Around January 2018, I had written this article (Read Here) talking about several institutional voids on knowing our farmer and the challenges today’s agriculture industry faces. 2018 marked my 20 years in the technology space, and almost 8 years as an investor into the agri space through my wife’s company AariaBiolife. I was watching science at a distance, while still implementing technology or what we call cutting edge today, cloud/mobile based technology to the fortune 500s of the world. Monday to Friday board rooms meeting company after company knowing about their business problems and resolving them through technology. Saturday and Sunday spent driving wifey around rural Maharashtra as she goes about her job of sitting with farmers, explaining them ills of using chemical pesticides and why residue free and organic fertilizers/pesticides are need of the hour. San Francisco to Satara , London to Latur , Malmo to Malsirash was quite a routine to me.Initially I enjoyed this journey thinking I am having best of both worlds but soon realized whats the use of all the technology I am implementing if it is not for the larger purpose. That’s when the journey of technogy meeting Science started.
I wanted to do more, is there a way, we can reach more farmers, is there a way I can help farmers, and more importantly, is there a way I can play a small role through technology to help the science prosper. This thought kept lingering in my mind but in the background, and then in one of my ERP implementations I was implementing a batch tracking process for one of the largest FMCG in the world, and it made me question, every thing we consume has a bar code except food. Sometimes the obvious is not the obvious, and when I digged deeper I realized that 90% of us don’t know where our food comes from and we are ok with it.. Then the researcher in me got inquisitive and I was startled to know that food traceability while being one of the biggest issue is the least addressed. I was also happy that several agtech startups have already started working on it and that’s when I decided that technology has to meet science and my journey to launch aagtech platform started…
Early 2018, the idea was clear, we needed an end to end agtech platform which addresses the core issue, improve the quality of food, and not only try and trace the food to source but also trace what goes into it. Having already a farmer network of 30,000+ farmers through our agri input company helped. My 8 years of investing in the venture had given me a good exposure on the agri value chain. While we often talk about multiple layers in the food value chain, broken systems, too many cooks before food reaches the table, if you really analyse it is a well oiled machinery and if you try to replace/remove any part of the machine the system will not only break but it will also react like your body reacts when a foreign enters your body. So the genesis was clear, we have to create a platform where everyone has a role to play. This was our initial sketch of what we wanted to build.
I will be putting a hand sketch here on our platform. This gave birth to Kheti Buddy. A platform whose core transaction is to help produce food in the most optimum way, but adds value to the entire eco system. But wait’ theres more, what but you and me, the urban folks why should they be left out, we all can contribute to this. But how ? by growing food at home, that gave birth to our gardening platform which helps everyone have a green patch at home. Did you know that almost 50% or even more of the veggies which you grow can be grown at home ? Did you also know you don’t need more than 10×10 space to do that ?
When we built the platform, we were clear, we don’t want to build it in isolation, so we signed up 5000+ farmers and 100+ home growers who were part of our testing team giving us feedback in the last 6-8 months during our beta, as we wanted to be sure that journey we are embarking on customers should be part of our development journey..
Here we are, tomorrow June the 5th on World environment day, we will be launching 3 products from our Khetibuddy platform.
KhetiBuddy Farm: This is a free mobile app for the farmer, which will help focus on improving farming habits. We believe it’s the process which is more important and not the result. Thousands of solution in the market promising you about increasing yield and reducing cost, but that’s the end result, we want to focus on the process. 1% better everyday, what to do, how to do and when to do and purely believe in the compounding benefits of improving farming habits. More information about it on
KhetiBuddy Home : All of you, who wanted to start growing food at home but did not how, this is mobile app is for you, select your space, the veggies you want to grow and the app will guide you step by step what to do. You need to spend only 15-20 mins every day and fresh food from your back yard. Whats more the joy of creating something, and if you get stuck you have our gardeners to help you. Launching a 90 day free trial from tomorrow and gardening as a service initially in Pune. You can read more about it here .
KhetiBuddyEnterpise: This is for organisations who are in the business of agriculture and interact with farmers or home growers. This is where our B2C meets B2B. If you are in a agri business and want to mange a group of farmers, be it an export house, retailer, FPO, KVK, any organization who deals with farmers we have an enterprise platform which focuses on this. Whats more its already integrated with world’s no.1 ERP Oracle NetSuite and India’s most popular SAAS solution Zoho. The platform adds tremendous value in deciphering your farm data the way you want depending on your role in the agri value chain.
It is just our beginning, we have a pipeline of 5 other products which will complete the agri value chain. If you want to change anything in the system you have to be in inside the system and that’s how our journey begins.
Technology can only help if farmer intelligence is better than artificial intelligence and that’s our goal, understand deeply and explain simply in a language which you understand. With more than 125 billion devices to be connected to the internet and 580 million farmers as the universe and millions of home growers, our journey starts tomorrow jab technology meets science !Jab sathkoKhetibuddy to aasan ho KhetiBadi !!