1. Agriculture World

Mastercard’s Technology Platform ‘MFN’ to Help Farmers Connect Directly with Buyers, Input Suppliers & Financial Institutions

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
indian farmers

Mastercard, a leader in global payments and a technology firm is eyeing the Indian agriculture sector to deploy its technology platform known as ‘Mastercard Farmer Network (MFN)’ that it claims would help growers connect directly with the buyers, input suppliers & financial institutions.

RB Santosh Kumar, Vice-President, Government Engagement, South Asia, Mastercard said that MFN will be rolled out in Southern states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in a few months.

He said the Mastercard is bringing its technology solution to India after its success among the farm community in Africa, mainly Uganda & Tanzania, where around 4.75 lakh farmers are using Mastercard Farmer Network to get better realisations as well as access to inputs & advisories.

It is important to mention that the MFN platform is a common digital infrastructure that connects growers with buyers, inputs supplier, Farmer Producer Organisations and banks or financial institutions. The platform also digitises agri marketplace, payments, workflows and gives farmers an easy & secure way to purchase, sell & receive payments for their produce.

The company has been running a pilot of Mastercard Farmer Network in Andhra Pradesh for the last two years in association with the State Horticulture Department & three FPOs. As many as 24,000 farmers are using the MFN platform in the state.

During the recent Coronavirus lockdown, farmers in Andhra Pradesh using MFN were able to sell their produce and obtain higher realisations of 25% for mangoes and 50% for turmeric, Kumar told. He also said that “We will start with three States in South & then will move to Central India & Northern India”.  Mastercard Farmer Network aims to enrol around 3 lakh farmers over 2 years in phases.

Kumar told that “We plan to work with different stakeholders such as fintech & agritech start-ups, bankers & financial institutions to reach out to a maximum number of farmers”. He said the digital agents of the implementation partner will first onboard the farmers and then train them to transact on MFN platform. Farmers will not only be able to sell their produce through the platform but also buy inputs & avail financial services from banks and insurance companies. In addition, the value-added services like crop advisory, logistics & mechanisation extensions will be offered via the MFN platform, Kumar said.

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