1. Agriculture World

An App Developed To Support Small-Scale Farmers From Land Preparation To Harvesting

KhetiGuru aims to empower farmers at various stages of the crop cycle.

Shruti Kandwal
KhetiGuru App
KhetiGuru App

At a time when small farmers are being burdened by rising agricultural input and fuel prices, two agriculture entrepreneurs from western Maharashtra have created a free knowledge-based advisory platform aimed at increasing farm output while maintaining soil health.

Pravin Shinde and Vishnu Dhas, co-founders and directors of the ‘KhetiGuru’ platform, want to equip small-scale farmers with the knowledge and technology they need to boost crop production, from land preparation to harvesting. The platform, which was launched earlier this month, focuses on crop nutrition and is designed to be a ‘preventive’ rather than a ‘curative’ resource, preventing crop damage from pests and diseases and assisting farmers in achieving higher yields.

"KhetiGuru has an expert team of 50 agronomists to provide seamless advisory services." "They will help needy farmers with everything from land preparation to the various stages of the crop life cycle, such as sowing, flowering, fruiting, and harvesting, as well as recommending various unique products developed by KhetiGuru," says Shinde, who comes from an agricultural family in Satara district.

Because KhetiGuru is focused on crop nutrition and health, chemical-based pesticides will be used less frequently to improve soil health.

From ‘KhetiGaadi’ to ‘KhetiGuru’

The concept for this platform did not appear out of anywhere: In 2016, the duo launched ‘KhetiGaadi,’ an agricultural version of OLX, which created an online eco-system for farm mechanization in India for the first time.

The platform, which provides farmers with a variety of product options and detailed specifications for buying, selling, and renting agricultural equipment, is changing the face of farm mechanization in India. It has already recorded a gross merchandise value (GMV) of 1,200 crore in 2019 and a further GMV of 1,200 crores in 2021-22.Farmers can also use the KhetiGuru app to have necessary tools, seeds, fertilisers, and crop protection nutrition products delivered to their homes. The app is available on the Play Store.

"The massive response to the KhetiGaadi initiative, which is currently being used by over 50 lakh farmers across India and addresses the difficulties faced by India's slow rate of farm mechanization, prompted us to think seriously about crop damage," Shinde says. KhetiGuru will offer free advisory services by qualified Agronomists. The agri-industry charges farmers anywhere between Rs. 1,200 and Rs. 4,000 per year. "We want to be ahead of them by focusing on crop damage prevention," says Dhas.

KhetiGuru offers special kits for various stages of the crop cycle, such as an Alawani kit for drenching, a 'growth special' kit, a flowering kit, a drip special kit, a pH balance and activator kit, and other products, to address the issues faced by farmers. As with KhetiGaadi, the duo concluded from their interactions with farmers over the years that a lack of proper technology, know-how, and awareness were the primary reasons limiting maximum crop yield, mainly in the case of smaller farmers subject to environmental vagaries.

The company's co-founder Rajesh Dhas says its products are based on nanotechnology and come in 1 gm packs for a one-acre crop. They have been used successfully as a pilot by 1,000 farmers so far and are being rolled out across India. Farmers can also use the KhetiGuru app to have necessary tools, seeds, fertilisers, and crop protection nutrition products delivered to their homes. The app is available on the Play Store.

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