Akorion an agtech company that digitizes the agricultural value chain to deliver better production and marketing services to farmers and other agribusinesses —today officially launched their EzyAgric India application. To make this possible and a success, the company [Ezyagric] partnered with German minerals and agricultural corporation K+S —one of their major investors.
India becomes the second country for Ezyagric to expand its brick and mortar operations, even though their extension services that don’t require brick and mortar are used in over 25 countries globally.
EzyAgric decided to expand to India first because of their strong relationship with K+S by virtue of the latter’s investment in EzyAgric. “When K+S highlighted its existing presence in India with a network of thousands of Indian farmers as existing clients, leveraging this farmer base to launch the EzyAgric app was an opportunity that was difficult to miss,” EzyAgric Chief Executive, Mr. William Luyinda told PC Tech Magazine at a press launch held at their head offers in Kampala. He also added that, “We have a huge coloration between our country’s demographics and India, but the most power thing India has is its big market where 65% of its population engaged into agriculture.”
Luyinda explains to PC Tech Magazine that India is a very complex market but at the same time it is a very potential market. Noting that with this expansion, they are committing themselves to see that in the next five years to have at least 25 million farmers on their platform. “Expanding to India we see this as a huge opportunity for us to hit the milestone —to see that we make this vision a reality,” he said.
Luyinda told our reporter that they ‘have not forgotten’ Africa, as they are in the process of launching in other African countries. According to the CEO, they plan on expanding their brick and mortar to Kenya, Ghana, Cote d’ivoire, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria —markets that are highly driven by agriculture. The company says it hopes to start operations in these countries by beginning of 2022
The EzyAgric platform in Uganda has over 200,000+ farmers and majority are coming from the sides of the agents. The EzyAgric agents work more like mobile money agents [as phrased by Luyinda], they help farmers especially the rural farmers who have no smartphone to access the EzyAgric services. The agents are over 700 spread across the country, who earn commission from the company per every service they make.
Luyinda believes that the new chapter in India is a continuation of the solid traction achieved in Uganda by the platform’s model.
Through EzyAgric, farmers can access extension services and advisory, most of which are for free. This includes advice on soil testing so that you apply the right type of fertilizers and carry out the most appropriate farming practices. They will be able to estimate the size of your garden [by garden mapping] so as to estimate the quantities of the various inputs you will require during farming. This also helps a farmer estimate the expected yields.
Farmers can also accumulate points and stand a chance to get Ezycredit [agricultural loan]. This will support them to plough or prepare the garden, buy seeds and fertilizers, buy pesticides, manage post-harvesting by ensuring best practices. EzyAgric also links them with several buyers (off-takers) of your produce at the most competitive price on the market.
Nikhil Yadav, EzyAgric’s India Product Manager stated that, “The EzyAgric India app will provide Indian farmers with crop-related agronomic information, a GPS-based farm mapping tool, custom-designed fertigation schedules, and easy-to-maintain farm book/management features. Additionally, the app’s updates on weather and news, along with farming videos, would be very helpful to Indian farmers. Advisory on crop nutrition and diseases & pests is also available on the EzyAgric India app. We would consistently keep adding helpful relevant content and create more features, moving forward.”
The EzyAgric app is only available for download to Android users. This is because Android penetration in Africa is high compared to iOS. “Android penetration in Africa is high compared to iOS especially when we are talking of the farming community. We have found out most of the farming community use android because its affordable and easy to use,” explains Luyinda. He however said if there’s need to have the iOS app, it will be built.
The platform neither does it have a USSD portal, this is because most of EzyAgric services can’t be done with a basic phone —because you need high accurate sensors which only come with a smartphone.