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CSR: Financial Inclusion For Farming Community

Financial Inclusion for farming community

Center for Digital Financial Inclusion (CDFI) will be collaborating with Bihar Agriculture Growth and Reform Initiative (BAGRI) to implement the KANCHI platform in eleven districts of Bihar. The project was officially inaugurated by Mr. Gavin McGillivray, Head, DFID India today with the implementation of KANCHI in the Dumraon Farm Producer Company Ltd (DFPCL) FPO in Buxar, Bihar.

The Government of Bihar (GoB) is implementing Bihar Agriculture Growth and Reform Initiative (BAGRI) program with the support of Department for International Development (DFID), UK. BAGRI intends to complement the Government of Bihar in implementation of its Agricultural Road Map for enabling sustainable and inclusive growth leading to poverty reduction in the state.

One of the key deliverables of the BAGRI programme is the formation and strengthening of 20 farmer producer organisations (FPOs). FPOs are being created with a mandate to provide institutional mechanism to small and marginal farmers of Bihar leveraging the principals of economies of scale resulting in significant enhancement of income. These FPOs will operate a one-stop-shop for managing all agri-business needs of farmers named BAGRI Kisan Sewa Kendra (BKSK). FPOs will also be involved in produce aggregation and sell in open market to fetch better price for farmers.

DFID team will be using CDFI’s ‘KANCHI – Kisan Advancement through Cashless Innovations’ for digitising the operations of 20 FPOs in Bihar under this project. The BAGRI programme will impact FPOs spread across 11 districts and benefit approximately 50,000 farmers in the state.

“KANCHI has been developed in order to enable small and marginal farmers’ access to formal credit, technology, cost-effective inputs and markets. Through technology, we can make agriculture more productive, profitable and sustainable. Our aim is to amalgamate small and marginal farmers and weave them into communities with enabling technologies. We envision an integrated digital platform that caters to end-to-end agricultural activities,” said Krishnan Dharmarajan, Executive Director, Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion.

KANCHI is a cost effective digital solution to maximise cashless transactions in agriculture and facilitate small and marginal farmers in securing credit from formal financial institutions by building their financial history. CDFI and NAF are currently piloting KANCHI platform at multiple Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) in state of Tamil Nadu.

The digital platform aims to:

  • Ensure that agricultural business transactions are routed through banking channels, thus maximising cashless transactions
  • Minimize cash transactions where FPOs are involved
  • Facilitate a constructive engagement between financial institutions and farmers
  • Increase volume of banking transactions and keep accounts active
  • Reduce dependence of the rural farmer population on the non-institutional sources of credit

KANCHI is currently being used by 14 FPOs in Tamil Nadu and more than 8,800 farmers have been registered on the platform. Since April 2017, using KANCHI, over Rs 3 million has been directly transferred into the bank accounts of 219 marginal farmers for selling milk at the aggregation centers in Tamil Nadu. Loans worth Rs 7.3 million to 173 farmers and their repayments are now digitised under the KANCHI pilot in Tamil Nadu.

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The CSR Journal Team