Farmkart forays into agri-equipment rental business via rent4farm
Agritech innovation start-up Farmkart has announced its foray into the agriculture-equipment rental business by launching a tech-enabled platform rent4farm, which will help farmers rent high-quality machinery and equipment at competitive rates.
Barwani (Madhya Pradesh)
Agritech innovation start-up Farmkart has announced its foray into the agriculture equipment rental business by launching a tech-enabled platform rent4farm.
According to a Farmkart press release, rent4farm will help farmers rent high-quality machinery and equipment at competitive rates. In the first phase, Farmkart has already started providing rental services in 200 villages near Barwani by partnering with 100 certified equipment suppliers.
Currently, Farmkart's products and services are available across 3,500 villages in Madhya Pradesh and the company is in the process of expanding its footprints to other geographies, said Atul Patidar, Founder and CEO, Farmkart.
At present, more than 100,000 farmers are associated with Farmkart. It has strategic distribution tie-ups with domestic and international agri-input manufacturers such as YARA and Valagro. More than 1,000 products are available to farmers via Farmkart’s e-commerce platform. It also has a Concept Store (Digital Store) in Barwani, which serves the farmers from the city and nearby rural areas.
“We started rent4farm in mid-June this year and the response has been quite good. Now, we are expanding the facility to a wider area and expect to serve at least 10,000 farmers. By the end of 2021, the company plans to take the service to 20,000 farmers in 3,500 locations with a fully operational mobile application,” said Patidar.
Patidar started Farmkart with an initial investment of Rs 15 crore in 2017. The company is in an advanced stage of raising a Series A round of funds from venture capital.
rent4farm is a key piece of the Farmkart ecosystem and complements its e-commerce, last-mile delivery, agronomy and financial payments infrastructure, said Patidar.
“This will drive value to the farming community and expand our customer base as we move towards Series A,” added Patidar.
Explaining the idea behind rent4farm, he said most of the farmers do not own farming equipment and rent equipment from owners in their villages. Before rent4farm, farmers had limited options to search beyond their own villages and missed out on high-quality equipment available elsewhere. Also, many equipment owners had under-utilized machinery because of limited means to connect with prospective customers. They were also worried about the hassles of managing multiple customer transactions, especially collecting on-time payments, he said.
“rent4farm brings structure to this unstructured market while fostering a culture of micro-entrepreneurship amongst our equipment partners," added Patidar.
According to Farmkart, rent4farm acts as a one-stop platform for farmers for renting high-quality machinery/equipment available on demand with a facility to choose from multiple options in terms of rates, choice of equipment, and booking time, among other facilities.
On the other hand, Patidar said partners or equipment owners will also enjoy the benefits of more customers and on-time payments, with rent4farm managing the complete customer interaction end-to-end.
All financial transactions between farmers and partners will be conducted via UIC, an AI-enabled digital identity system that supports secure online transactions.
Farmkart plans to create an ecosystem that nurtures micro-entrepreneurship among farmers. For this purpose, the company will help the farmers purchase equipment on credit and join rent4farm as a partner, said Patidar.
Farmkart has its headquarters in Barwani and the company’s strategy team is located in Toronto, Canada.