Digital tools are being offered by a Bengaluru-based agri-tech business to integrate the entire silk industry supply chain, from assisting sericulture farmers to achieve better pricing for their produce to ensuring the quality of cocoons and yarn to reelers, weavers, and consumers.
According to the startup’s founder, more than 12,000 sericulture farmers across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharastra utilize ReshaMandi, an artificial intelligence-based tool.
Farmers who use the service claim they are earning 20-40% greater prices now than they were pre-pandemic, and they are saving money by not having to travel to the mandis every day to sell cocoons because their crop is collected at the farmgate.
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Raghu D, a sericulture farmer from Sarjapur in Karnataka, said, ‘The adjustments embraced have made me routinely earn ₹ 90,000 to ₹ 1,00,000 a month, as compared to ₹ 50,000-70,000 that I was generating without employing modern technologies.’
ReshaMandi‘s founder and CEO, Mayank Tiwari, said ‘the company, which began with a few farmers in Karnataka in April last year, has extended to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, with the Pandharpur district of Maharashtra being the most recent addition. According to him, the company’s new goal is to “streamline the unorganized silk business.’
ReshaMandi’s app allows silk industry participants to buy and sell their products directly. Farmers can book an appointment with ReshaMandi at the farmgate to collect their cocoons. Weavers, reelers, and retailers can use the app to place orders for cocoons or yarns.
It includes the real-time market value of silk cocoons to keep farmers informed about price variations, bringing transparency to the process and protecting them from intermediaries, Tiwari mentions.
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‘Besides Lucknow, Banaras, Kanchipuram, and Dharmavaram, our key customers of cocoons are reeling units situated in Karnataka,’ he said. ‘Our artificial intelligence-based grading technology ensures that the reelers receive standardized and quality graded yarn, which is critical for the quality of silk yarn produced.’