their goals. In rural India, certain trends have facilitated the use of technology to enhance efficiency and productivity in farming. These trends include high mobile phone usage, with penetration rates ranging from 30% to 50% in some areas, the majority of farming households owning at least one smartphone, and an increased willingness to make online payments due to growing trust after making some purchases online. The timing and quantity of inputs, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and growth aids, have a significant impact on yield, which is where BharatAgri steps in to provide advisory services to all farmers, not just the affluent and large farmers.
Data-driven advisory led e-commerce for agriculture
BharatAgri leverages personalized tech-driven advisory services to farmers in India to provide the best farm inputs that farmers need when they need them. BharatAgri has data of 4 million farmers, covers over 200K acres of farmland, and has access to 100K farmers in India.
Why we invested in BharatAgri
1. Building trust via personalized advisory
BharatAgri uses over 50 data points to generate accurate and real-time recommendations to farmers that covers growth aides, pesticides, fertilizers including how to use them, how often to use, how much to use and where to use. BharatAgri has been able to deliver value to value-conscious farmers, improving yield and profitability to every 10-meter squared section of their farms. For farmers using BharatAgri’s personalised advisory, the cost to cultivate an acre has reduced by one third with increase in yield and thereby incomes.
2. Unlocking e-commerce led by advisory
BharatAgri uses data from the farmer combined with personalized advisory solutions to recommend farm products via e-commerce. BharatAgri’s customers have seen a noticeable increase in farm productivity and reduction in costs, with over one third of them purchasing via their e-commerce platform, already showing a strong repeat purchase behavior. Farmers are losing confidence in the local distributors of agricultural inputs and farm equipment as many of these distributors push products where they receive a higher commission (vs. the best result for price), do not carry the wide variety of products good farming practices would require, and increasingly are selling adulterated products. Moreover, the stores are sometimes tens of kilometers away adding to the farmers’ total cost of procuring the correct products.
Capria recently led BharatAgri’s extended Series A round along with participation from existing investors (India Quotient, Omnivore, and 021 Capital) and new investors. We are delighted to support BharatAgri in its journey to democratise access to advisory for farmers and improve incomes and yields, one plot at a time.
BharatAgri’s solution at the intersection of value, cost-effectiveness and personalization has demonstrated a value proposition and trusted platform that works for which small aspirational farmers are willing to pay, repeatedly.