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Ensure economic sustainability of farmers using emerging technology

Creating collective of farmer collectives across geographies, providing complete traceability & price transparency by Blockchain, AI & IoT

Photo of Manish Verma
2 2

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

EmerTech Innovations Pvt. Ltd.

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Other

Website of Legally Registered Entity

http://emertech.io/

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Mumbai

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

India

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Nashik, a city in western Maharashtra, India, has a total area of approximately 237 km^2.

What country is your selected Place located in?

India

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Nashik is an ancient holy city in the northern region of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Situated on the banks of river Godavari, Nasik is well known for being one of Hindu pilgrimage sites, that of Kumbh Mela which is held every 12 years.It is the Third largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune. The city located about 190 km north of state capital Mumbai, is called the "Wine Capital of India" as half of India’s vineyards and wineries are located in Nashik. The city's tropical location and high altitude combine to give it a relatively mild version of a tropical wet and dry climate. Temperatures rise slightly in October, but this is followed by the cool season from November to February. The cool season sees warm temperatures of around 28 °C during the day, but cool nights, with lows averaging 10 °C, and extremely dry air. Nashik has been described as "The Wine Capital of India" the Nashik region reportedly produced 10,000 tonnes of grapes per year. In 2013, there were 22 wineries in Nashik, out of 46 wineries throughout India. The largest vineyard in Nashik is the Sula Vineyards. In the harvest season, Nashik is home to several wine festivals, such as the India Grape Harvest and SulaFest.[42][43]

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

2400000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

The small land-holding of the Indian farmers deters them from investing in processing, storage, accessing retail, and turns agriculture into an unviable undertaking. Because the produce of a single farmer is negligible, it leaves them at the mercy of the middleman - the trader - who uses information asymmetry, many times artificially created, to exploit the farmer. This has been the state of Indian agriculture since a long time. The high farmer suicide rate, which is a uniquely Indian phenomenon, can be attributed largely to this single factor. So the problem is not just an economic one, or one revolving around efficiency, but also about neglected social injustice whose victim has always been the Indian farmer. To overcome these problems farmers are forming Farmer Collectives. This has improved the condition to an extend but it has its own limitations like Spillage and spoilage of produce occurring across supply chain, Lack of transparency at farmer level, No access to private insurance or credit, and Potential of farmer collectives limited by geography. Taken broadly, we can see that the power of the Indian agriculture could never be fully realized due to these inbuilt systemic blockages, causing famines and starvation regularly. By empowering farmers to control the fate of their own produce, we would be fortifying the very foundations of economy on which our nation stands.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

The farmers have now realized of forming collectives, and coming together to invest collectively in processing, storage, and even connecting to the retailer in some cases. In order for this to be feasible, we need a way to onboard different farmer collectives on a single shared platform, and also have crop wise segregation for the same. Eventually, what we will have is a Crop Value Chain that gives a full view of the supply, and better means to discover market price. In order to enable this, it's extremely crucial to have trust built into the system which would be beyond the powers of any entity to fudge or hide. That's where the power of the Blockchain based AI and IoT platform comes in. The platform would onboard farmer collectives, but going ahead, it will also allow exporters/ retailers to become nodes on the same crop system, thereby streamlining the process of supply and demand. The primary beneficiary of this entire exercise is intended to be the farmers, and we will measure our success depending on how much we are able to increase his/ her income. India is seeing an emergence of FPO's (farmer producer organization/ farmer producer company), and they are proving to be partially successful in bypassing the middleman. But it's still faced with limitations. Primarily, the limitation of geography. Two farmer collectives, separated by a small distance, still don't interact with each other. That is why when a farmer collective negotiates with the market it's better than the farmer negotiating alone, but there's still a lot of potential that is not being used because two collectives can work together too! This it is a unique idea, which has never been tried or tested before. We are glad it's the farmer collectives who have provided the initial validation for this idea, and that we have the opportunity to work for them. Each farmer collective on-boarded onto the platform along with their supply chain partners will participate in multiple similar systems running through their clusters. There is one crop value chain for one crop across region. For example, there will be a single crop value chain for grapes supply chain running through all the entities which are involved in production, processing, logistics, retail, or export of grapes across the region. So, one farmer collective would end up having multiple crop value chains running through it, resulting in an interconnected ecosystem of agriculture produce moving throughout the concerned region.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

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Photo of Nicole Civita
Team

Manish Verma -- Greetings from a team working to bring change to Umarkhed in Eastern Maharashtra! We are intrigued by the potential for a technology like the one you describe to be deployed as part of a vision like ours ( Maati-Paani-Asha: Regeneration of Hope, Health, Land & Community in the Face of Extreme Poverty & Climate Crisis ). Part of our theory of change involves direct supply relationships between farmers in our region who transition to regenerative practices and buyers in other regions who are willing to forward contract for what they produce. Blockchain enabled systems could help tremendously with this.

Are you aware of the Grainster platform? It might be interesting to you. I believe that company is based in Arkansas in the United States.

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