Farmkart, an agritech startup, has entered the unstructured agriculture equipment rental business by launching the tech-enabled platform rent4farm, says a statement released on Wednesday.
Farmers will be able to rent high-quality farm machinery and equipment at competitive rates thanks to the Rent4farm platform. Farmkart has already begun its rental services in 200 villages near Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, where the startup is headquartered, in the first phase, by partnering with 100 certified equipment vendors.
Farmkart’s products and services are currently available in 3,500 villages across Madhya Pradesh, and the company is in the process of expanding its footprint to other states, according to Atul Patidar, Farmkart’s Founder and CEO.
Farmkart currently has over 1 lakh farmers as customers. It has distribution agreements with domestic and international agri-input manufacturing companies like YARA and Valagro. Farmers can purchase over 1,000 products through Farmkart’s e-commerce platform. It also has a digital store (online store) in Barwani that serves farmers from both city and surrounding rural areas.
‘We launched Rent4farm in mid-June of this year, and the response has been very positive. We are now expanding the facility to serve a larger area and anticipate serving at least 10,000 farmers. By the end of 2021, the company intends to provide the service to 20,000 farmers in 3,500 locations via a fully operational mobile application,’ Patidar mentioned.
Patidar founded Farmkart with a ₹15-crore initial investment. The company is nearing the end of its Series – A round of venture capital funding.
According to him, rent4farm is an important component of the Farmkart ecosystem, complementing its e-commerce, last-mile delivery, agronomy, and financial payments infrastructure.
‘This will add value to the farming community and broaden our customer base as we progress toward Series A,’ Patidar added.
He explained the concept of rent4farm by saying that most farmers do not own farming equipment and instead rent it from owners in their villages.
Prior to rent4farm, farmers had few options for searching beyond their own villages and thus missed out on high-quality equipment that was available elsewhere. Furthermore, many equipment owners had underutilized machinery due to a lack of means to connect with prospective customers.
further Patidar added, ‘rent4farm brings organized to this unorganized market while cultivating a culture of micro-entrepreneurship among our equipment partners,’