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Barwani Youth Transforms Lives of Lakhs of Rural Farmers via Agritech Startup, Earns PM Modi’s Praise

Being from a farming background himself, Atul Patidar understood the problems of farmers. He used this knowledge to design tech solutions for non-tech-savvy farmers who reside in rural India through Farmkart.

Binita Kumari
Atul Patidar, Founder and CEO of Farmkart
Atul Patidar, Founder and CEO of Farmkart

True dedication towards the country and society, conquers all boundaries. India always resides in the hearts of Indians who have settled abroad due to work or studies. Atul Patidar was working in a Fortune 500 MNC in Toronto, Canada, after completing 4 post-graduation degrees from the top universities of the world.

Deep down in his heart, he wanted to use his technical knowledge and capabilities to solve the problems of rural farmers.  4-years back, he started an agritech startup Farmkart in his hometown Barwani. Today, the startup is helping lakhs of Indian farmers thrive with user-friendly agritech products and services. 

Being from a farming background himself, Atul Patidar understood the problems of farmers. He used this knowledge to design tech solutions for non-tech-savvy farmers who reside in rural India. With the help of these innovative technology solutions, farmers can order advanced agri-inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, etc. at the most affordable rates, and get delivered straight to their doorsteps. The technology solutions also create a complete ecosystem by helping farmers get consultancy and equipment on rent throughout the process of agriculture.

Journey to the top:

Farmkart shot to fame during the Covid-19 pandemic when PM Narendra Modi appreciated the company’s tech solutions and lockdown initiatives in his 70th edition of Mann ki Baat, saying, “With the advent of new possibilities in the agriculture sector, our youth is also associating with it in large numbers. In Barwani Madhya Pradesh, Atul Patidar has digitally connected 4,000 farmers in his area. Through the e-platform Farmkart of Atul Patidar, these farmers are getting home delivery of many agricultural materials such as fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, fungicides that means that farmers are getting the things required at their doorsteps.”

He added, “On this platform, modern agricultural equipment is also available for rent. Even during the lockdown, thousands of packets were delivered to farmers through this digital platform which included cotton seeds and vegetables. Atul and his team are also making farmers technically aware by teaching them online payment and purchase.”

Speaking about the same, the founder and CEO of Farmkart Atul Patidar said that the words of appreciation from the PM boosted the confidence of their team. 

Currently, Farmkart is working on a long-term goal of helping every farmer in India go online. To fulfill that vision, the company launched an e-commerce app, which is India’s first comprehensive platform for agriculture products such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and farming equipment on rent (via Rent4farm services) from certified suppliers. 

Currently, over 1,20,000 farmers from 4,025 locations in India are benefitting from Farmkart’s products and services.  

But this is just one part of Farmkart’s contribution. The company is also creating jobs for locals in its work area and world-class job opportunities for both Indian and global professionals in rural localities.

Anup Mandloi, Chairman, of Farmkart said, “Initially, we employed a lot of educated and talented locals in our area. Now, we are also looking for young and educated professionals who want to explore the opportunities of working in rural India. The company is participating in campus placements of top institutes such as IIM and Symbiosis for the same.”

Also, Farmkart is on an expansion spree and plans to have pan India footprints within months. The company is also moving towards Series A funding. 

Pioneering technology solution:

Talking about Farmkart’s pioneering technology solution Unique Identification Code or UIC, Atul Patidar said, “UIC provides farmers benefits such as personalized farming based on their unique needs. With UIC, farmers get products at special and discounted prices with free delivery at their doorsteps.”  

Making farming affordable and accessible:

The startup has about 79 franchise partner sites or Farmkart Krishi Mitra for locals to get the benefits of all Farmkart services. It is an initiative to enhance the customer experience in every village. Krishi Mitra is enabled with options that help them place online orders, recharge UIC, and pick order deliveries. 

Other major achievements: 

Farmkart was chosen by Startup Grind, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, as one of the Top 50 Global Innovative Startups in 2018.

Farmkart offers farmers end-to-end consulting Agri-Nidan in addition to eCommerce services so that they can get support at each stage of the agriculture process and use technology to enhance their output. The founder said that farmers can contact agronomists by calling a designated number.

The startup employs 102 people, with its core strategy team in Toronto. The company markets itself as an all-inclusive one-stop platform for farmers in rural India.

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