How a Bengaluru-based start-up is helping small farmers avoid distress sale

Joseph B. Hash

Agritech start out-up Ergos, which allows small and medium farmers in Bihar to retail outlet and market their harvested make via the grain lender notion, has expanded its functions to Karnataka and Maharashtra not too long ago.

“We are seeing enormous response from farmers in Karnataka and Maharashtra, where by around 8,000 farmers have been brought on board. Warehouses have been set up in 22 spots,” reported Kishor Jha, Founder and CEO of the Bengaluru-primarily based Ergos. The company has introduced on board about 1 lakh farmers in Bihar, wherever it has set up warehouses in 240 destinations given that 2012.

Selecting warehouses

Explaining the business design, Jha explained Ergos hires warehouses at village amounts on long expression leases to develop grain banking institutions and connects with the farmers in the vicinity conveying the principle of how to store the deliver to get much better selling prices. For the duration of the harvest year, each and every farmer, mainly the smaller and medium, are in a hurry to sell and the customer has a limited capacity to obtain.

Leveraging its tech-enabled system, Ergos converts the make saved in grain financial institutions into digital stock and a passbook is issued to the farmer with information of quantity and the kind of grains. Presently, Ergos handles six varieties of grains which includes maize, wheat, paddy, soyabean, tur and ragi.

“Once the grain is deposited into the warehouse, it gets fungible. We just take care of the storage, preservation and connecting the farmer to the market and also the economic institution. Engineering plays a good role in digitising the grains, building visibility to the consumer and connecting with them” Jha, a banker-turned agri-entrepreneur mentioned.

Grain banking institutions

Farmers can avail of Ergos’ grain financial institution services at a mere 40 paise per quintal, for each working day, Jha claimed introducing the design is crafted to fit even compact and marginal farmers, who can keep and promote a person bag of grain. The stock administration expenses include things like warehouse rent, chemical cure, fumigation and pest handle to keep the inventory health. “Also we consider insurance policy cover for the warehouse from fire, theft, earth quake and theft among many others,” he claimed.

The grain stored at Ergos’ grain financial institution will continue to be in farmers account until the time he wants to offer for up to 9 months. “If the farmer needs any liquidity, we have various financial institutions and economic institutions on the system like SBI and Sammunati, who lend to farmers in opposition to their grains deposited in the banks by 1 click on,” Jha said.

Jha stated that farmers, who provide their create immediately after 3-4 months of harvest, can realise better worth. Ergos aids farmers in much better rate discovery and their incomes have been larger by 30-40 per cent. Making use of the expert services, farmers can grow to be value makers alternatively than selling price takers, Jha stated incorporating that his company is encouraging small farmers avoid distress revenue. Also, Ergos helps farmers to dispose of the grains that can’t be preserved.

“We are doing work on a massive big system scheduling to pan-India in states these types of like Rajasthan, MP and Odisha in next 3-4 many years, which will essentially aid us to contact base with farmers in 70-80 for every cent of the agricultural parts in the state. Our intention is to established up 3,000 warehouse spots running about ₹10,000 crore truly worth of produce in the 3-4 many years,” Jha reported.

Advisory services

Ergos also deliver advisory to farmers monitoring the development and guides them through the harvest period of time for on-farm processing actions these types of as drying and segregation of the develop and also logistics. “We have 1 romance manager for each and every 300 farmers, who support them in applying our products and services. For farmers, who are not savvy making use of clever phone, there’s an assisted model by kiosks found at the warehouses,” he explained.

For traders and potential buyers sourcing from its platform, Ergos has various kinds of offers with a base cost of 2 per cent, Jha reported. Though the focus has been to cater to the nearby customers in the region, Ergos has off-late commenced connecting farmers with huge prospective buyers nationally.

Released on


February 16, 2022

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