18 August 2021, Barwani, IN: Agritech innovation startup Farmkart today announced its foray into unstructured agriculture-equipment rental business by launching a tech-enabled platform rent4farm.
rent4farm will help farmers rent high quality machinery and equipment at competitive rates. In the first phase, Farmkart has already started providing the rental services in 200 villages near Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, by partnering 100 certified equipment suppliers.
Currently, Farmkart’s products and services are available across 3,500 villages in Madhya Pradesh and the company is in 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. The company is in an advanced stage of raising Series – A round of funds from venture capital.
He said rent4farm is a key piece of the Farmkart ecosystem and complements its e-commerce, last-mile delivery, agronomy and financial payments infrastructure.
“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-utilised 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 payment, 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, he said partners or equipment owners will also enjoy 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 which 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.
With the launch of rent4farm, Farmkart expects to make a sizable difference to the revenues earned by the equipment suppliers while ensuring increased availability of high quality modern equipment to farmers.
Farmkart was started by Atul Patidar in 2017. He has a farming background. After completing his engineering in India, he moved abroad for higher education. He completed four post graduation degrees from the top global universities, which includes Cornell University, USA, and University of Toronto, Canada. Farmkart’s headquarter is in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh and the company’s strategy team is located in Toronto, Canada.