The government of Andhra Pradesh and Mastercard have introduced e-Rythu (e-farmer in Telugu), a mobile platform that digitizes agriculture marketplaces, payments, workflows, and provides farmers an easy and secure way to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural products via their feature phones, said a statement. The platform has been developed by Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya and customized for India use by the Labs team based at Pune.
The project will kick off with one large buyer, Lawrencedale Agro Processing India (LEAF) and four FPOs, namely LEAF Lambasinghi Horticulture Farmers Producers Co-operative Society, Visakhapatnam, Chicacole Coconut Farmers Producer Company, Srikakulam, Giri Chaitanya Farming and Marketing Mutually Aided Cooperative Society, Visakhapatnam and Andhra Kashmir Farmers Producer Organization (Grijana Vikas Foundation), Visakhapatnam, Mastercard.
“Andhra Pradesh has led the way for information technology implementation in the country. It is time that we leverage innovation in technology to address the challenges present in state's horticulture sector. Our partnership with Mastercard to introduce e-Rythu will make horticulture markets more transparent for sellers, buyers, and other stakeholders, and pave the way for financial inclusion of millions of small and medium farmers in the state,” said Chiranjiv Choudhary, Commissioner of Horticulture, Andhra Pradesh.
Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya has successfully rolled out this solution earlier as 2Kuze (local name in Swahili) in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Through the financial institution partners, the labs is aiming to reach approximately one million smallholder farmer households in East Africa over the next 5 years.