Agriculture World

Companies are Using Digital Platforms to Stay Connected & Educate Farmers

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

Fertilizers and Seed companies are reaching farmers through digital platforms such as WhatsApp, Zoom, and Microsoft Team to connect and educate the farmers about coming sowing season and also to promote and sell their products. Every year during June companies tries to attract farmers by holding one to one meetings and village demonstration. Companies send an army of field officers who conduct these meetings and try to convince farmers to use their company products.

However, due to the pandemic which prevailed and lockdown measures around the country, conducting such activities is not possible. This situation led to an increase in the virtual meeting with farmers by sales and marketing teams of fertilizer and seed companies. When the lockdown was announced these companies got stuck in a chaotic situation on how to reach farmers. Increasing use of digital platforms and improved rural connectivity in recent years turned in to a blessing.

“Our territory managers are encouraging farmers to interact with them on Zoom or Microsoft Team. The farmers are using these apps confidently and it is helping us to market and sell our products,” said Rahul Pandey, head of strategic marketing, UPL Limited to ET.

Virtual meetings of farmers in batches of 50-100 are conducted at present. This small targeted batch of people is helping these companies to identify potential leads for their sales. Some companies are using audio and video messages to reach farmers.

The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has launched a digital platform iffcobazar.in, where farmers and corporations interact with each other. “The IFFCO has 2.54 crore farmer members who all are connected with us through their mobile phones,” said U S Awasthi, MD, IFFCO.

Companies at first gave offers to attract farmers to attend live meetings on digital apps which worked. Now companies are planning to extend offers on their products even after farmers placed the orders so they stay connected with the companies

In the coming months when crops grow farmers will have doubts about plant diseases, pest infections and weather changes using these apps companies can guide farmers. Some companies are connecting farmers and retailers directly using these apps.

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