Friday , 3 February 2023
Breaking News

Web portal gives ryots tech edge to fight touts

Rajanna, 35, a fruit and vegetable grower from Tumakuru district, would sell watermelons for Rs 3 a piece to middlemen till he learnt about Bhoomee, an agricultural web portal that equips farmers with the market price of products. Soon, Rajanna began bargaining with the touts and, eventually, started making 100% profit.

Many beneficiaries: Ditto with Dharmapal, 54, from Ramanagaram district. Earlier, he would sell 25 tonnes of sweet pumpkin to an agent for Rs 5 a tonne. Bhoomee made it possible for him to sell 5 tonnes at Rs 7.50 each. The web portal helped him bridge links with vendors in Bengaluru; Dharmapal now sells the remaining 20 tonnes at Rs 7.90 each.

“I had to pay 10% commission to agents and also bear the transport cost. I was running into big loss, but now Bhoomie has made my life easier,” said Dharampal.

A web portal enabled by a call centre and local kendras coordinated by the horticulture department, Bhoomee aims to enhance visibility, connectivity and widen market opportunity for farmers. “It provides aware ness on prices across markets, which helps farmers negotiate and sell their produce at better rates. The platform connects farmers to buyers directly, based on requirements arising from time to time,” said Raghunandan TN, the Bengalurubased founder of this portal.

Bhoomee also provides farmers with digital wallets which are nothing but discount points or currency loaded to a farmer’s mobile number on registration with the portal.
“A farmer has to pay Rs 180 to subscribe to Bhoomee. Once he does that, 150 points are credited to his mobile wallet. He can then use this to make purchases in Bhoomee Kendra. He can also buy pesticides, manure, etc and electronic and home appliances, with an additional discount on the product price. Every month, he gets a top-up of Rs 20 of which he has to pay Rs 10,” he explained.
The first Bhoomee Kendra was launched in Ramanagaram district on January 8. Seven more will come up in Mandya, Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Davangere, Shivamogga, Ballari and Haveri districts by this month-end.

We have 1.5 lakh farmers registered with Bhoomee and are adding 1,000 to 2,000 more every month. About 50-60% of them are benefiting from the knowledge of market price and 4-5% from the visibility the portal provides. For now, we are present only in Karnataka,” said Raghunandan.