14 Jun LEAF set to bring in organised financial access to marginalised farmers
LEAF is driving transparency through its tech-enabled platform LEAF Farmer Network (LFN) which brings in the complete visibility and makes the farmers credit-worthy for organised financial services
Ooty-based Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF), India’s leading full-stack agriculture technology services major, is enabling much-needed organised financial services to marginalised farmers. Access to organised and structured financial services is among the key gaps which the Indian agriculture sector is facing. As a result of dependence on unorganised and prohibitively high cost of finance, the Indian farmers are regularly in a debt trap for majority of their lives.
LEAF is enabling and driving this positive social impact through innovative and affordable financial services and is introducing a slew of structured and customised financial products and services to the marginalised farmers.
“There is a pain for the marginalised farmers in each and every step. Right from soil preparation to choosing the various inputs for better cultivation of the crops and till the last mile of liquidating the harvest, the farmers’ lifecycle is under strain. Given the fact, there is no authenticated trail of transactions, the process of securing organised financial offerings is tough. We are driving transparency through our tech-enabled platform LEAF Farmer Network (LFN) which brings in complete visibility and makes the farmers credit-worthy for organised financial services. Our intervention in these financial services enables us to open new doors for farmers and empower them to lead their lives with dignity,” said Palat Vijayaraghavan, Founder & CEO, LEAF.
To handhold the farmers and for efficient use of organised and cost-effective financial support, LEAF has structured a model through which the agricultural inputs – such as seeds, crop nutrition and protection products, are provided to marginalised farmers through a controlled dispensing process.
“We are bringing about a fundamental structural change in how marginalised farmers approach financial services. We are enabling farmers to understand the value of transacting through the banking system, reach them the value of legitimate banking system and we handhold them to make it happen,” Vijayaraghavan further said.
There are many options available for farmers to access finance. In various situations, one does not know whether the funding is being put to effective use for agriculture or for some other purposes. “Our model ensures that the support, we bring to the marginalised farmers, is actually put to use for the purpose it is intended for, which is agriculture,” added Vijayaraghavan.
This model from LEAF further recalibrates how farmers approach the aspect of agricultural inputs with a scientific data-driven approach. “We are working with the farmers to ensure that they use only the right amount of crop protection and crop nutrition products and this step will ensure that the harvest is Safe- To-Consume without an overdose of chemical enhancements,” he added.
LEAF is bringing about this positive impact for the marginalised farmers and to bring in sustainable options to finance the farmers’ income-generating needs and to enhance their livelihoods. “We are building customised products in credits, savings, while also innovating to ensure the marginalised farmers are secure with sustainable livelihood growth through products such as insurance,” Vijayaraghavan highlighted.
Access to organised and structured financial services is a key cog in the comprehensive offerings which LEAF has been enabling for marginalised farmers and will address a slew of problems plaguing the marginalised farmers. The Indian agriculture ecosystem is dotted with a significant number of marginalised farmers who struggle against significant odds to earn their living. Compounding this, is the lack of education on scientific farming practices, lack of access to organised financial services, and absolutely no visibility of how the farmers can get proper returns for their harvest.
“Imagine the plight of a marginalised tribal farmer in remote in Eastern Ghats or deep in Western Ghats. They grow high-value crops such as turmeric or exotic produce after much struggle, and then face more hurdles to sell the produce – usually at a cheap bargain. Then they have to wait for weeks to get paid for their harvest. The financial solutions which we are building through this partnership will strive the take the pain out,” Vijayaraghavan detailed.
With active on-ground LEAF Farmer Support Centres across many growing belts, farmers can grow the best of the produce with organised financial services, sell the harvest through LEAF centres, easily realise the true value for their harvest and access the fruits of their harvest through advanced technology solutions which will ease how the farmers experience finances,” added Vijayaraghavan.