Agri-tech startup Harvesting has launched HFN Mandi to help Indian farmers directly market and sell their agri-products to wholesale buyers. HFN Mandi is a free online service for farmers to connect and transact with genuine buyers across India and internationally.
This journey of providing market linkage to farmers started less than a year ago when Founder & CEO of Harvesting, Ruchit Garg, started a Twitter account to help distressed farmers across the country sell their crops during strict COVID lockdown.
In the last 10 months, Harvesting has worked relentlessly with farmers across India and listed over $23 million worth of agri-produce on the platform. Farmers simply send WhatsApp messages to the HFN team, whose technology then broadcasts supply information to buyers over social media platforms like Twitter. The entire process is so simple and effective that in less than a year Harvesting has attracted over 23 lakh farmers from 22 states. Several government agencies, non-profit organizations, farmer groups, and individual farmers are already engaged with HFN. Over 200 commodities got listed on the platform, bought by wholesale buyers such as food processing companies, five-star chains, F&B restaurants, and food exporters.
Even after the relaxations in lockdown, the popularity of Harvesting Farmer Network continued to grow, given buyers were able to transparently buy great quality produce directly from farmers and farmers were able to access much larger markets.
Ruchit Garg, Founder & CEO, Harvesting, said, “Farmers as far as from Meghalaya are now able to export their crops to countries like South Africa because they listed products on our platform.”
HFN Mandi provides farmers with larger market access and better price realization. Prices are decided by the farmers and orders are fulfilled by farmers themselves. For buyers, it provides not only access to the largest selection of crops under a single roof at attractive prices, but also provides a seamless experience of purchasing agri-produce in wholesale including the booking of transportation, quality check on the ground, legal contract, escrow of funds, etc.
On the launch of HFN Mandi, Ruchit Garg stated, “We believe the best way to create meaningful and long-term benefits for farmers is to provide farmers with the choice and power to participate in the market on their own terms. Farmers in India are increasingly getting tech-savvy and have exposure to the wider world and our platform provides them an alternative channel to sell their produce. Indian agriculture is sitting at the inflection point right now, and we strongly believe that technology-driven solutions can enable farmers to realize their full potential.”