Kuber from Kalgudi to help farmers, stakeholders
Hyderabad-based Kalgudi has developed ‘Kuber’, a social commerce platform for the agriculture and rural livelihood sectors. It enables small businesses and individuals to start their own businesses via their social channels.
Here is an effort from Kalgudi that can enable enterprising and enthusiastic farmers and rural youth. Kalgudi is an agri digital solutions company with agri input and output marketplaces.
The Hyderabad-based company has developed ‘Kuber’, a social commerce platform for the agriculture and rural livelihood sectors. It enables small businesses and individuals to start their own businesses via their social channels.
The app was launched at the Agri-Business Summit & Agri Awards 2021 in Hyderabad recently.
What Kuber does
While farmers toil hard and produce a variety of products, they face hardships due to the last-mile issues in reaching the markets and getting the best price. Here enters Kuber, which seeks to empower the aspirational rural youth and small businesses and also solve the farmer's dilemma, says Raj Vallabhaneni, founder of Kalgudi.
First, it provides training to rural youth, whom it calls ‘Kubers’. They in turn can use their social connections and relationships with the farmers to bridge the gap by providing the right inputs using the Kalgudi platform.
Kalgudi intends to first empower the Kubers with appropriate education about agriculture products. Social network principles will be used to highlight the potential products that can move in their area, crops for which they are applicable, and potential results by using them. This helps the Kubers effectively engage with the farmers.
Once a potential match is identified, the Kuber will share further information and price about the product through WhatsApp or other means with the potential buying farmer. On receiving the order, Kalgudi will fulfil the order to the Kuber, who will undertake the last-mile delivery. The price to the farmer includes the Kuber margin, as chosen by the Kuber himself, but is limited to the MRP.
"Kalgudi, which is the parent organization, already works with agri inputs B2B (sales to FPO or large farmers) through digital marketplaces. Any bulk orders from Kuber are handled through our B2B processes," says Raj.
The Kalgudi platform, launched in 2018, has a few million farmers from across the country on board. Kalgudi mainly operates in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. Going forward, plans are to expand across India. “Every product from rural India has a story and we make sure it is captured on our platform,” says Raj Vallabhaneni.
Kalgudi is a free-to-use platform for agriculture-related initiatives. It is accessible from mobile devices as well as from web browsers. It has been issuing farm advisories and helping in market linkages. It is currently partnered with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Centre for Good Governance (CGG) in their agriculture extension initiatives.
The company developed the iAgriMarC™, a software solution for Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) management which is aimed at the automation of the gate-to-gate operations of APMC mandis in India as well as connection of all APMC mandis in a particular state.
The mandi management software was designed and operationalized in the Karnataka agriculture marketing department from 2009 to 2017. Over 45,000 traders and over 10 lakh farmers benefited either directly or indirectly through this implementation, Raj claimed.
(M Somasekhar is an independent journalist based in Hyderabad. He writes on development issues, science and business.)