‘Krishiuday’- an event hosted by SIIB in collaboration with NABARD, IIT Powai and Microsoft research based on mobile based ICT Solutions for FPO’s. The application is developed by IIT Powai and is named as “LOKaCart”. The eminent speakers for the event included Mr. Uma Maheshwari Rao(DGM-NABARD), Dr. Sudhir Goel (Agri and marketing division, Govt. Of Maharashtra) , Mr. Sunil Borkar (ATMA), Prof. Ganesh (IIT Bombay), Dr. Narendra Shah and Mr. Atul Mardikar from Udyog Prerana.
As the tradition of SIIB goes, lighting of lamp took place by the Director, Dr. Asmita Chitnis and other guest speakers. Further, the Director delivered the welcome address for the event and emphasized on the importance of online app to facilitate the farmers and the Agro industry, as a whole. She appreciated the efforts taken by IIT Powai team and encouraged the FPO farmers present there. The first speaker who took charge of the podium was Mr. Sunil Borkar, who enlightened the audience on the strengthening of the Agri sector by using ICT solutions. He further commented on the latest manufacturing and service sectors position in agriculture who are using the ICT solutions and was optimistic about the advancements. The Agro-manufacturing sector, as he believed; is on the rise and the amalgamation of technology with the existing practices of manufacturing goods and supply has come in handy. Furthermore, he explained the current trade and progress of Agricultural goods from business to consumers (B2C) and from business to business (B2B) and how the app was serving the B2C model only but now due to industry requirements is also focusing on the B2B model.
Mr. Uma Maheshwari Rao appreciated the efforts taken by SIIB and extended a warm gesture for hosting the event. Being associated with NABARD over the years, Mr. Rao explained the intricacies of NABARD as a bank which provides small scale farmers with the funds. He showered praises on the ‘LOKaCart’ app which has given a huge impetus on the overall exchange between the farmers and customers. NABARD has set up an R&D fund for the ICT tools developed by IIT Powai and helped three thousand FPO farmers until now. NABARD as an apex institution already supports 3000 FPO’s. Dr. Sudhir Goel, (Agri and marketing division, Govt. Of Maharashtra) talked about FPO (Farmer Producer Organization) in detail saying that collaboration with various partners is required for the prosperity of the farmers. Considering a business wherein commodities worth thousand crores are regularly managed, an online app will add a huge respite as it will ease everyday transactions and it will be easy to keep tabs on the customer’s requirements. Also, reaching out to customers on daily basis will be quite easy. He also said that if the vision is to connect with the farmers, then FPO’s are the solution. He discussed about the concept of ‘Athawdi Bazar’ and how the outreach can be replicated to drive forward the success of this app.
Prof. Ganesh (IIT Bombay ) gave presentation on LOKaCart and explained the different applications of the same. He discussed about the benefits of LOKaCart which included its accessibility to the customers 24*7, proper receipt of the order is received and the entire process is feasible to everyone. The online payment is made by PayTm and cash on delivery option is also listed.
The app has three parts: LOKaCart plus (B2B) – in which the goods can be sold at wholesale price, LOKaCart admin app – which can be handled and operated by FPO, LOKaCart retail app (B2C)- goods can be sold at retail price to customers. He also told that over the survey conducted, 60% of the total app users are B2B.
The FPO farmers and students of Agribusiness were encouraged to install the LOKacart app. The live demo for the same was given to the farmers and detailed tutorial for the application usage was provided to them which made them ask the queries regarding the security issues and the payment transactions. Interactive question/answer session was followed by the demo. A hands on practice session was also taken for the participant which helped them in understanding the usage of App. Later Porf. Ganesh solved the queries of the participant. The participant also shared their suggestions on improving the app. Certificate of participation was distributed to all the particpants. Vote of Thanks was delivered by Dr. Nisha Bharti, HOD- Agribusiness Management.
SIIB acknowledges the financial assistance for the workshop received from Research and development Fund of NABARD.