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Mahindra-Backed MeraKisan On Helping Farmers Tap India’s Emerging Organic Produce Wave

Mahindra-Backed MeraKisan On Helping Farmers Tap India’s Emerging Organic Produce Wave

The backing from Mahindra helped Pune-based totally MeraKisan department out from presenting produce from farmers to customers to developing organic farming

It claims to have about 12K licensed natural farmers on Organic Pandit, its market-like platform for consumers and suppliers

The company is also growing non-public label merchandise under its personal brand name ‘MeraKisan’ with a D2C technique to distribution

While technology has without a doubt changed the sport in nearly each enterprise region in India, the pie isn't just cut up amongst tech startups. Corporate giants, which constructed large empires thru traditional manner, have also joined the tech revolution within the twenty first century. And it’s not constantly as competition to startups but additionally as companions and backers. 

That was the concept at the back of the Mahindra Group making an investment in Pune-based totally agritech startup MeraKisan in September 2016. Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd (MASL), a subsidiary of the group, invested in the startup at the side of Belgian enterprise Univeg (Greenyard Foods) through a 60:forty joint project known as Mahindra Univeg. 

MASL changed into said to be on the lookout for startups that have been addressing the market linkage problems inside the united states of america — at a time when agritech become simply starting to get a foothold inside the tech region. This supposed making the deliver chain green so that Mahindra’s customers and farmers should earn a bigger proportion of the rural income. 

The backing from Mahindra, in truth, helped MeraKisan department out from presenting produce from farmers to customers to developing organic farming solutions and products. 

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“Mahindra has no longer most effective helped us in scaling the enterprise, but additionally provided the right get right of entry to to the market, know-how and expertise. We had been one of the initial gamers inside the industry to be imparting sparkling culmination and vegetables. And then we moved to organic produce for on line grocery delivery companies and clients,” founder Prashanth Patil advised CFT.

Besides fulfilling its authentic imaginative and prescient — addressing market linkage problems for farmers — the switch to the premium organic class is peculiar, in particular for the reason that the demand has no longer yet matured for this category. 

Patil told us that while the initial idea become approximately solving deliver inefficiencies at a macro level, due to the dearth of infrastructure in phrases of procurement facilities on the village stage and convey fine problems, the focal point shifted to these areas. In 2019, MeraKisan determined to show its awareness to natural produce, grains and meals. 

So far, MeraKisan claims to have impacted the lives of over 96K farmers and up to 400-500 corporations throughout India. 

With converting tendencies inside the metros and Tier-1 cities, it’s no longer just consumers which might be transferring to organic food and convey. Farmers have come to be more aware about what it takes and it’s now not just about now not the use of fertilisers. MeraKisan turned its cognizance to organic meals now not simplest to improve the supply in this particular category, however additionally due to the fact this class has higher margins for farmers as well as startups operating with farmers. 

Organic Pandit, its marketplace-like platform, connects natural farmers, manufacturers, suppliers in addition to clients. MeraKisan claims that this attention on organic meals and bring sets it other than the hordes of gamers that have entered the food supply chain space, such as Ninjacart, Jumbotail, CropIn, FreshWorld, Aker Foods and AgroStar. The competitors in this region aren't focussed utterly at the organic category, but on the general fresh produce deliver for consumers and businesses. 

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Why MeraKisan Pivoted To Organic Produce

Founded in 2014 with the aid of Patil, MeraKisan began with a number one recognition on fresh culmination and greens, and “20% natural produce” the founder claimed.

For its shift in attention to the organic sector, the employer reached out to current farmers initially and isn't always also searching at certification for different farmers trying to pass organic. “We began onboarding organic farmers in my view and in groups, wherein we helped them in training natural farming and in certification manner freed from cost and also handhold them for the duration of the procedure, which includes pre-harvest, submit-harvest, certification, digitisation of the report, promoting it at the platform etc,” stated Patil. So a ways the agency has partnered with 21 natural farming certification groups to assist carry farmers to the organic fold. 

Besides this, it has introduced QR-code based totally traceability for all produce offered through Organic Pandit. Customers can get info of the products together with natural certifications, farmers information and others by using scanning this code. 

Citing enterprise metrics, Patil stated that India has about eight.42 Lakh organic farmers in the u . S .. Out of this, there are about 2,462 natural farmer companies and near four,six hundred companies within the space (throughout fee chains and operations).  MeraKisan currently has over 12K licensed natural farmers on its platform, catering to both customers and companies in India in addition to international markets, which include Australia, China and others. 

Team MeraKisan

Organic Produce Goes D2C

During the Covid-19 section, the corporation did face hurdles in its operations due to the lockdown, shortage of labour, deliver chain disruption and different demanding situations. It partnered with logistics tech startups for last-mile transport, however the processing unit become still hit. “For example, if we had been doing 20-30 heaps of processing an afternoon, in Covid-19 instances, we are doing approximately seven to eight tons,” Patil brought.

MeraKisan is present in almost 22 towns, together with Pune, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Chennai and Hyderabad amongst others, throughout 900+ shops. A huge recognition at some stage in those instances of disaster has been its personal app. 

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The organization is likewise growing non-public label products below its own emblem call ‘MeraKisan’ with a D2C approach to distribution. It has over 147 SKUs in natural culmination and veggies, organic groceries, natural oil and ghee and superfoods among others. 

Today, MeraKisan claims to have a sturdy presence in both online as well as offline mode. For example, its ‘MeraKisan Daily’ app drove almost ninety% sales in Pune, its domestic city in latest weeks. “Overall, 70% of the commercial enterprise got here from on line channels inclusive of Zomato, Swiggy, MeraKisan Daily app and so on, and 30% from offline shops,” introduced Patil

Interestingly, he also delivered that these numbers from Zomato and Swiggy in terms of grocery delivery nowadays are slowly declining. This manner the distance will open up for more purchaser-facing products. “We will slowly circulate faraway from B2B and could begin that specialize in catering to the B2C, given the acquisition economics and call for for our products, within the next  years.”

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