In an age when exciting digital platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram and YouTube have virtually taken over the daily lives of urban populations, the good old farming communities, and the rural populace at large, unable to match-up to the pace and flavour of this digital space, were somewhat feeling left out of the fun. No longer, because here comes a promising exclusive rural social ecommerce app and web portal specifically designed for their taste, which has all this, and more, packed in a single integrated bundle. Come, shop, sell, socialise and keep yourself entertained here on ‘IFFCO iMandi’, says the welcome message on the recently launched first of its kind one stop solution, which is set to revolutionise the way farmers get farm-related information, transact their business profitably, get entertained and stay connected with their brethren across geographical boundaries.
The launch of IFFCO iMandi was announced in the city by IFFCO Director Marketing Yogendra Kumar and iMandi Managing Director V.K. Agarwal, who described the app and web portal as a completely indigenously developed proprietary technology in line with the Digital India and Make In India push of the Government of India. It is a strategic investment by IFFCO eBazar Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of the world’s largest processed fertiliser farmers’ cooperative IFFCO, with 5.5 crore registered members, and Singapore-based technology company iMandi Pte Ltd, claimed to be promoted by experienced professionals having vast experience in agriculture industry and mobile/internet technologies.
Photo By : Life In Chandigarh
The simple and user-friendly app and web portal initially come with two language options, English and Hindi, and in the coming months will be available in more than 10 other languages, including Punjabi, Kumar and Agarwal told a gathering of media persons, adding that the initiative is aimed at bringing the benefits of digital technologies to every farmer and digital revolution to rural India.
The social e-commerce bundle offers the farmers and rural communities a platform (IFFCO eBazar) to buy certified and branded fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and plant growth promoters at a discounted price directly from manufacturers, to be delivered free of cost at their doorstep (provided the order fulfils the condition of a fixed minimum quantity). They can join a score of Forums on subjects as diverse as animal health, beauty tips, Bollywood gossip, cotton farming, crop practices, financial tips, government schemes for farmers, horticulture and food processing, human health, Indian cricket, livestock management, mother, organic farming, paddy/rice farming, recipes, saline soil & water practices, sugarcane farming, travel & tourism in India, wheat farming and women’s community.
From creating groups of friends, personal profiles and posts for sharing in features like Friends, Profile & Feed, to subscribing to TV channels (dedicated to farmers’ topics and market prices) in the feature Soochna and 10-odd FM radio stations (Radio), to features like jokes and humour, audio clips of stand-up comedy by famous artists like Kapil Sharma, Raju Srivastav and Sunil Grover (Manoranjan), you name it and the app and web portal have it all.
Among the upcoming features are Bima (all your insurance needs at one place), Udhar (avail loans, micro finance, credit at best rates, Bachat (investments and savings in financial products), Swasth (healthcare services and e-medicine, primary healthcare with offline support from channel partners), Mandi (sell your produce online at best rates), Shiksha (a medium for training, online education, e-learning and skill development), Shram (job placements for rural manpower), TV (stream live channels straight to your mobile), Chaupal (a marketplace to get all your daily needs, from FMCG goods to clothes and electronics).
Sharing the background of IFFCO iMandi app, Yogendra Kumar said the cooperative launched its digital platform to coincide with its golden jubilee celebrations from November 3, 2016 to November 3, 2017. “After spearheading a campaign across India to sensitise members about the use of online and digital transactions, nearly half the 5.5 crore members came on board the digital platform. Now that the IFFCO iMandi app has been launched, going forward, all e-commerce and digital initiatives of IFFCO shall be available on this platform,” he added.
V.K. Agarwal informed the media that the iMandi app had been in the works more than six months before an agreement was signed with IFFCO in August 2017 with 26 percent equity participation from IFFCO eBazar Ltd and the rest from iMandi Pte Ltd. He said considering the unparalleled reach and scale at which the project is to be implemented, it would not have been possible without the participation of a behemoth like IFFCO which had generated a level of trust with its millions of members as none else.
Initially IFFCO iMandi app will reach out to 16,000 pin codes, covering nearly one-third of the country currently being touched by the farmers’ cooperative, and gradually spread its wings to every nook and corner. The unique architecture of the app enables its inter-operability on both 2G+ feature phones and 3G+ smartphones. The app can be downloaded from Play Store and App Store for Android and iOS phones and is also accessible on web at www.iffcoimandi.in. Farmers can execute their transactions either through mobile app, web portal or call centre assistance on Toll Free No. 1800 2000 344.
Lifeinchandigarh.com wishes the IFFCO iMandi venture all success, while at the same time hoping that all teething problems and glitches in operation of the app and web portal are quickly rectified, as and when they occur, for a seamless customer experience.