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Lawrencedale Agro to Bring Organized Financial Service Access for Farmers

LEAF facilitates and drives this positive social impact by providing innovative and affordable financial services, as well as introducing a slew of structured, customized financial products and services to marginalized farmers.

Laavanya Arya
Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF), India's leading full-stack agriculture technology services
Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF), India's leading full-stack agriculture technology services

Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF), India's leading full-stack agriculture technology services provider, is giving much-needed organised financial services to marginalised farmers. Access to organised and structured financial services is one of the major challenges confronting the Indian agriculture sector. Because of their reliance on unorganised and prohibitively high-cost financing, Indian farmers are frequently trapped in debt for the majority of their lives.

LEAF facilitates and drives this positive social impact by providing innovative and affordable financial services, as well as introducing a slew of structured, customised financial products and services to marginalised farmers.

"Every step causes pain for the marginalised farmer." The farmer's lifecycle is stressed from soil preparation to selecting various inputs for better crop cultivation and all the way to the last mile of harvest liquidation. The process of securing organised financial offerings is difficult because there is no authenticated trail of transactions. We promote transparency through our tech-enabled platform LEAF Farmer Network (LFN), which provides complete visibility and qualifies farmers for organised financial services. "Through our involvement in these financial services, we are able to open new doors for farmers and empower them to live dignified lives," said Palat Vijayaraghavan, Founder and CEO of LEAF.

LEAF will integrate organised financial access with significant new flavours of scientific farming advisories, empowering marginalised farmers with just the right amount of farm inputs followed by step-by-step support in striving to grow the best harvest possible.

To assist farmers and make efficient use of organised and cost-effective financial support, LEAF has designed a model in which agricultural inputs such as seeds, crop nutrition, and crop protection products are distributed to marginalised farmers via a controlled dispensing process.

"We are effecting a fundamental structural change in the way marginalised farmers approach financial services." We are helping farmers understand the value of transacting through the banking system, as well as the value of a legitimate banking system, and we are assisting them in making that happen," added Vijayaraghavan.

Farmers have numerous options for obtaining financing. In some cases, it is unclear whether the funds are being used effectively for agriculture or for other purposes. "Our model ensures that the assistance we provide to marginalised farmers is used for the intended purpose, which is agriculture," said Vijayaraghavan.

With a scientific data-driven approach, this LEAF model further recalibrates how farmers approach the aspect of agricultural inputs. "We are working with farmers to ensure that they are using only the appropriate amount of crop protection and crop nutrition products, and this step will ensure that the harvest is SafeToConsume without an overdose of chemical enhancements," Vijayaraghavan added.

LEAF is making a significant positive impact for marginalised farmers by introducing sustainable options to finance farmers' income-generating needs and to improve their livelihoods.

"We are developing customised credit and savings products, as well as innovating to ensure marginalised farmers are secure with sustainable livelihood growth through products such as insurance," Vijayaraghavan said.

Access to organised and structured financial services is a key cog in the comprehensive offerings that LEAF has enabled for marginalised farmers, and it will address a slew of problems that plague them. The Indian agriculture ecosystem is dotted with a significant number of marginalised farmers who struggle to earn a living against significant odds.

This is exacerbated by a lack of education in scientific farming practises, a lack of access to organised financial services, and a complete lack of visibility into how farmers can receive proper returns for their harvest.

"Imagine the plight of a marginalised tribal farmer in the Eastern or Western Ghats.

They struggle to grow high-value crops like turmeric or exotic produce, and then face additional challenges to sell the produce – usually at a low price. Then they have to wait weeks for his harvest to be paid. "The financial solutions that we are developing through this partnership will strive to alleviate the pain," Vijayaraghavan explained.

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.

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