Published: 29th April 2021
Here's how this app by IIT grads is helping 30 lakh farmers network and troubleshoot their problems
Krishify helps farmers to solve their issues, connect with other farmers, seek advice from agricultural experts, access information repository on crops and much more
As the Coronavirus rips through the country's healthcare fabric, there is another pertinent issue that the government needs to look into soon — thousands of farmers, demanding the repeal of farm laws passed by the Central Government last year, remain undeterred and are continuing their protest on the outskirts of Delhi.
To make our country's farmers' lives a tad better, this IIT Kharagpur graduate has come up with what he claims is a first-of-its-kind social and professional networking platform to help them. Launched in mid-2019 by Rajesh Ranjan (28), Manish Agarwal and Avinash Kumar, the Krishify platform brings together farmers from across the country and other stakeholders of the agricultural ecosystem like sellers, traders, even lending companies, distributors and farm input manufacturers. The aim of the Krishify app is to connect these people on a single platform to enable problem-solving, in terms of information and transactional needs of farmers.
The app already has over three million farmers registered from all over the country who interact on the platform. Krishify is currently available only in Hindi and Rajesh tells us why. "We wanted to target Hindi users first as all the founders are from Bihar and Jharkhand and are comfortable with Hindi. To build a platform like this you need to connect with your audience, you need to speak in their language, understand them. We take farmers as individual businesses and knew this was required. Go on the ground and connect with them and that's when language shouldn't be a barrier. Hindi covers half of the farmers' population in India and so we decided to launch in that language," he explains.
The app is completely free to use for farmers, all they have to do is register themselves on the platform.
Krishify also connects them with other farmers and helps them seek advice from agricultural experts, access information on crops, and more. "This platform is a part of their journey and activities throughout their lifecycle, it's not just to solve their cropping needs. Farmers' issues are quite fragmented and season-specific, sometimes it's about harvesting or a pest attack. Most of these farmers also own cattle so that too is a regular source of income for them, as sometimes they are not able to keep a track of their cattle health. They rear cattle most of the time to earn dispensable cash but that, currently, is totally dependent on the offline network which is limited or they have to wait for a cattle fair to happen. That could be a lot of hassle, transportation is an issue, but with this app, they can just put up their problems and connect with other stakeholders on the platform. We use machine learning and AI algorithms to find the best people who can solve their problems and then the farmers get notified about it. For instance, if they put up cattle for sale, the app will put them in touch with people who are interested in such purchases. They can contact each other directly, matchmaking is done online but the real transaction is done offline. Through the app, we try to help their buying, selling needs and mainly provide information on their entire farming journey," explains Rajesh.
Farmers can also get analytics about the popular demands in their vicinity to increase their revenue further. "We use intent and proximity to connect the right retailers to the right farmers. We also wish to empower small farmers as well, grow their seeds, fertilisers, build their profile and earn credibility on this platform. So that they can use the platform as a stepping stone in their journey," adds the 28-year-old entrepreneur.
Krishify also helps farmers with the discovery of government schemes. "These people don't have proper knowledge about schemes as finding information online is difficult. We decided to simplify that for the farmers on the platform. They can read about any scheme, fill an initial form to find out if they are eligible, then what documents they require, then go on to the application. We cannot directly make them apply on our platform but we handhold them through the entire process," concludes Rajesh.