This year, AgriBazaar, an online marketplace for agricultural products, will expand its physical presence in roughly 75 villages throughout Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. To bring the agri-market to the farmer’s doorstep, the startup will open fulfilment centres in 25 villages across these three states.
Amith Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder of AgriBazaar, said, ‘We will be investing roughly ₹ 9 crores in expanding village level fulfilment centers and expect to hire 100 more staff this year.’
25 village fulfilment centers (VFCs)
On a pilot basis, the company has already established 25 village fulfilment centers (VFCs) across MP and Maharashtra, which are targeted to provide a speedy return for farmers selling their produce, the CEO mentioned.
The VFCs are built with a quality lab, an electronic weighing room, and internet access, and are managed by AgriBazaar employees. Farmers can instantaneously upload their produce details to the trading app or portal at these VFCs and find customers to sell. They make the trade straight based on the best price, he added.
Furthermore, the company provides back-end logistical support to deliver sold goods to buyers and assure timely payment to farmers via the AgriBazaar app, according to Agarwal, who added that the pilot VFCs had received positive early feedback from the farming community. The corporation is also considering opening maize-focused VFCs in two southern states, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and then in Bihar.
AgriBazaar’s trading platform grew by 200% year over year in the financial year ending in March 2021. The Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of agri-commodities traded on this platform, like as pulses (dal), fruits, and vegetables, was 20,000 crore, according to Agarwal. The company’s transaction fee income, on the other hand, were not revealed.
According to Agarwal, AgriBazaar is aiming for a 50-60% increase in GMV at over 30,000 crore for the current financial year. He explained, ‘We are a debt-free corporation, and the investments will be supported by internal accruals.’
Since its beginning, the AgriBazaar app/platform has interconnected over 3 lakh farm growers across 16 states and union territories with over 10,000 agri commodity traders and agri produce processors and over 100 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO).