KhetiGaadi an agritech startup aims to stop India’s farmlands from dying.
Key Highlights:
  • KhetiGaadi was founded by Vishnu Dhas and Pravin Shinde in 2016 as a marketplace to help farmers to buy, sell, and rent tractors.
  • it has over 50 lakh farmers on its app, as well as thousands of OEMs and tractor dealers that provide services to its network.
  • According to the startup, it has over 50 lakh farmers on its app, as well as thousands of OEMs and tractor dealers that provide services to its network.

Earlier this month, Pune-based agritech startup KhetiGaadi launched KhetiGuru to provide farmers with technical and science-backed assistance for crop and farm-related issues.

When you drive through some of India’s largest agricultural states, the landscape raises questions. There are vast stretches of bare farmland in the country’s interior that are poorly delineated.

A study by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) revealed that 30% of India’s farms are dead today, because of climate change and bad farming practices. Farmers are increasingly switching careers, moving to the cities to find greener pastures. As per Census 2011 study, 2000 farmers give up farming every day.

Now a Pune-based agritech startup KhetiGaadi hopes to change that.

About KhetiGaadi:

KhetiGaadi was founded by Vishnu Dhas and Pravin Shinde in 2016 as a marketplace to help farmers to buy, sell, and rent tractors.
The company offers farming equipment, seeds, nourishing fertilisers, and many other farming-related products, as well as financial services such as tractor loans and crop insurance. It helps farmers to access an array of services on a single platform.

In the last few months, the startup has been focusing more intensively on two key areas:
Assisting farmers in their decision-making
Increasing farmers’ understanding of soil micronutrients and addressing their lack of them.

According to the startup, it has over 50 lakh farmers on its app, as well as thousands of OEMs and tractor dealers that provide services to its network.

Services:
According to a farmer’s land size, the crop he is growing, and other factors, KhetiGuru suggests implements that will make farming easier for him.
The startup helps farmers identify any issues with their lands, such as soil degradation, pests, disease, or crop losses. The startup believes that this kind of intervention if done promptly can potentially stop farms from dying.

The startup’s free farm equipment advisory service often translates into sales, since the products are available on the platform itself and farmers do not need to look for them.

KhetiGuru’s services have been used by nearly 3,000 farmers since its launch on April 2. Taking the product to agricultural states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat is now the focus of the company.

About the Founders:

The success of Khetigaadi is largely due to the backgrounds of its founders. Both of the founders Vishnu and Pravin come from farmer families in Maharashtra and had seen their parents working day and night.

Vishnu began working at the age of 13, making steel rings, and paying for his tuition and schooling. At the age of 16, he started working at the videocassette library, from which he was able to pay for his college education. After college, he worked for almost 20 years in the public relations and corporate communications industry.

Similarly, Pravin, who comes from a farmer family in Maharashtra’s Satara district, pursued a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science, and later, worked for more than 10 years working in a agrochemicals and fertilisers firm.

In 2015, both of them met at a wedding of one of their mutual friends and became close friends. Then, they decided to build something of their own for India’s villages.

Within a year KhetiGaadi saw 50,000 farmers sign up on their platform, and later that number increased. In an interview in 2020, the founders claimed to have around four million farmers on their platform.

The number has risen to five million in two years. By FY 2021-2022, its gross merchandise volume (GMV) grew to Rs 1,500 crore from Rs 50 crore in 2020. Moreover, the GMV over the last five years has been around Rs 2,000 crore, according to the co-founder. It is expected that this will continue to rise.

Conclusion:

India is a large agricultural market – the country’s biggest exports are agricultural – and there is immense innovation potential. In the space are over 1000 startups, including Ninjacart, Origo, DeHaat, CropIn, and VilCart, which offer services such as financing, logistics, farming advisory, and market linkages (e-commerce platform, farm equipment rental services, etc.).

While the primary concern of KhetiGaadi is to connect farmers, tractor manufacturers, contractors, dealers, brokers, service stations, and agricultural experts. It is a platform that matches farmers with agri-lenders and farm insurance providers.

The startup’s primary objective is to provide farmers with efficient and transparent access to modern equipment by making buying, selling, and renting hassle-free. The program also provides agricultural practitioners with the right guidance on modern agricultural practices.

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