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Government of Andhra Pradesh and Mastercard introduce e-Rythu, a digital marketplace, to create a cashless agricultural ecosystem

  • Honorable Chief Minister Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu inaugurates the digital platform in Amaravati
  • Makes payments much safer and simpler for all stakeholders in the agricultural supply chain-the farmer, the buyer, and the agent
  • The platform has a goal of reaching one million horticulture and agriculture farmers and over 300 farmer producer organizations (FPOs) in the state of Andhra Pradesh

The Government of Andhra Pradesh and Mastercard today 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. It will help small- scale farmers looking to sell their produce to connect with the right buyers more efficiently in local language and receive the best possible prices. 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.

Due to the small scale, and long travel distance from the places where they sell, most of the small and medium  farmers in Andhra Pradesh suffer income losses. Additionally, since these farmers do not have a formal credit history, it is difficult for them to access any formal financial services.

e-Rythu will bring a positive change to the lives of over one million small and medium farmers in Andhra Pradesh by allowing them direct access to markets on the platform, discover the best price of their crops and receive digital payments for what they sell.  The platform also creates a digital transaction history, which allows farmers to receive formal credit from banks and other financial institutions.

The project will kick off with one large buyer, Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Ltd (LEAF) and four FPOs,  namely LEAF Lambasinghi Horticulture Farmers Producers Co-operative Society Limited, Visakhapatnam,  Chicacole Coconut Farmers Producer Company, Srikakulam, Giri Chaitanya Farming and Marketing Mutually  Aided Cooperative Society Ltd, Visakhapatnam and Andhra Kashmir Farmers Producer Organization (Grijana Vikas Foundation), Visakhapatnam.

Speaking on the occasion, Chiranjiv Choudhary, I.F.S; Commissioner of Horticulture, Andhra Pradesh said,  “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.”

Porush Singh, division president, South Asia, Mastercard said, “Mastercard is glad to extend partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh to introduce e-Rythu, a digital solution that will help farmers deal with the challenges of receiving optimum price for their produce and gaining access to the marketplace. At Mastercard, we are confident that the use of digital solutions can potentially transform the lives of millions of farmers in India by providing them financial access, transparency and inclusion.”

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.

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