Start-up in agritech Unnati is now offering farmers the option to pay later when buying inputs such as seeds and agrochemicals through its platform.
Unnati has entered into an interest-subvention agreement with a non-banking financial company (NBFC). The ‘pay later’ option is being made available to farmers in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where the company already has a large user base.
‘We are already testing the pay later option with our retailers and traders, and we plan to extend it to farmers during the upcoming rabi season,’ said Amit Sinha, co-founder of Unnati. The interest subsidy can also be provided by the agri-input brands purchased by the farmer, according to Sinha.
Farm owners can purchase inputs such as seeds, pesticides, and equipment accessories from Unnati-registered dealers and pay for them in equated monthly installments (EMI). Farmers can also book their seeds and other inputs in advance through the platform or dealers, according to Sinha.
Unnati has a network of 16,000 retailers and traders through which farmers who have registered on its platform can purchase inputs and sell their produce. As per Mr. Sinha’s expression, approximately 2.75 lakh farmers have registered on the Unnati platform, through which the company also provides financial services and farm advisory services. Unnati has partnered with Paytm Bank to increase financial inclusion among farmers.
‘We use a variety of parameters to determine the creditworthiness of our farmer members. The parameters include, among other things, the size of landholdings and transactions conducted on the Unnati platform,’ Sinha explained.
Unnati presently operates in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, with plans to expand to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Rajasthan this year.