BL Agro Group, which comprises Leads Connect Services - an agritech company, Rohilkhand Laboratory and Research Centre (RLRC), BL Agro Industries, an FMCG company, and Laxmi Agro, a food commodity trading and export house, launched 'Khet Se Kitchen Tak' solution at the India Food Expo held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. As the agri sector desperately needs to improve productivity and sustainability, this farm-to-fork solution offers just that. It creates market linkages throughout the agri value chain by clubbing the services provided by subsidiaries of the BL Agro corporate umbrella.
The ongoing three-day event, from November 2-4, was inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the presence of Union Minister of State for MSME Bhanu Pratap Verma.
All the services offered by all the group companies – Leads Connect, RLRC, BL Agro, and Laxmi Agro are displayed during the trade fair. A live demo was given for both Vtol and Agri drones to Deputy Chief Minister Shri. Brajesh Pathak and Shri Kapil Dev Agarwal Minister of State of the Ministry of Vocational Education and Skill Development of Uttar Pradesh. Navneet Ravikar, Chairman and MD, Leads Connect Services briefed them about the initiative as well as gave them a first-hand experience of flying the drones.
Four entities are synergizing the 'Khet Se Kitchen Tak' initiative to provide full-stack solutions to ease problems for farmers, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), and agribusinesses. With Leads Connect Services providing precision farm advisory, financial, and crop risk management to the agriculture community; Rohilkhand Laboratory and Research Centre (RLRC) providing critical food testing, assaying, and certification facilities to agri-businesses at the farm gates; and BL Agro and Laxmi Agro providing market linkage, bringing finely curated, packed quality food material to consumers' kitchens through its extensive network of distributors pan India.
LeadsConnect Services, a data, risk management, and financial services Agritech Company, is the foundational block of the initiative. It plays a critical role in providing farm risk management and securing higher incomes for farmers by mitigating pre-harvest risks. The company also disseminates timely stage-wise agronomy advice such as the impact of weather, biophysical, and crop management parameters on productivity.
Apart from increasing yield efficiency, Leads Connect offers digitalization and end-to-end analytics, including geospatial, SpaceTech, and Drone as a Service (DrAAS) for precision farming.
Leads Connect has created a unified platform called "AGRANI," which is a digital database of farmers that stakeholders can access through analytical dashboards. It has created two Apps; Agrani app for farmers and AgraniSaathi for FPO, Agri Businesses, and VLE (Village Level Entrepreneurs) and plans to set up Brick MortarAgrani Centres throughout Uttar Pradesh bringing farm advisory, financial services, and market linkage to the doorstep of farmers/Agri-businesses.
Lastly, as the agritech business correspondent of SBI Bank, LeadsConnect offers timely capital to small and marginal farmers, FPOs, and budding agri-preneurs for agricultural and allied activities. Within its financial inclusion services, the company builds accurate farmer and farm profiling on agricultural and historical activities to help tenant farmers, budding village entrepreneurs, and agri-businesses gain loans without difficulty. It also caters to seamless access to all relevant insurance products - health, crop, cattle, life, and motor. Furthermore, it delivers continuous post-sale service assistance, including claims management.
RLRC Pvt. Ltd. is the second building block of the initiative, and it delivers analytical testing and food quality assessment of both raw and processed products.
Laxmi Agro India Pvt. Ltd is the third subsidiary of BL Agro Group which forms the final building block of the Khet Se Kitchen Tak initiative. A commodity trading enterprise, the company specializes in the export of agricultural and processed foods and sweeteners across the globe. It creates the market connections that local farmers require to reach international markets and directly export stringently quality-checked and certified food products from Uttar Pradesh.
Ghanshyam Khandelwal, Chairman, B.L. Agro, said, "UP stands on a precipice. To achieve the vision of converting it into a trillion-dollar economy, we need to fuel its agriculture and food processing engine. That’s what makes us so excited and determined to build a sustainable and linked agri-ecosystem within the state. At its base, Khet Se Kitchen Tak is about supporting farmers and agribusiness, but if you zoom out, the initiative is about making UP a self-reliant and sufficient state that doesn’t depend on anyone during any stage of the agri value chain. While the initiative encompasses all food products from pulses to oil, we will be putting the spotlight on millets like ragi, jowar, and bajra as 2023 is the International Year of Millets."
Navneet Ravikar, Chairman and MD, LeadsConnect Services said, "The changing global demands are outpacing what our current agricultural and food systems can achieve. Currently, over 50 percent of India’s population depends upon agriculture to put food on the table. Yet, the sector contributes merely 20 percent of the national GDP. All these are signals of the dire necessity of a digital transformation, which is why we are fixated on building technologies that can drive the Khet Se Kitchen Tak initiative. Our objective is to bring the consequent benefits to every acre of farmland and stakeholder in the value chain."
Prachi Srivastava, Quality Manager, RLRC said, "The agri sector desperately needs to improve productivity and sustainability, and the initiative delivers just that. Through our services, we’ll be helping different stakeholders grow more resilient and high-yielding crops. While it encompasses all food products from pulses to oil, we will be putting the spotlight on millets like ragi, jowar, and bajra as 2023 is the International Year of Millets.”
In addition to bridging the gap between farmers and customers, the project will expand the food product distribution network for farmers and other stakeholders in both domestic and international markets. Laxmi Agro, being the export and bulk food trading wing, would take good quality food material from UP to the entire world. While B.L. Agro’s signature brands, Bail Kolhu and Nourish, act as the force multipliers for the domestic market.
Bail Kolhu, their Kacchi Ghani Mustard Oil enjoys a cult position in its existing markets across North India. ‘Nourish’ offers a range of grocery products typically used in an Indian kitchen, including Atta, Rice, Pulses, Ghee and Oils, Dry Fruits, Papad, Achars, Murabba, Spices, breakfast cereals, and other ready-to-cook products.
The two brands give BL Agro one of the largest distribution networks amongst all branded edible oil and food product players in the country, with over 150,000 retailers, across 200 cities in 13 states of India—Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jammu, and Nepal.
Their reach is further amplified by the company’s exclusive brand outlets present in 12 locations across Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh; and their online platform as well as popular e-commerce platforms like Amazon. Moreover, the e-mandi of Agrani will fire up the front end of the Nourish Store, providing agribusinesses and FPOs direct access to consumers and retailers for their horticultural produce at a hyperlocal level.
Besides empowering farmers to tap into this vast reach, BL Agro brands Bail Kolhu and Nourish will also capitalize on the UP government’s One District One Product scheme to procure raw materials for their plants locally, providing a quality finished goods to their customers and market linkage to the farmers.