Stihl India

Interviews

An Interaction with the Founders of FAARMS

Taranbir Singh & Alok Duggal

Taranbir Singh and Alok Duggal, the founders of ‘FAARMS’, a new age digital platform that caters to the needs of farmers. They offer one-stop solution to farmers by offering a complete spectrum of products as well as services that include seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, animal feed etc. with products delivered right at their doorstep. Let’s know more about the company from the owners.

What inspired you to launch Faarms, an agritech company? 

We're both from Punjab, which is known for providing some of India's most widely consumed agricultural staples. Our experience working in the rural banking divisions of some of India's most prestigious banks, where we were responsible for distribution in the rural ecosystem, provided us with insider information and knowledge of how the system functions. 

So, after quitting our corporate careers, we launched FAARMS to address the issues we knew farmers faced on a daily basis. 

Last year, we launched in the midst of the pandemic. FAARMS, which is modelled after Amazon for the agricultural community, not only provides instant access to seeds, agrochemicals, animal feed, and bio-fertilizers, but also provides access to a large inventory of well-known brands accessible straight from the producers. 

We hope that this would eventually eliminate many of the problems that farmers experience today, such as obtaining legitimate products and receiving inputs on time. FAARMS is now on a quest to quadruple farmers' income by 2024. 

Describe how Faarms is altering the lives of farmers? 

60 percent of dairy farmers from 14 villages in Kota, Rajasthan, reported a 16 percent increase in their average income, while women dairy farmers from 10 villages in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, reported a 25 percent increase in their average income. 

India is the world's biggest milk producer, yet there are several production constraints. Faarms' initiative aims to modernize the sector, with dairy farmers in the Jhalawar area as the main beneficiaries. Quality feed results in better milk output, increased fat content, and increased revenue, as well as improved animal health and well-being and reduced disease risk. 

Similarly, the Faarms team guaranteed that a farmer cultivating wheat or paddy in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, or Bathinda, Punjab, receives the optimum variety of seed well in advance of sowing on time. 

Our reach is the other major accomplishment we've made thus far. By providing doorstep delivery of over 2000 products from prominent national and international companies such as Bayer, Godrej Agrovet, Deheus, PI Industries, Crystal Crop, Asses (Paras), and Corteva, to mention a few, the team has created a strong connection with the farming community. Our Relationship Managers, who are agricultural university graduates, visit dairy and crop farmers in all of the villages on a regular basis, assessing the health of their cattle and crops and counselling them on how to improve both. 

Apart from that, the brand is proud of the fact that the country's leading agriculture research institutesDairy Cooperatives, and Central Warehousing Corporations (CWC), have acknowledged Faarms' efforts on the ground and have joined forces with them. 

What do you think the Agritech ecosystem will look like in the future? 

Our economy is built on the backbone of food and related industries. This industry was previously dominated by the government, but in recent years, particularly during the pandemic, several private firms have joined the market.

The Agritech sector will only expand quicker in terms of technology and distribution as the market opens up. 

In general, India's agritech sector offers a lot of untapped potential. Agritech appears to have hit that tipping point, with venture capitalists and government funding pouring in. Agriculture is a significant part of India's economy, and startups can help farmers by digitising the whole supply chain using new technologies like artificial intelligence, the internet of things, Big Data analytics, and engineering breakthroughs. The introduction and implementation of transparency and operational efficiency are rapidly changing India's agricultural environment. 

What are your plans for scalability and expansion? 

Faarms is presently available in more than 33,000 villages in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujrat, and MP. By the end of 2021, we aim to reach 70,000 villages, and by the first quarter of 2022, we hope to enter into the North East and South. 

To give simple access to every demand of a farmer, we are collaborating with famous agricultural colleges, various farming equipment and product merchants, and worldwide farming input sellers.

The company just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC). FAARMS would have access to 422 warehouses across India, allowing it to supply seeds, agrochemicals, biofertilizers, poultry and cattle feed to farmers in the country's interior parts on time. 

Author- Ayushi Raina

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