Archived Webinar

Digital Ag Series - Digital Farmer Platforms Transforming Smallholder Agriculture in India

"As rural India has begun to digitize, entrepreneurs have launched and scaled farmer platforms to organize smallholders and the value chains around them."

The greatest challenge in transforming agriculture and food systems in India is the hyper-fragmentation of the rural economy.  India has over 130 million farmers, almost all smallholders operating in various informal value chains. There are also millions of intermediaries in these agricultural value chains, including traders, dealers, retailers, brokers, commission agents, and moneylenders. 

As rural India has begun to digitize, entrepreneurs have launched and scaled farmer platforms to organize smallholders and the value chains around them. Most of these platforms combine a mix of physical and digital infrastructure to provide services, including access to inputs, market linkages, advisory/extension, storage, farm equipment, and/or credit/insurance.

This session features five startups working to revolutionize Indian agriculture.  DeHaat focuses on inputs, market linkages, and financing across multiple crop and horticulture value chains.  Arya provides integrated storage, financing, and market linkage solutions for farmers growing non-perishable commodities. Reshamandi operates across India's silk value chain, working with silk farmers, thread reelers, textile weavers, and fabric retailers. Animall works in India's massive dairy sector, providing dairy farmers with cattle trading and animal healthcare solutions. Finally, Aquaconnect seeks to transform India's aquaculture sector, providing shrimp and fish farmers with high-quality inputs, financing solutions, and market linkages for domestic sales and exports.

About the Presenters

Parmesh Shah

Global Lead, Data-Driven Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Parmesh Shah is the Global Lead for Data-Driven Digital Agriculture at the World Bank. He provides leadership to Bank’s work in these areas and supports the development of global knowledge and learning in these areas to offer solutions to clients and other development partners. His current areas of interest are making markets and public services work for the poor, social entrepreneurship, digital and data-based innovations in agriculture and rural development, climate-smart agriculture, agriculture and technology-enabled start-ups, venture and patient capital for innovation, promotion of on-farm, off-farm, and digital jobs and public-private and people partnerships for rural poverty reduction. He is currently involved in developing a global program on scaling up data-driven digital agriculture involving data platforms and establishing ecosystems for innovation, entrepreneurship, and incubation. He holds a D Phil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a B Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pantnagar in India.

 

Mark Kahn

Managing Partner, Omnivore

Mark Kahn is a Managing Partner of Omnivore, a venture capital firm based in India that funds entrepreneurs building the future of agriculture and food systems. Omnivore pioneered agritech investing in India, backing over 35 startups since 2011, and currently manages USD 130 million across two funds.  Previously, Mark was the Executive Vice President (Strategy & Business Development) at Godrej Agrovet, one of India's foremost diversified agribusiness companies. At Godrej Agrovet, Mark was responsible for corporate strategy, M&A, R&D, and new business incubation. Earlier in his career, Mark worked for Syngenta and PFM. He earned a BA (Honors) from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar.

Shashank Kumar

Founder and CEO, DeHaat 

Shashank is the Co-founder and CEO of DeHaat and led the organization to the current milestone of a 680,000 digitized farmers network in India and a current annual growth rate of 4x. He believes that technology can bring efficiency and transparency for the supply chain between different businesses and smallholders and that's exactly what DeHaat has been building. Hence, DeHaat aims to bring 30mn Indian farmers together on one platform for various agri businesses. Shashank has raised USD 161 mn of investment for DeHaat from marquee funds like Sofina, Lightrock, Prosus, Sequoia, FMO, Omnivore & AgFunder. Prior to DeHaat, He worked as a consultant in the supply chain industry for 3 years after he graduated from IIT Delhi in 2008. He has also been awarded as Forbes 30 under 30 in 2014 & BWDisrupt 40 under 40 in 2018. He is also an Ashoka fellow who has been awarded as distinguished alumni of IIT Delhi in 2017 for his significant contribution to national development. He has been awarded as "Champions of Change" by PM - India & Niti Aayog in 2018.

Prasanna Rao

CoFounder and CEO, Arya 

Prasanna is the Co-founder and CEO of Arya.ag, India’s largest post-harvest platform. Arya.ag enables assured commerce between the supply and the demand sides of the agri-ecosystem by embedding storage, finance, and logistics. Through a network of over 10,000 commodity storage points across the country, Arya.ag provides complete assurance on quality, quantity, and payments for all stakeholders. Prasanna is a rural management graduate from IRMA and is a Chevening financial services fellow from Kings College, London.

Mayank Tiwari

Founder and CEO, Reshamandi  

Mayank Tiwari is the Founder and CEO of Reshamandi. He is a NIFT gold medallist with 13 years of cross-domain experience across user experience, retail, e-commerce, and lean manufacturing. He has done Sales, Marketing, Operations Management at a large scale, and product development and management are the new normal for him. Mayank actively engages with other start-ups and SMEs helping them chart a successful product story and enabling them to launch with a focussed GTM strategy. He is currently focussing his 13 years of experience and expertise to help rural India by providing sustainable livelihoods, enabling financial inclusion, and making them rural super consumers via ReshaMandi.

Kirti Jangra

CoFounder and COO, Animall 

Kirti is the Co-founder and COO at Animall, a cattle trading marketplace aimed at solving for the US$ 250 BN dairy farming industry of India. Animall has acquired 9mn+ Indian dairy farmers and trades worth annualized GMV of US$ 500 mn. Graduate of IIT Delhi, Kirti has experience working in management consulting and at the CEO's office at Penguin India. She is born and brought up in a town in Haryana where her family has been in dairy farming for many decades.

Rajamanohar

Co-Founder and COO, Aquaconnect

Rajamanohar is the CEO & Founder of Aquaconnect, a full-stack aquaculture fin-tech platform. Through intelligent tech intervention, Aquaconnect is assisting over 60,000+ fish and shrimp farmers across India to improve farm productivity, widen market linkage, and enable access to formal credit and insurance. Raj is an alumnus of IIT- Kanpur. He also holds a diploma from Harvard University and a fellowship from Stanford. The World Economic Forum has recognized him as one of the 'Young Global Leaders-2012’ for his exceptional leadership and contribution to the ‘Mobile4Good’ initiatives in emerging markets. He was also featured as part of the '40 UNDER 40' list by The New Indian Express for promoting sustainable aquaculture practices in India.

Peter Cook

Senior Investment Officer, IFC

Peter Cook is a Senior Investment Officer in the IFC Venture & Disruptive Technology team where he leads the team’s investments in agri-tech and cleantech investments. He was based in Beijing 2010-2015 and is now based in Washington, DC. Previously at IFC, Peter financed infrastructure and transacted carbon market transactions in emerging markets. Peter joined IFC in 1998 with previous experience at PwC in New York. 

Priti Kumar

Senior Agriculture Specialist, South Asia Region, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, The World Bank  

Priti Kumar is a Senior Agriculture Specialist in the World Bank Group in India. She started her career in the Bank as an environment safeguards specialist supporting about 20 operations in Agriculture, Rural Development, and Water Sectors and then became a Team Leader of several innovative programs and investment operations. Her key areas of interest are rural and agriculture transformation, natural resources and watershed development, women’s empowerment, and climate change. From 2019 to 2021, she led the preparation of the first multi-state Program-for-Results operation for India on a next-generation watersheds program that focuses on evidence-based planning using innovative land and land-use digital portals and decision support systems. She was Program Manager of  World Bank’s multi-sector programs on climate change in the Maldives and Bangladesh from 2010-2013 financed through multi-donor trust funds. Her operational work from 2009-2013 on the Nepal Biogas Program supported by a range of Results-Based Mechanisms including Carbon Finance cutting across the energy, climate, and environment sectors received the SDN Vice President’s award in 2013. From 2014 to the present, she has led GEF-6, IDA, and IBRD investment projects on small-holder agriculture that, among other things, implements ag-tech and fin-tech solutions for rural communities in irrigation asset planning, weather-based advisories, and agricultural marketing and finance. Throughout her career in the Bank, she has worked in the South Asia Sustainable Development Network: in the Environment Sector (2000-2012); the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Sector (2012-2014); and Agriculture and Food Practice (2014 to present). Ms. Kumar holds a Master’s in Systems Engineering focusing on groundwater systems from the University of Waterloo, Canada; a Master’s in Mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi; and a Bachelor’s in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Delhi, India. Prior to the Bank, she gained experience for nine years in the private sector, not-for-profit organizations, and IFIs.

Questions Submitted

Ahmed

- Jul 20, 2022
great

Ki

- Mar 22, 2022
good

AMJAD

- Mar 22, 2022
great

Bhishma

- Mar 10, 2022
Nice

jose luis

- Feb 15, 2022
muy bueno

DR. YOGENDRA NATH

- Feb 10, 2022
Nice contents.

Mohammad Nadir

- Feb 4, 2022
Excellent presentation!
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