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April 24, 2024

Bayer Collaborates with Government’s CSC and Gram Unnati for Efficient Agri-Input Delivery to Smallholder Farmers

 

Bayer CropScience has announced a strategic partnership with the government’s Common Service Center (CSC) and agri-tech firm Gram Unnati to streamline the last-mile delivery of crucial agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers across India.

Under the memorandum of agreement, smallholder farmers will gain access to timely crop advisory, transfer of good agricultural practices, and premium Bayer products through CSC’s online portal. Gram Unnati will play a crucial role in farmer mobilization and ensuring market linkages.

The initial phase of this partnership will focus on supporting farmers in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, Bayer stated in a recent press release.

The CSC scheme, an integral part of the Digital India programme, operates as a collaborative e-governance platform. Its Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) aims to facilitate the delivery of government, private, and social sector services to Indian citizens, bridging the gap through high-speed internet connectivity and expanding product and service delivery to remote areas.

Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, President of Bayer South Asia, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “Our association with the government of India’s CSC and Gram Unnati will help bring us closer to our shared goal of empowering farmers. We aim to bridge the gap to remote farming communities, promote financial literacy, foster an entrepreneurial spirit, and maximize farm potential sustainably.”

The partnership aims to empower over 500,000 smallholder farmers within the next two years, Bayer disclosed. To ensure easy access to quality inputs and agronomic support, Bayer plans to nurture agri-entrepreneurs by leveraging village-level entrepreneurs of CSCs from within local communities.

Sanjay Rakesh, Managing Director and CEO of CSC-SPV, emphasized the potential for rural agriculture enhancements, stating, “By leveraging our synergies with Bayer CropScience, we envision sustained improvements in rural agriculture. This partnership will enable last-mile access to tailored solutions, supporting the rural community and agri-entrepreneurs.”

Aneesh Jain, Founder & CEO of Gram Unnati, highlighted the collaboration’s impact on farmers’ market access and crop quality improvement, stating, “We are already developing a system with CSC e-Governance to enable farmers to sell their end produce through the VLE network. This collaboration will enable farmers to get timely access to high-quality agri inputs, further improving their crop quality and yields.”

This collaborative effort between Bayer, CSC, and Gram Unnati signifies a significant step towards leveraging technology and government support to empower smallholder farmers, improve agricultural productivity, and enhance rural livelihoods sustainably. Through tailored solutions, timely support, and market access, this partnership aims to drive positive change in India’s agricultural landscape.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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